I am entering this discussion with a certain amount of trepidation, because I do not have the contesting experience so many of you obviously have. Indeed, my overall banding knowledge falls very short of most of you.
Perhaps it is because of this lack of experience that I find myself somewhat confused. Having read all the posts on this thread, I have been unable to clearly determine exactly what the banding movement is demanding of the “authorities”.
Would it be possible, therefore, for someone on a higher plain to summarise the main issues that require addressing, and in a format acceptable for submitting to contest organisers? In other words, a coordinated précis of perhaps the five or six most important concerns currently at the heart of what is such an emotive subject.
Not for one moment do I consider myself on a higher plane as such , but certainly in terms of contesting the main issues are , in my opinion , the following:
Numbers per region , especially in Champ and 4th sections
Open / Closed adjudication
Criteria for adjudication or the lack thereof
Promotion / Relegation
Set work v Own choice in lower sections
Number of judges in box and experience thereof
Costs of entry for Nationals
I'd perhaps also add the question of English representation at European contests / bodies.
Outside of the contesting millieu , there is also the crying need for some sort of unified voice by which the "movement" can raise its profile and attract suitable publicity / investment and most importantly , attract people and especially youngsters into playing and continuing to play. This is possibly of more importance , in my view , than issues around contests.
There's been a considerable amount of to-ing and fro-ing in this thread , and indeed others as to how this representation is achieved in such a way that banding can present a unified voice that is broadly representative of its "members" either contesting or not.
Iwan Fox , Steven Mead and others have made suggestions that , regardless of wether one agrees with them or not deserve debate , but who will carry that debate to "the authorities" is what is up for grabs. The UKBBA / EBBF may just turn out as another powerless talking shop , or it may not depending on how we engage with it. The more of us that do , the more chance there is that we "ordinary" bandsmen and women can have a voice.
Given that UKBBA are at least asking for input via 4br , it can't hurt if as many of us as possible take that chance. Frankly , if we don't choose to engage with this , or similar proposals , then "authorites" such as ABBA / Kapitol etc can carry on doing their thing as , when we were offered the chance to speak , we remained silent.
Thats my tuppence ha'penny anyway.