An emergency meeting of the North West Regional Committee has resulted in bands being urged enter the 2013 Regional contest by the closing date of the 22nd December to ensure that the event goes ahead at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool next March.
The Regional Committee stated that it faced possible bankruptcy if bands did not enter as they are committed to paying the venue the full hire charge by the end of year.
It is understood that the new approach was initiated by a discussion proposal by well known conductor David Ashworth, to allow bands more time to decide whether or not they wish to compete at the event using either Brass Band Players or British Brass Band Registry cards.
As a result, all bands those wishing to compete at the event must enter by the 22nd December, although if they wish to be considered for qualification for the National Finals they will still have until approximately 1 week before the contest on 10th March to also join the Kapitol backed BBP Registry.
Those wishing to play at the event, but only for grading purposes, can decide to remain with the British Brass Band Registry.
In the official statement, the North West Committee state: "As far as we are concerned it is for each band to decide on entry to the regional event, and which set of cards they wish to use on the day."
They add: "We have no intention of turning any band away at the registration tables. The choice is yours and maybe it will give you time to properly evaluate both registration proposals."
Speaking to 4BR this morning Dave Ashworth was pleased with the outcome: "I think this is a way to give the bands the extra time they need to decide for themselves."
The official Committee statement outlined the current position:
"The North West Regional Championships, due to be held on 10th March 2013, is in grave danger of not taking place without the support of the North West bands.
To date only 17 bands out of 85 on the Grading Tables have submitted an entry form and, obviously, this is far too few to consider running the Championships.
Failure to enter the Championships will in no way affect the pocket of Kapitol Promotions. The main losers will be you the bands, and the Regional Committee."
The statement goes on to make bands aware of the possible outcomes facing the NW Committee.
It reads: "You should be aware that the Regional Committee is an autonomous body with one remit and that is to organise one event per year for the benefit of the North West bands. It is not an employee of Kapitol Promotions.
The Regional Committee will only be able to run the event in Blackpool if the bands are there to support it.
Financially the Regional Committee will be bankrupt by the end of March if bands withdraw their support for the event.
This will mean that the whole Committee will have to be wound up, in accordance with the Regional Constitution, and there will be no organisation to run any future regional events. Certainly there will be no finances available etc.
Even if a reduced number of bands enter it may not be possible, financially, to stage the event in Blackpool and a smaller alternative venue may have to be found somewhere in the North West."
The Committee hopes that its approach will encourage bands to attend the event.
They go on to state: "We have not become involved in the dispute with regard to registration matters other than to vote against the change to the National Rules made by the Kapitol Promotions Forum.
As far as we are concerned it is for each band to decide on entry to the regional event, and which set of cards they wish to use on the day.
This is your Regional Championships and without you there will be no more regional championships organised by the present Regional Committee."
We have no intention of turning any band away at the registration tables. The choice is yours and maybe it will give you time to properly evaluate both registration proposalsNW Committee
What it means
The Committee also gives clear indication to what an individual band’s decision will mean come contest day too.
"From a Regional point of view, the decision as to the bands that enter with Brass Band Players cards being considered for qualification for an invitation to the National Finals rests with Kapitol Promotions.
Bands that play with BBBR cards will be playing for their grading only.
We have no intention of turning any band away at the registration tables. The choice is yours and maybe it will give you time to properly evaluate both registration proposals."
The statement ends with the plea to enter the contest by the official closing date.
"The entry date was brought forward to the 22nd December because the Regional Committee has to pay the balance of the hire charge for the Winter Gardens before the end of the month.
If you are entering then get the entry form off to us post haste or at least email us to let us know your intentions. A completed entry form can be sent via email as long as the original follows in the post with the entry fee."
They add: "There will be a certain amount of flexibility on the date if you let us know what you are doing. Only then will the Regional Committee be able to decide on the viability of running the 2013 Regional event.
If the Regional Committee decides that the event is not viable then your entry fee will be refunded to you.
If a change of venue is required then you will also be informed so that you can make the necessary arrangements as soon as a new venue is found."
The bands decide
They close: "We realise this is a long information note, but feel you should be fully aware of the situation we, as a Regional Committee, are in.
The final decision about entry to the Championships rests with your band."