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Take 5
​The best brass band tour destinations for 2016

4BR has been finding out which are the five most popular brass band destinations to tour in 2016...

Take 5

4BR has been talking to specialist Concert Tour operators, Rayburn Tours, who have come up with five of their most popular brass band destinations for 2016…


From medieval belfries and old-world castles, to contemporary museums and stylish cafes, Belgium is a historical haven with a modern twist. 

Whilst its quaint cobbled streets, winding canals and traditional boutiques give the region its endearing ‘fairytale-esque’ charm, its collection of contemporary architecture and urban gems give the Belgian cities an energetic buzz.

The perfect close to home destination, Belgium is an ever-popular choice for touring bands. From bustling market squares to impressive historical sites, the cities of Bruges, Ghent, Brussels and Ypres offer a range of exciting performance opportunities to suit any band’s sound and style!  

There is something for everyone here - from high energy enjoyment to deeply emotional commemorations. The brass band culture is well established too, so audiences are keen to hear British bands in particular. 


Our favourite venue:

Last Post Ceremony, Menin Gate, Ypres

A highlight for many bands touring Belgium is to be given the honour of performing at the Last Post Ceremony. 

Rayburn Tours can organise for your group to lay a wreath at the Menin Gate and perform a piece as part of the Remembrance Service. This is always an emotional experience, made even more poignant during the four year period of the WWI Centenary commemoration.  

‘Why would any band not want to play here? This was our second visit and just as moving as the first, especially with the 100th anniversary of WW1. The audience was probably reaching the 1000 mark.’ - John Whitehead, Wadhurst Brass Band, Menin Gate

To find out more: http://www.rayburntours.com/concert/bands

The Rhineland

This beautiful region of Germany is steeped in fascinating history, with a host of charming hillside villages, old-world cities and historic castles dotted along the iconic River Rhine. 

The old tradition of brass band playing is still prevalent in the area, with many of the quirky spa and riverside towns offering a warm welcome to instrumental groups. 

‘It was an amazing, jam-packed week and everyone seemed to have a great time.’ - Louisa Sham, City of Cardiff Concert Band, The Rhineland


Our favourite venue:

Bad Neuenahr Revolving Stage

This extraordinary, all-weather venue features a unique revolving stage that is designed to face either the concert hall or the stunning gardens, depending on the weather! 

Bad Neuenahr offers a well-attended weekly concert series and is a great performance experience for bands.

To find out more: http://www.rayburntours.com/concert/bands

The Black Forest

Named after its dark canopy of evergreen trees, the Black Forest is arguably the most picturesque region of Germany. Here you will find the root of traditional, rural Germany with rolling hills, quaint farmhouses, winding river valleys, beautiful lakes and stunning panoramic views.

From performing by the charming Lake in Titisee, to entertaining the café goers in Freudenstadt, the Black Forest has the perfect venue for any band. The Black Forest is a particularly favoured destination for touring bands, owing to its impressive bandstands and outdoor venues.

‘Everyone enjoyed the tour so much. Everything was amazing from the Hotel to the concert venues. It was so well organised.’ - Zoe Layden, Royal British Legion Brass Band

Black Forest

Our favourite venue:

Titisee Lakeside Bandshell

Set in a prime location, overlooking the beautiful Lake Titisee, the Bandshell is one of the Black Forest’s most popular instrumental venues. 

Boasting stunning surroundings, the Pavilion attracts a great number of tourists seeking to enjoy lakeside concerts.

To find out more: http://www.rayburntours.com/concert/bands

Lake Garda

Encompassing the perfect mix of sun, scenery and spectacular venues, a tour to the vibrant towns of Lake Garda promises a number of fantastic performance opportunities for bands. 

From historic lakeside piazzas and the hill towns of the Trentino region, to stunning venues in nearby Venice and Verona, Lake Garda is the ideal base for your band tour. 

‘Excellent pre-tour service and final documentation - outstanding attention to detail. Also excellent assistance whilst tour was underway. Marvellous concert venues, and excellent excursions and hotel facilities.’ - Melanie Stapleton, Tapton Youth Brass Band 


Our favourite venue:

Gardone Riviera 

Popular with tourists since the 19th century, this elegant resort is located in the Lombardy region on the southwestern shores of the lake. 

Bands can perform on the lively promenade before enjoying a well-deserved ice cream and a pleasant ‘passeggiata’.

To find out more: http://www.rayburntours.com/concert/bands

Four Countries

Spoilt for choice? The ‘Four Countries’ tour offers bands a fuller European experience with the opportunity to travel and perform in Germany, Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg.

Why settle for one when you can have four?

A popular choice for bands, this tour gives groups the option to base themselves in one country and enjoy performance opportunities in all four. 

‘A complete five star package’ - Mike Caveney, Trentham Brass Band

Four Counties

Our favourite venue:

Place d’Armes, Luxembourg 

At the heart of the city lies Place d’Armes, originally a parade ground that has evolved into the main hub of city centre activity. 

With a large bandstand at its centre, surrounded by a cluster of cafés and restaurants, Place d’Armes is a fabulous location for a concert performance, especially in the summer months when the tourist season is in full flow.

To find out more: http://www.rayburntours.com/concert/bands

Ryaburn Tours

Over to you…

For more information on these destinations and more, visit the Rayburn Tours website or call out team on 01332 347 828.

Need a little concert tour inspiration?

Find out what other bands have been up to on the Rayburn Concert Tours

Contest: North West Regional Championships

Sunday 25 February • Winter Gardens Complex, Church Street, Blackpool. FY1 1HU

Friary Guildford Brass Band - the best of Guildford's musical talent

Sunday 25 February • Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Millbrook, Guildford GU1 3UX

Northop Silver Band - Northop Brass

Thursday 1 March • Northop Band Room CH7 6BQ

Regent Hall Concerts - Guildhall Brass Band

Friday 2 March • Regent Hall. (The Salvation Army). 275 Oxford Street. London W1C 2DJ (opposite RESERVED) W1C 2DJ

Contest: Yorkshire Regional Championships

Saturday 3 March • Corporation St, Huddersfield HD1 2TA

Enderby Band

February 24 • Enderby Band are looking for a SOLO TROMBONE to join us after the Area Contest. We are a hard-working and sociable band and are looking for a committed player to fill a key seat. We have a sensible mix of concert and contests throughout the year.

West Somerset Brass Band

February 23 • West Somerset Brass is looking to strengthen its cornet and baritone section. We are a community band playing all over Somerset and hope to undertake a tour to France later in the year. If you can play whatever standard please make contact

The Corsham Band

February 22 • Having now been promoted to the 2nd Section for the forthcoming Contest season, the band are now looking for a back row cornet player, 2nd or 3rd, to join our team

Alan Duguid

BA (Hons), PGDipMus, PGCE
Conductor, Composer, Adjudicator (ABBA)