UKBBA Who and what?

AEHOWGATE

Member
Ukbba. Who are you? I want to know who wants to tax my band if we can afford the coach to go to the area? Which organization wants to bleed us dry now. Show your faces.
 

WoodenFlugel

Moderator
Staff member
What a mess. To repeat what I said before, I despair. I despair at the petty self-serving fools who are currently running (and I use the word advisedly) banding in England.
 

Borfeo

Member
Regarding the taxing of bands.

In Scotland all bands (Well perhaps 99%) are registered with SBBA, and we pay an annual subscription, we are all as one within the organisation. All the money is used for the betterment of the Scottish banding movement. Seems a no brainer to me.

I can't even begin to understand how the organisational structure in England works. It appears on the face of it to make no sense whatsoever. For the regional associations to be saying that they are only responsible for running the regional contests confuses me.

How does England work? Genuine question!
 

WoodenFlugel

Moderator
Staff member
Simply put, it doesn't. Which is why we desperately need something to be done. While we have numerous committees all looking after their own interests and no body to pull them all together into a common goal, the movement here in England will continue to decline. The fact that I have to read on 4BR that Mr X doesn't like what Mr Y is doing, instead of them picking the phone up and sorting it out between themselves like adults do, just adds insult to injury.

What confuses me is this: the answer is there already - either pick the Scottish or Scandinavian model and go with that. It may not be absolutely perfect for England but it would be a whole lot better than the mess that we currently have.
 

DannyCollin

Member
Simply put, it doesn't. Which is why we desperately need something to be done. While we have numerous committees all looking after their own interests and no body to pull them all together into a common goal, the movement here in England will continue to decline. The fact that I have to read on 4BR that Mr X doesn't like what Mr Y is doing, instead of them picking the phone up and sorting it out between themselves like adults do, just adds insult to injury.

What confuses me is this: the answer is there already - either pick the Scottish or Scandinavian model and go with that. It may not be absolutely perfect for England but it would be a whole lot better than the mess that we currently have.
I'd be very surprised if anything at all happens, ever.
 

Thirteen Ball

Active Member
I can't even begin to understand how the organisational structure in England works. It appears on the face of it to make no sense whatsoever. For the regional associations to be saying that they are only responsible for running the regional contests confuses me.

How does England work? Genuine question!
As others have already alluded to, the simple answer is that it doesn't. If you're baffled by it, then be assured that you're not alone. the system implemented by the SBBA is vastly superior to anything in England, and the new initiatives seen in contesting and adjudication in scotland are a direct result of that. I'd sign up for any organisation that could genuinely impliment your system in England tomorrow.

The problem as I see it is that we have so many small comittees and groups of people who are anxious to hang on to the limited influence that they have they're unwilling to see the big picture. In Scotland, Norway, Sweden, etc. you have a central body, and therefore a unified and organised approach - not the shambolic state of affairs we have in England.

The point that AEHOWGATE and others make about 'bleeding bands dry' is unfortunately typical of the blinkered view and short-sightedness within certain quarters of banding, which means many bandsmen cannot see past their personal funds diminishing by paying a subscription fee to any central organisation - and this therefore only being a bad thing. I doubt many have ever given a thought to what they could gain in return.

The whole point is that if we HAD a central organisation, the money which came in in entry fees and subscriptions wouldn't then leave banding and go to private companies as it does now. It could very easily then be reinvested in contest structure, events, masterclasses and summer schools for the benefit of banding at large. It appears Altruism and an eye to the future are in precious short supply in certain quarters!

If people want rid of Kapitol running the national championships, fine. Then fund a viable alternative. The money has to come from somewhere, and if not from member bands then where? You cannot run a championship on fresh air, good will and and optimism. (It's also worth noting that if we DID have a proper national organisation, and Kapitol tried a similar stunt - then banding would have far more leverage over them than it does now. I mean, they just proved that we don't even have the clout to decide what happens with our own national championship! )

At least Stan and the rest of the working group are trying to do something to improve things. Their work may yet be the most important thing to happen to English banding since Vinter decided he didn't want to hear us playing yet more overtures. But only if people are willing to accept that things simply cannot be allowed to stumble on as they are.

We are left with three inescapable facts:
Banding as an English national entity is dying.
Change is needed to stop that
It will not be easy, cheap or without sacrifice.


And the sooner people at the top can stop protecting small empires and look at the bigger picture, the sooner we can begin to address these issues.
 

