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High fives as London & Southern Counties look at potential 2021 contest return

There may be the possibility of an amended 'Area' contest held in June next year, if conditions allow.

Friary
  Chris King and Friary Guildford claimed the top section Area title in Stevenage in 2019.

The London & Southern Counties Regional Committee has written to its member bands to inform them that they are to look at the possibility of potentially running a form of 'Area' contest in 2021.

The correspondence has been sent by Regional Committee Secretary, Kevin Williams, who said that whilst it may seem 'incongruous' given current lockdown restrictions, the possibility of a late Spring early Summer return to some kind of 'normality' has led them to look at the idea.

Possibility

Kevin told 4BR: "It may seem incongruous to some that the committee are even considering the possibility of running a contest in 2021.

However, with the promise of a vaccine at some time in the New Year and the desire that we may be returning to some kind of normality, bands will hopefully be starting to think of resuming activity.

It is anticipated that the National Finals will go ahead in 2021 and we are keen to have representation from our region. We've had initial discussions with Kapitol Promotions Limited who have expressed a similar desire."

Smaller venue

4BR understands that despite the usual event location at Stevenage would not be available in 2021 the Regional Committee has been able to source a potential smaller venue with a potential date of the weekend of the 26th/27th June.

It is proposed that the 2020 regional test pieces will be utilised.

Sympathetic

Kevin added: "We realise that many bands may have been severely compromised by the pandemic, so we propose to take a sympathetic view to the grading of bands that are simply unable to attend the contest.

We will also take a much more inclusive approach to our decision making and would welcome any suggestions from our bands."

The final decision will be made in early February 2021London & Southern Counties Regional Committee Secretary, Kevin Williams

Final decision

As for the immediate future, Kevin emphasised that the news was very much a possibility only and that the Regional Committee hopes to make a final decision early in February 2021.

"It is dependent on what the situation is — and we would stress that everyone concerned follows the requirements set out by the Department for Culture, Media & Sport as regards non-professional music making.

We are grateful to Brass Bands England for their clear and precise interpretation of those requirements as they relate specifically to brass bands and we insist that these instructions are followed to the letter.

He concluded: "The final decision will be made in early February 2021.

If we decide it is not possible to run the contest we will be making representations to Kapitol Promotions as to the bands they may wish to invite to the National Finals."

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