Money, Money, Money - Who has won what and where in 2006


4BR investigates who has been winning all the money on offer this year in the Championship Section at the contests they can enter, and what contests pay the most. Is it the glory, or the bucks?

MoneyEver wondered how much money there was to be made from winning brass band contests at the highest level?

Well just like those lists of golfers winning zillions of lovely lucre, 4BR has tried to formulate the leading money winners from the leading cash rich contests from the start of 2006 to date.

Some interesting points to note however. The most prestigious contests are not always those that pay out the most money.

Black Dyke may have won the British Open a few weeks ago, but they only picked up £3000 for their efforts, whilst the forthcoming National Finals at the Royal Albert Hall, the most visible brass band contest in the world will see the winners pick up a cheque for the princely sum of £2000.

To make matters a touch worse, that is exactly the same amount of money the 1980 winners, Brighouse and Rastrick won.

Given that the value of the glorious British Pound loses half its real value every ten years, this now means that the top prize is actually worth around 250 nicker.

The big payers

At Championship level, the National Finals are in fact the joint eleventh best payers for the band that wins, behind Butlins - £6000; The Masters – £5000; English Nationals – £4000; Brass in Concert –  £4000; Radio Wales/Cymru contest – £4000; British Open – £3000; Pontins – £2500, Tameside Whit Friday – £2500; Saddleworth Whit Friday – £2500 and not forgetting the Europeans who pay out 5000 Euro. It lies in terms of winner's prize money with Yeovil, Troon and Wychavon.

No, the real money it seems lies in Holiday camps and Whit Friday day outs.

ButlinsThe biggest prize in current UK banding is to be found at Butlins and the Mineworkers Championships where earlier this year the PolySteel Band made away with 6000 for their efforts (although they did have to play over two days with a set work and entertainment programme).

Just behind them comes the Whit Friday extravaganza where the winners of both Tameside and Saddleworth pick up an initial £2500 for their day long trek around the villages, which is invariably boosted by individual awards at those venues to take the final figure up to around 5 grand each. Not bad work if you can stomach the long delays, the same old marches and the cold and wet with some of the individual contests offering prize funds of over £3,000 with top prizes ranging from £250 – £1,000.

Europe and the world

European banding is a bit more difficult to assess, although from our investigations there doesn't seem to be any contest that offers the same prize funds. The same it seems applies to banding in other parts of the world too. It is the UK (and the European Championships) that like the Premiership, the money is to be found.  

Norway has some pretty impressive contests at their Nationals and SIDDIS, but neither prize fund in the top section can make it into the top 10. The Elite Division pays out 20,000 Krone (about £1,600) to its winners in a prize fund of 35,000 Krone (around £2900). We don't knw what sums are on offer at National Championships at other European contests, but we suspect they are not in the same league as can be found here in the UK.  In Australia and New Zealand it is much less again.

Financial clout

There are of course many reasons why certain contests can afford to pay out more than others. Butlins and Pontins have a greater degree of financial clout than just about any other contest promoter and can afford to pay out larger sums knowing too well that in return the bar takings and ‘heads on beds' will make them a tidy enough profit. 

The British Open has just secured a new sponsorship deal with Fred Rhodes Ltd from 2007 which sees them putting in the prize fund for the future, whilst the English National has Timeline Vision to thank for its prize pot. Yamaha is the leading light at the Masters, whilst Brass in Concert has World of Brass amongst others to thank for its big payouts.

The Nationals meanwhile have secured a sponsorship deal with Buffet Crampon, so it will be interesting to see if that translates into extra prize money later this month.  The Europeans are a bit different and try to secure funding for all aspects of the running of the contest from a variety of sources.

That leaves the so called ‘second tier' contests such as Yeovil, Troon, Wychavon and the like. How come they manage to get healthy prize funds?

Reinvestment is the answer

All contests can only survive by making a healthy profit year in year out. Where that profit goes is the question of course, and that perhaps tells you everything you need to know. Reinvestment is the answer.

There is of course the question of the total prize funds on offer too. Some contests have more than one section to pay out on, increased overheads with hire fees of halls and venues, (although some would say, the bigger the hall the bigger the potential profits), some pay a significant amount of money to lesser prize winners, participants, soloists and even traveling expenses, whilst others have greater monetary differences between first, second and third.

The big payers in the Championship Section though are as follows: (value of overall prize fund on offer)

ENat1. English National Championship
First Prize: £4,000
Second Prize: £3,000
Third Prize: £2,000
Fourth Prize: £1,000

Other Prizes: £1,000 expenses package to winners; £250 soloist prize
Overall Championship Prize fund: £11,250

2. Butlins Mineworkers Championship
First Prize: £6,000
Second Prize: £2,500
Third Prize: £1,250
Fourth Prize: £750

Other Prizes: £500 entertainment prize; £100 soloist prize
Overall Championship Prize fund: £11,100

3. Brass in Concert
First Prize: £4,000
Second Prize: £2,000
Third Prize: £1,500
Fourth Prize: £1,000
Fifth Prize: £500
Sixth Prize: £250

Other Prizes: £600 quality of performance prize; £100 to each band placed 7th – 12th; £200 Youngest player prize; £200 soloist prize
Overall Championship Prize fund: £10,850

4. All England Masters International
First Prize: £5,000
Second Prize: £2,000
Third Prize: £1,250
Fourth Prize: £750

Other Prizes: £1000 conductors prize; £250 soloist prize
Overall Championship Prize fund: £10,250