P_S_Price

Member
As others have already alluded to, the simple answer is that it doesn't. If you're baffled by it, then be assured that you're not alone. the system implemented by the SBBA is vastly superior to anything in England, and the new initiatives seen in contesting and adjudication in scotland are a direct result of that. I'd sign up for any organisation that could genuinely impliment your system in England tomorrow.

The problem as I see it is that we have so many small comittees and groups of people who are anxious to hang on to the limited influence that they have they're unwilling to see the big picture. In Scotland, Norway, Sweden, etc. you have a central body, and therefore a unified and organised approach - not the shambolic state of affairs we have in England.

The point that AEHOWGATE and others make about 'bleeding bands dry' is unfortunately typical of the blinkered view and short-sightedness within certain quarters of banding, which means many bandsmen cannot see past their personal funds diminishing by paying a subscription fee to any central organisation - and this therefore only being a bad thing. I doubt many have ever given a thought to what they could gain in return.

The whole point is that if we HAD a central organisation, the money which came in in entry fees and subscriptions wouldn't then leave banding and go to private companies as it does now. It could very easily then be reinvested in contest structure, events, masterclasses and summer schools for the benefit of banding at large. It appears Altruism and an eye to the future are in precious short supply in certain quarters!

If people want rid of Kapitol running the national championships, fine. Then fund a viable alternative. The money has to come from somewhere, and if not from member bands then where? You cannot run a championship on fresh air, good will and and optimism. (It's also worth noting that if we DID have a proper national organisation, and Kapitol tried a similar stunt - then banding would have far more leverage over them than it does now. I mean, they just proved that we don't even have the clout to decide what happens with our own national championship! )

At least Stan and the rest of the working group are trying to do something to improve things. Their work may yet be the most important thing to happen to English banding since Vinter decided he didn't want to hear us playing yet more overtures. But only if people are willing to accept that things simply cannot be allowed to stumble on as they are.

We are left with three inescapable facts:
Banding as an English national entity is dying.
Change is needed to stop that
It will not be easy, cheap or without sacrifice.

And the sooner people at the top can stop protecting small empires and look at the bigger picture, the sooner we can begin to address these issues.

Actually, believe it or not I think thatthis is in the hands of the Bands themselves; particularly the Top bands.

If the top 10-20 could get together and agree a structure, then as the bands that generate the most interest and revenue they could force a change. Quite simply by refusing to compete in anything that was not an amalgamated or common structure.

This is why Uefa have had to change the format of their top competiitions. The top Revenue generating lubs in Europe threatened a break away.

If the Nationals didnt have the potential to include the top bands; which instead competed in an alternative competition (ideally run at the same time) would they survive? I think not.

Change Can be forced from the bottom. It just needs the support of the big players!

Maybe those disaffected that are within these bands should start to lobyy from within?
 

DannyCollin

Member
As others have already alluded to, the simple answer is that it doesn't. If you're baffled by it, then be assured that you're not alone. the system implemented by the SBBA is vastly superior to anything in England, and the new initiatives seen in contesting and adjudication in scotland are a direct result of that. I'd sign up for any organisation that could genuinely impliment your system in England tomorrow.

The problem as I see it is that we have so many small comittees and groups of people who are anxious to hang on to the limited influence that they have they're unwilling to see the big picture. In Scotland, Norway, Sweden, etc. you have a central body, and therefore a unified and organised approach - not the shambolic state of affairs we have in England.

The point that AEHOWGATE and others make about 'bleeding bands dry' is unfortunately typical of the blinkered view and short-sightedness within certain quarters of banding, which means many bandsmen cannot see past their personal funds diminishing by paying a subscription fee to any central organisation - and this therefore only being a bad thing. I doubt many have ever given a thought to what they could gain in return.

The whole point is that if we HAD a central organisation, the money which came in in entry fees and subscriptions wouldn't then leave banding and go to private companies as it does now. It could very easily then be reinvested in contest structure, events, masterclasses and summer schools for the benefit of banding at large. It appears Altruism and an eye to the future are in precious short supply in certain quarters!

