It has been revealed that a record number of brass band lovers around the globe logged-in to enjoy the live broadcast action from the recent Bolsover Festival of Brass Championships.
The 12 hours of coverage from the Heritage High School in Clowne was watched on-line by over 20,000 people in 33 different countries — including no less than 393 different towns and cities in the UK alone.
Hosted by the participatory arts charity Junction Arts and broadcast through the First Art cultural consortium with funding help by Arts Council England, the figures which have been released to 4BR by First Art, also show a big increase in people watching the action on mobile devices, with over three quarters of viewers using mobile phones or tablets.
Responses to the event, both on the day and follow the broadcast coverage were also hugely positive, with bands able to purchase an official dual DVD set (to cover television and web ready broadcast) for £30 in the very near future.
A spokesperson told 4BR: "The ambition shown this year in broadcasting each performance from two separate halls was fully justified, and we have been delighted by the viewing figures. It's also important to note that audience figures at the event itself were also over 25% up on last year.
They combine to show that a high quality broadcast that involves people with both a passion and the professionalism to make it work is hugely popular with brass band fans all over the world."
They added: "Our thanks go to everyone involved — from hosts, sponsors and supporters to the production team and presenters, the amazing volunteers and of course to the bands themselves."
The popularity of the event continues to grow — as was shown by the audience support on the day at the High School and the interest from all over the worldEvent organiser, Carole Hirst
Event organiser Carole Hirst was also delighted with the results of a competition that saw 48 performances from bands and had a long waiting list of others wanting to take part.
"The popularity of the event continues to grow — as was shown by the audience support on the day at the High School and the interest from all over the world.
The decision to showcase every performance was one that added an extra dimension to the broadcast — and I'm determined to keep the festival at the forefront of innovative brass band contest promotion."