2021 Area Contest

Statement from the Regional Secretary – 1st December 2020

At the time of writing, the country is still in full lockdown and about to move in to a new series of stifling restrictions, so it may seem incongruous to some that we as a committee are even considering the possibility of running a contest in 2021.
However with the promise of a rapid roll out of a vaccine in the New Year and the desire on the part of our national leaders that we may be returning to some kind of normality by Easter, bands will be starting to think of resuming activity thereafter.
In these circumstances, it is anticipated that the National Finals will go ahead in 2021 and we are keen to have representation from our Region. We have been having initial discussions with the owners of the contest, Kapitol Promotions Limited who have expressed a similar desire. We are working together towards the possibility of being able to run our Regional contest under the requirements of the National Contesting Rules and to identify qualifiers to go forward for an invitation to the Finals.
We can confirm that the contest will not take place at Stevenage in March and that the venue is not available to us at all at any later date in 2021. We are sure that we will return to that venue in 2022 and beyond. Further it is not possible for us to commit to a similar size venue due to the likely restrictions on our income streams and the amount of the reserves available to us.
However we have been able to source a potential venue on a smaller scale which offers two halls with good acoustics and the scope for warm up facilities without bands having to arrange their own rehearsal space. We have a contingent date of the weekend of 26/27 June 2021 on which date we may run the contest. We propose to utilise the test pieces as selected for 2020.
We realise that many bands may have been severely compromised by the pandemic both in terms of their finances and their membership and propose to take a sympathetic view to the grading of bands that are simply unable to attend the contest.
With this in mind, we are aware that the decisions of the committee members impact so greatly on so many, that we propose to take a more inclusive approach to our decision making and would welcome suggestions from any interested party to the Contest. Our contact details are available on the Regional website but please ensure that all comments are made in writing through the Band Secretary.
We would though urge caution in regard to the immediate future and would stress that everyone concerned follows the requirements set out by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport as regards non-professional music making. We are grateful to Brass Bands England for their clear and precise interpretation of those requirements as they relate specifically to brass bands and we insist that these instructions are followed to the letter.
We propose to announce our final decision early in February 2021. If in the event we decide it is not possible to run the contest we will be making representations to Kapitol Promotions as to the bands they may wish to invite to the National Finals. This follows the precedent set in 1966 when our Regional contest was cancelled at short notice and the then owners invited bands on their own judgement.
We would take this opportunity to wish a happy, safe and secure Christmas to all bands and band members wherever you are and hope we can meet very soon.

Future contest dates

The contest is always held on the third weekend in March. The dates for the coming years are:

  • June 26th / 27th 2021 (TBC)
  • March 19th / 20th 2022

Contacts

The Regional Committee is always happy to receive suggestions as to how the contest may be improved for future years. Please note that we can only enter into correspondence with your band secretary.

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