If people want rid of Kapitol running the national championships, fine. Then fund a viable alternative. The money has to come from somewhere, and if not from member bands then where? You cannot run a championship on fresh air, good will and and optimism. (It's also worth noting that if we DID have a proper national organisation, and Kapitol tried a similar stunt - then banding would have far more leverage over them than it does now. I mean, they just proved that we don't even have the clout to decide what happens with our own national championship! )

At least Stan and the rest of the working group are trying to do something to improve things. Their work may yet be the most important thing to happen to English banding since Vinter decided he didn't want to hear us playing yet more overtures. But only if people are willing to accept that things simply cannot be allowed to stumble on as they are.

We are left with three inescapable facts:
Banding as an English national entity is dying.
Change is needed to stop that
It will not be easy, cheap or without sacrifice.


And the sooner people at the top can stop protecting small empires and look at the bigger picture, the sooner we can begin to address these issues.
The perfect post. I couldn't have put it any better myself, and the sooner the little empire builders realise they're killing banding instead of what they actually believe, (volunteering once a year to help a private company make money is not helping banding) the better.
 

Thirteen Ball

Active Member
Actually, believe it or not I think thatthis is in the hands of the Bands themselves; particularly the Top bands.

If the top 10-20 could get together and agree a structure, then as the bands that generate the most interest and revenue they could force a change. Quite simply by refusing to compete in anything that was not an amalgamated or common structure.

This is why Uefa have had to change the format of their top competiitions. The top Revenue generating lubs in Europe threatened a break away.

If the Nationals didnt have the potential to include the top bands; which instead competed in an alternative competition (ideally run at the same time) would they survive? I think not.

Change Can be forced from the bottom. It just needs the support of the big players!

Maybe those disaffected that are within these bands should start to lobyy from within?
The reason that clubs could force through changes in Uefa is financial clout. They had the potential to isolate a significant revenue stream from uefa and keep it within themselves. Uefa restructured the competition so that the revenue stream continued to flow through them and down to the football clubs below.

In order for this to work in banding, you would have to fundamentally alter the nature of contesting - so that a significant portion of a band's revenue came in from contests - whereas at present, the risible prize money for winning a national finals makes it unlikely this course of action would work.

For whatever reason the very top bands compete in the national finals it's not for money - because it costs a band far more to go to London than they can possibly recoup even by winning every prize available. And that would still be the case even if you doubled every prize.

Take a band like Grimethorpe Colliery, for example. They do (effectively) a maximum of three contests a year. The areas, the National finals (if they qualify) and the British Open. With transport, accommodation, conductors fees etc all factored in, all three will run at a big loss, even if they win every one of them. But they can pack a concert hall anywhere in the counry every week and turn a decent profit.

Think of how much money Football clubs make from a champions league win. Hundreds of millions of pounds. if this wasn't available, would the competition be the same? Would we still see Manchester United taking part for the 'pride of the shirt?' I doubt it. Remember, the FA had to stump up a load of cash to persuade them to take part in the world club cup in 2000 or they simply wouldn't have gone.

So why then do our top bands still do the major contests? It must be getting hard to justify the cost in the current climate. Either way the point is that prize money - and therefore contest revenue - is not the issue for our top bands when it comes to the major contests because they can make vastly more from playing to Joe and Josephine Public. (Granted, Whit Friday, Butlins etc. are good opportunities to swell the coffers for some London attendees, but not all partake. )

I'll admit that our top bands have considerable leverage over the national contests if they choose to use it. But it doesn;t change the fact that they're only part of the national finals because they want to be. What they bring to it is far more significant than any financial reward, and the publicity they gain is limited since it's largely banders who attend the major contests anyway. But the point being if - as football clubs have threatened - they were going to stop/break away because of the potential revenue stream of the contest, they'd have done it by now.
 

P_S_Price

Member
The reason that clubs could force through changes in Uefa is financial clout. They had the potential to isolate a significant revenue stream from uefa and keep it within themselves. Uefa restructured the competition so that the revenue stream continued to flow through them and down to the football clubs below.

In order for this to work in banding, you would have to fundamentally alter the nature of contesting - so that a significant portion of a band's revenue came in from contests - whereas at present, the risible prize money for winning a national finals makes it unlikely this course of action would work.

For whatever reason the very top bands compete in the national finals it's not for money - because it costs a band far more to go to London than they can possibly recoup even by winning every prize available. And that would still be the case even if you doubled every prize.

Take a band like Grimethorpe Colliery, for example. They do (effectively) a maximum of three contests a year. The areas, the National finals (if they qualify) and the British Open. With transport, accommodation, conductors fees etc all factored in, all three will run at a big loss, even if they win every one of them. But they can pack a concert hall anywhere in the counry every week and turn a decent profit.

