Council cutbacks could spell end for bandstand performances
Latest News | April 24, 2015
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Bournemouth Concert Brass in action. They may not be able to continue playing in Bournemouth's bandstand after the council said it could no longer pay bands to perform
First published Monday 13 April 2015 in News
Last updated 15:54 Monday 13 April 2015
BOURNEMOUTH’S well-regarded brass band, which has entertained holidaymakers and residents for 23 years, could be forced out of the town’s bandstand because of council budget cuts.
Bournemouth Concert Brass has said the council’s decision not to pay any musical groups to perform at the Pinewalk bandstand had left them with a financial dilemma.
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They have played at the bandstand in the Lower Gardens every summer for the past 23 years, despite the fact that the payments they receive from Bournemouth council have dropped by more than 60 per cent over the last decade – from £350 down to £150.
But now the council has advised it will not be paying any musical groups to perform in the bandstand, leaving Bournemouth Concert Brass looking for additional funding.
Resident conductor Bill Willis said: “We have always been willing to continue to play for the enjoyment of the thousands of holidaymakers and the residents of Bournemouth, and wear the council logo with pride on our uniforms and banners.
"People seem to enjoy our performances and it's unfortunate that the council doesn't seem to see the value of having bands perform in the bandstand.
"We very much want to perform in the bandstand this year but there are costs the band has to meet to be able to perform. As an amateur group we rely on member subscriptions, concert revenue and donations to continue to exist.”
Jon Weaver, head of resort marketing and events, said: “The Council has had to make significant savings which has unfortunately resulted in not being able to pay for acts to perform in the bandstand.
"We are and will be looking at ways we can help support performances by allowing sponsorship and donations at the bandstand while bands are performing.”
Bournemouth Concert Brass, who recently competed in the annual West of England Region Brass Band Championships in Torquay and was awarded fourth place, has agreed to two free performances but will need sponsorship or donations to put on additional concerts.