The Butlin's Open Brass Band Festival has announced details of its 2022 event, to be held at Butlin's Skegness Resort on the weekend of 7th-10th January.
Entries for all sections are now being processed through the Brass Bands England (BBE) website with a deadline of Saturday 23rd October.
Bands wishing to enter should go to: https://www.bbe.org.uk/
They should select 'Events' from the menu, then 'Butlin's Open Brass Band Festival' and follow the instructions through to the payment section.
The entry fee remains at £100 but is reduced to £75 for bands with BBE membership. There is a further discount of £25 on all entries received on or before 23rd September.
Championship Section: Paganini Variations (Phillip Wilby) & entertainment format
Sections 1-3: Own-choice test-piece
Section 4: A 20-minute entertainment programme, with open adjudication.
Championship (test-piece), 1st, 2nd and 3rd Sections remain closed adjudication.
Awards and prize money remain the same as 2020. The winner of the entertainment element of the Championship Section will receive an invitation to the 2022 Brass in Concert Championship.
The £10,000 top prize in the Championship Section remains largest in banding, with £2,000 going to the winners of Sections 1-4.
Youth, Solo and Ensemble events
Butlin's has made significant changes to the format of its Youth, Solo and Ensemble events at the Festival.
The Youth Band and Debut Section (formerly Junior Ensemble) contests will be entertainment based, with age categories closer reflecting those in operation at the National Youth Brass Band Championships and other youth band events.
The categories in the British Open Solo & Ensemble Championships have also changed with the kind permission of Karyn and Martin Mortimer, with quintets now able to take part and soloists no longer restricted to playing slow melodies or air varies in certain sections.
Speaking about the 2022 event, Festival Director, Steve Walker told 4BR: "It's great to be able to make these positive announcements. We are really excited to be able to once more host our Brass Band Festival and we would like to encourage as many people as possible to come and join us.
If your band is looking for a first event in a long time, then there may be no better choice than Butlin's."
The changes announced by Butlin's are as follows:
Butlin's Youth Brass Band Festival:
Bands will perform an entertainment-style programme up to 20 minutes in length, limited to players who have not reached their 19th birthday on or before 31st August in the year of the contest.
Up to 55 players (including percussion) can play in each band although over-age players (including tutors) are no longer allowed to perform.
Butlin's Youth Brass Band Festival — Debut Section:
Bands will perform an entertainment-style programme up to 15 minutes in length, limited to players who have not reached their 15th birthday on or before 31st August in the year of the contest.
Up to 55 players (including percussion) can play in each band and while over-age players are not allowed, one tutor (or similar) may perform a bass part if no other players are available.
British Open Solo and Ensemble Championships:
The new age categories will be:
Open Solos: Open to all. First prize £500.
Youth Solos: Open to all performers who have not reached their 19th birthday on or before 31st August in the year of the contest. First prize £300.
Junior Solos: Open to all performers who have not reached their 15th birthday on or before 31st August in the year of the contest. First prize £200.
Performers in all sections will be limited to 6 minutes but may play a solo of any style.
Open Ensembles: Open to all. First prize £500.
Youth Ensembles: Open to all performers who have not reached their 19th birthday on or before 31st August in the year of the contest.
Any ensembles comprising only players who have not reached their 15th birthday on or before 31 August in the year of the contest will be eligible for the award of Best Junior Ensemble. First prize £300 (Best Junior £200).
Up to five players may perform in all ensembles and the time limit in each section is ten minutes.
Entry fees in the Youth Band and Debut Section are £75 per group, with the same benefits for BBE members and early sign-ups as the main contests. Soloist entry fees remain at £10. Ensemble fees are £20.
Steve Walker added: "Solo and small ensemble contests have been important to brass banding for many years and we are very keen to inject new energy into this aspect of the genre.
We hope that the new format appeals to everyone, but to those players who have formed small 'lockdown' groups, why not come along to Skegness in January and let the rest of the banding world hear the fruits of your efforts?"
Full details of rules and regulations for all sections will be published on the BBE website at bbe.org.uk/events and further information is available from Contest Controller Brian Eggleshaw on 01754 450911, 07976 521080 (mobile) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Accommodation packages can be booked at www.butlins.com