Think of how much money Football clubs make from a champions league win. Hundreds of millions of pounds. if this wasn't available, would the competition be the same? Would we still see Manchester United taking part for the 'pride of the shirt?' I doubt it. Remember, the FA had to stump up a load of cash to persuade them to take part in the world club cup in 2000 or they simply wouldn't have gone.

So why then do our top bands still do the major contests? It must be getting hard to justify the cost in the current climate. Either way the point is that prize money - and therefore contest revenue - is not the issue for our top bands when it comes to the major contests because they can make vastly more from playing to Joe and Josephine Public. (Granted, Whit Friday, Butlins etc. are good opportunities to swell the coffers for some London attendees, but not all partake. )

I'll admit that our top bands have considerable leverage over the national contests if they choose to use it. But it doesn;t change the fact that they're only part of the national finals because they want to be. What they bring to it is far more significant than any financial reward, and the publicity they gain is limited since it's largely banders who attend the major contests anyway. But the point being if - as football clubs have threatened - they were going to stop/break away because of the potential revenue stream of the contest, they'd have done it by now.

I think I agree with this - my point wasnt that the Bands gain the revenue, its that Kapitol make the money on the strength of the popularity of the top bands.

The Uefa competitions get the most publicity when top clubs are involved. Fewer top clubs less interest in the competition, less income for Uefa!

Similarly Kapitol could be financially hamstrung without the top Bands.

But as you point out the Top bands must want things to change for them to start to drive that change; and it seems that in general its member dont.
 

IanHeard

Member
It doesn't, as a whole. The Scottish system seems better. When I competed at the Glasgow Europeans, their presence was everywhere. We have nothing like that.
There is a lot to be envious about when looking at the way they do things in Scotland, but lets not forget that the way things are set-up in UK banding has made things very simple for them, much easier I suspect to organise a small to middling 'Area' like Scotland than try and bring some semblance of order to the 6 English regions of 500 or so contesting bands.
As with the wider devolution debate, the people who run things are quite content to facilitate Scots and Welsh aspirations, but when it comes to a collective English voice, all of a sudden they 'cock a deafun' and state they are only here "to run a contest".
How long I ask will we have to put up with a small-time Welsh businessman blocking the manifest destiny of English banding to have a organising body funded by the participant bands of the 6 English Area contests?....a little while longer it seems!
 

kirky

New Member
I'm pretty new to these forums so am hoping for a bit of enlightenment here...

I understood that the UKBBA was being set up not as a governing body for English and/or UK bands but as an umbrella organisation in an advisory & collaborative capacity. At no point in the proceedings (as far as I am aware) was there ever a mention of English bands having to register individually with the UKBBA. I thought it was supposed to be the regional organisations/associations, including Scotland/Wales/N.Ireland, who were to contribute to its running costs.

Did I pick this up wrong?

I understand to a small degree, the complexity of banding in England - multiple governing bodies, regional committees, contest organisers etc. From an outsiders point of view, this needs simplified although in what way... who knows. I really don't know enough about it so can't really comment. Perhaps an EBBA is the way forward but with 500+ bands, this would be a nightmare to organise. So should it then be left to the regions to represent the bands? Could an EBBA take charge of band/member registrations?

From my personal perspective it would be great to see the UKBBA survive. Brass Banding does need a stronger voice at national level, particularly where funding is concerned. Opera et al has had it too good for too long. But are the individual organisations strong enough or big enough to knock on the door of Number 10 to encourage a change in proceedings?

Confused....
 

IanHeard

Member
I understand to a small degree, the complexity of banding in England - multiple governing bodies, regional committees, contest organisers etc. From an outsiders point of view, this needs simplified although in what way... who knows. I really don't know enough about it so can't really comment. Perhaps an EBBA is the way forward but with 500+ bands, this would be a nightmare to organise. So should it then be left to the regions to represent the bands? Could an EBBA take charge of band/member registrations?
Welcome Kirky.
I think the finer points of funding and governance were and are a bit sketchy as regards English bands in this process, but there was according to the UKBBA`s proposed plan to be an English body (the new EFBB) sitting over the English regions and local associations, what their powers were to be, if any, I don`t know.
This whole process needed banding people in England to think out of the box, they were not capable and it ****es me off.
 
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