Worth the march to Skegness: Family smiles for Flowers in 2012
Even though Chairman Mao said that every great journey starts with one small step, even he would have found the trek to windswept Skegness a hard old slog for his merry band of followers in the middle of a bleak January.
Still, once he got there, he would have had plenty to jot down for future reference about how to keep the masses happy in his version of banding’s little red book.
That’s because the 2013 contesting season kicks off in quite spectacular style at the Skyline Resort this weekend, when over 100 bands and ensembles set up camp to enjoy plenty of high class music making, entertainment and test piece contesting.
The prizes on offer for those who come out on top in the various sections are considerable – including the first ever £10,000 top prize for a Championship Section event.
They will have worked hard for it though, as despite the recent festive celebrations, the really serious contenders will have been putting in the hours of practice well before the Christmas decorations were due to come down on Twelfth Night.
Can Flowers pick up the £10,000 top prize on offer this weekend?
14 top section bands will battle it out over two days to get their hands on the big, big, money, whilst a veritable ‘Red’ Army of 27 contenders will pack into the appropriately named venue for the First Section event.
There is also a big field of 18 challenges lined up at the Lakeside in the Second Section, a further 13 at the Royal Arthur Suite for the Third, and no less than18 rivals at the Crazy Horse Theatre for the Fourth Section.
Earned their fees
The adjudication teams will have certainly earned their fees then – with David Read MBE (Saturday & Sunday), joined by Dr Robert Childs (Saturday) and Michael Fowles (Sunday) in the top section.
Paul Cosh and Michael Fowles will test their marathon capabilities in the First, whilst Dr Nicholas Childs and Paul Norley have the task of separating the bands out in the Second.
Kevin Wadsworth is joined by American trumpet star and Brass Band of Central Florida MD Chad Shoopman to sort out the Third Section, with Alan Fernie and David Thornton enjoying the action in the Fourth.
2012 triumph for Youth Brass 2000
Great youth entertainment
Whilst the top section contenders provide the audience with the entertainment on the Sunday there will also be two great contests taking place at the Reds venue, when a cracking line up of Youth Bands and Junior Ensembles look to impress Gordon Higginbottom with their diverse programmes.
Butlins certainly knows how to cater for the brass band loving audience – with additional concerts to enjoy by Cory, Flowers, Woodfalls and Youth Brass 2000, the Dennis Rollins Band, the MF Legacy Band and the Parpenrifters Bavarian Band – all superbly organised by contest controller Brian Eggleshaw and Festival Director of Music, Steve Walker.
Not even Chairman Mao could indoctrinate the masses as well as this...
4BR will be there on the weekend to cover the action, with our live coverage and usual news, views and interviews, so why not come along and say hello.