Bands as far apart as Carlisle and Worthing are fizzing with ideas after the latest Brass Bands England events. In a first for the newly-appointed Brass Bands England Team, all three Liaison Officers were present at the Northamptonshire event, hosted by Brackley Band in their Band Club behind the Market Square, and presented by Rachel Veitch-Straw.
Bands travelled from a wide swathe of the Midlands and beyond, with representatives from the South West Brass Band Association and even Brass in Concert represented, via the attendance of Messrs John Woods and David Bennett. A total of seventeen bands heard about the latest funding sources, from charitable trusts and community foundations, to attracting philanthropy and developing crowdfunding campaigns. The Cumbrian Networking evening, hosted by Penrith Town Band and again presented by Rachel, brought together eight bands from within a 60-mile radius. At each event, in addition to a wealth of information and guidance regarding funding, bands learned about ways to progress in key areas — attracting players, finding followers or new audiences, and developing artistic projects and social media presence. Band representatives had lots to say about the events; “Really Useful. Loads of info to filter!” Heather, Penrith Town Band. “Energetic and enthusiastic delivery. Some great ideas. Made me think differently about our Band’s funding” Tom, Egremont Town Band. “Thank goodness - so good to hear so many bands in same position. Great ideas and also how to get support.” Karen, The Wigston Band. “Thank you so much for this event – really well organised. Gave us loads of great ideas for what we need to do and good inspiration for future events. Friendly and approachable - & your ideas seemed easy and something we can actually do” Lauren, City of Oxford Silver Band. Attendees heard and shared numerous real-life examples of what's working for other bands, with stories including a T-shirt campaign in Durham, a fundraising contest between instrumental sections in Boarshurst, and a targeted eBay campaign in London.
The Networking events, where bands also have chance to socialise and strengthen connections, are a growing part of the Brass Bands England offer, with some of the Associations now in talks to extend the reach of the workshops. If your band or association is interested in hosting an event, contact your regional Liaison Officer: