Unfair advantages to contesting

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Neillyboy, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. Neillyboy

    Neillyboy Member

    I'm not here to hell raise or annoy anyone or even tread on anyone's toes, I'm just looking for views on a matter.

    There is a rule that no band can practice in the venue of the day of the contest, however I've noted a few bands have been practicing in the venue on the week of a contest.

    My view on this is that it seems a bit unfair that bands close to the venue have that advantage that they are close enough to do that, and actually tailer their performance to the exact acoustics, but other bands who live more than 40 miles away don't have that opportunity and therefore are at a distinct advantage.

    my view is that the rules should be changed to disallow bands to rehearse in the venue up to a month before the concert, the exception being if a band was holding a concert in the venue.

  2. marc71178

    marc71178 Member

    Why stop at a month though? Why not 3 or 6?

    At the end of the day it might help but it might not. I know of bands who have done it in the Midlands and it didn't help yet that same year an MD sat in the hall prior to his bands performance, recognised that they needed to "tone things down", told the band to do so and promptly won the contest.
  3. johnmartin

    johnmartin Active Member

    I happen to agree with your view. There should be a ban on rehearsing in the contest venue. However, having said that, I do not see what, if any, advantage is gained by playing to a completely empty hall. Also, distance considerations aside, the same facility is available to every competitor so it could be argued that no competitive advantage is gained.
  4. Neillyboy

    Neillyboy Member

    Marc the MD going in to listen to a performance then giving direction on the way to the stage is perfectly legit. I don't see a problem with that, I've done it myself, that's just clever thinking.
  5. Accidental

    Accidental Supporting Member

    I can understand venues and/or contest organisers not allowing it on the day because of the logistics of a band getting in their way, but I wasn't aware of any rule - there's certainly nothing in the Nationals rules :-?

    And beforehand, does it really matter?
    As others have said, anyone can hire the venue and playing to an empty hall is nothing like contest day anyway, so even if there is some advantage (which imho there isn't), its not unfair because there's nothing stopping every band doing it if they want to - even the ones that are (only) 40 miles away.

    As for tailoring a performance to the acoustic, surely unless its a brand new contest & venue then you will have played thereand/or heard other bands there before anyway? And what would change in a month?
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2014
  6. cockaigne

    cockaigne Member

    Yup. Unless the regional committees want to take out block-bookings of contest venues to prevent bands rehearsing there, who as independent organisations are otherwise completely entitled to do so. Or else the committees could buy the contest venues outright... either way, it would add considerably to the cost of putting on a contest.

    Absolutely - whenever I conduct at a contest, even if it's a venue I know well, I will go in to hear a band or two with a view to getting a feel for the hall, and how the sound comes over from the stage to where the box is.
  7. marc71178

    marc71178 Member

    I know, but I was pointing out that I know that bands rehearsed in the same venue beforehand and it was of no help.
  8. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    There's a point in doing anything in competition with others at which one personally draws a line, where one says "Okay, that's just too much." But we should recognise that this point varies from person to person, and that those who take their preparation most seriously are i) unlikely to do badly and ii) doing nothing wrong. Much though it may sometimes smart to admit that others are trying harder and doing better!

    I know a band that every year prior to their national championships organises concerts every Saturday for a month beforehand in various locations specifically in order to run out their test pieces several times. How many of us would go to that length? And while of course it's permissible to simply say "Okay, we aren't going to even try to compete with that level of preparation", it's a bit churlish to then also say "It shouldn't be legal to prepare to that level". Exactly the same applies to this scenario. Many bands are within rehearsal reach of area contest venues; if such a band wishes to hire the hall for regular rehearsals, or even put on a concert there shortly before the contest - well, why not? They're just taking their preparation more seriously than the rest in that way.

    As Marc points out, it isn't even as if doing this confers a advantage that I've yet been able to discern...
  9. cockaigne

    cockaigne Member

    As Flanders & Swann put it - very much with tongue-in-cheek:

    "They argue with umpires, they cheer when they've won,
    And they practice beforehand, which ruins the fun!"

  10. iffytboner

    iffytboner Member

    Very clever thinking but I'm sure that some would feel that this would disadvantage bands drawn 1 or 2.

    (personally, I don't contest anymore and therefore don't care - just playing devil's advocate)
  11. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    One could maybe argue that having played at the venue in previous years is an unfair advantage...
  12. Neillyboy

    Neillyboy Member

    Lol interesting views here. Il hold my hands up and will admit it's very clever thinking. I've ran the test piece out in various venues and the feedback has been great but I still don't think it's right to be in the venue rehearsing. But as they say "different strokes for different folks". At the end of the day the prep and the work each band puts in will be brought out on the contest platform.
  13. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

    Does it realy matter ? :rolleyes:
  14. Gorgie boy

    Gorgie boy Member

    posted something here but then changed my mind.......
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2014
  15. cockaigne

    cockaigne Member

    Indeed - where would it end? Bands from the NW region who also compete at the Spring Festival could be said to be at an advantage, having played in (probably) the same venue(s) less than two months previously.

    </tongue in cheek>
  16. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    So that's why NW bands always do so well there! I'd always wondered.
  17. iffytboner

    iffytboner Member

    Bands that have better players could also be at an advantage..... I think
  18. I once won a contest because we had a better conductor than anyone else. Seemed a bit unfair to me.
  19. cockaigne

    cockaigne Member

    Bands with (or without?) a conductor may be considered to be at an advantage (or not). Discuss. :confused:

    <stirring gently>
  20. One wonders if this really makes any difference. Remember we are talking about amateur brass banding here. Generally the better quality bands will rise to the top regardless where they rehearse.

    If X or Y band want to spend their hard earned cash rehearsing in the contest venue then so be it. If they want to take it that seriously it's up to them.

    It's maybe even a disadvantage? Having spent so much money hiring the venue the pressures then on to produce the desired result. I wonder if anyone from a band that employs this rehearsal strategy could comment on this? Has it worked for you in the past?

    I've certainly played and conducted in halls that I and my bands are very familiar with and it's been no advantage whatsoever! Conversely I've had great results in halls I've never been in.

    Good luck in your respective regionals this weekend (whether you've practiced in the venue or not) and always remember.. There are no winner in a game for losers!

Share This Page