5. British Open
First Prize: £3,000
Second Prize: £2,000
Third Prize: £1,500
Fourth Prize: £1,000
Fifth Prize: £500
Sixth Prize: £400

Other Prizes: £100 soloist prize; £100 best soprano prize
Overall Championship Prize fund: £8,600

6. European Championships
First Prize: Euro 5,000
Second Prize: 5996*
Third Prize: Euro 3000
Fourth Prize: Euro 2000
Other Prizes: *Instrument to the retail value of Euro 5995
Overall Championship Prize fund: 10,000 Euros (approx 7,300 excluding instrument prize)

7. Radio Wales/Cymru Contest
First Prize: £4,000
Second Prize: £2000
Third Prize: £1000
Other Prizes: £100 soloist prize
Overall Championship Prize fund: £7,100

8. Saddleworth Whit Friday
First Prize: £2,500
Second Prize: £1,000
Third Prize: £750

Other Prizes: Local Championships – £750, £600, £400
Overall Championship Prize fund: £6,000

8. Tameside Whit Friday

First Prize: £2,500
Second Prize: £1,000
Third Prize: £750

Other Prizes: Local Championships – £750; £600, £400
Overall Championship Prize fund: £6,000

10. Pontins
First Prize: £2,500
Second Prize: £1,300
Third Prize: £700
Fourth Prize: £450

Other Prizes: None
Overall Championship Prize fund: £4,950

11. National Finals
First Prize: £2,000
Second Prize: £1,500
Third Prize: £1,000

Other Prizes: None
Overall Championship Prize fund: £4,500

There are also notable mentions too for the likes of Yeovil (£3700 prize pot) Troon (£3200) and Wychavon (£3100) whilst the Grand Shield (£2100) and Porthcawl (£2100) follow on.

Each Championship Section Regional Contest offers a prize fund for the top three bands of £375 (£200 to the winner; £100 to second and £75 to third).

The Money winners

With all that money up for grabs who has lined third pockets the most in 2006?

No surprise that PolySteel head the money list with the fine sum of approximately £11,075. That we believe was made up from £6,000 at Butlins, £2,000 at the Masters, £2,000 at Wychavon, £1,000 at Yeovil and £75 at the Regionals.

Behind them come Fodens Richardson, who has won around £9,200 this season after their win at the English Nationals (£4,000) and £200 at the Regionals. They were awarded first prize at Whit Friday which amounted to  £2,500 and the rest we calculate was won on the same day at different venues according to sources. 

The same applies to Brighouse & Rastrick who took home with them £3,000 at the English Nationals in addition to the £2,500 at Whit Friday plus ancillary prizes on the day. Their total amount of winnings so far this year is around £8,000.

After the top three comes Rothwell with their Masters payout, Brass Band Willebroek for their Europeans and Masters outings and Black Dyke and Buy As You View with their winnings from the British Open, Europeans (paid in Euros) and Regionals. Then come Tredegar, Carlton Main and Scottish Co-op. Poor old Brass Band Fribourg miss out as the second prize they won at the Europeans was in fact an euphonium to the value of nearly 6,000 Euro and not hard dosh.

As for the European bands it would appear that perhaps their totals may be increased by what they win at their National Championships, but not with great significance.

Top 10 prize money earners in 2006 in the Championship Section so far are (not including individual soloist prizes etc):

PolySteel1. PolySteel -  £11,075
(Butlins; Masters; Wychavon; Yeovil; Regionals)

2. Fodens Richardson - £9,700 approx
(English National; Whit Friday; Regionals)

3. Brighouse & Rastrick -  £8,300 approx
(English National; Whit Friday)

4. Rothwell Temperance - £6200 approx
(Masters, Whit Friday)

5. Leyland - £4,750 approx
(English National; Grand Shield; Whit Friday; Regionals)

6. Brass Band Willebroek – £4,600 approx
(Europeans, Masters, Belgium Nationals)

7. Black Dyke – £4,400 approx
(British Open; Europeans; Regionals)

8. Buy As You View – £4,300 approx
(British Open; Europeans; Regionals)

9. Tredegar - £4,080
(Yeovil; Porthcawl; Wychavon; Ebbw Vale)

10. Carlton Main Frickley Colliery – £3,850
(British Open; Butlins; Grand Shield; Dronfield)

Note: Full details of exact amounts won in minor placings at Whit Friday are not known and are approximated. Current conversation rate is used for contests paid in Euros.

Good news

The good news for those looking to move up the money list is that there are quite a few lucrative contests left in the year with the Nationals in just a couple of weeks to start. Then comes the Pontins with £2,500 up for grabs, Brass in Concert with £4,000 on offer, the new Radio Wales/Cymru contest where three bands will be battling it out in the final for a £4,000 first prize and the Scottish Open where last year the winner picked up £1,000.

There is also good news for bands hoping to break into the Championship Section too, with Marsden Silver (Riverhead Brewery) winning just as much money in 2006 as many of the top bands in the country.

No wonder Colin Montgomerie still sleeps undisturbed in his bed at night then. He may want to win a major, but after winning all that dosh instead each year do you really think he is that bothered?  Glory and a place in the record books or guzzillions of dosh then to keep the band treasurer happy?


2016   2015   2014   2013   2012
2011   2010   2009   2008   2007
2006   2005   2004 (1)   2004 (2)   2003
2002   2001