European Brass Band Championships return to England

The European Brass Band Association (EBBA) has announced that the 2022 European Brass Band Championships (EBBC) are to be held at Symphony Hall, Birmingham.

The Championships will be hosted by Brass Bands England (BBE), which was originally scheduled to organise the event at Sage Gateshead in 2024. EBBA is currently in constructive dialogue with representatives of Palanga (Lithuania) and Malmö (Sweden), which had events cancelled in 2020 and 2021 respectively, and Stavanger (Norway) to confirm the Championships’ schedule from the following years. Unfortunately Innsbruck (Austria), scheduled for 2022, has had to withdraw from the negotiations and postpone their interest to a later year, following the impact of the coronavirus on its tourist industry.

EBBA President, Ulf Rosenberg, commented: “This is a very challenging time for the European banding community and the cancellation of the European Brass Band Championships for two successive years has been devastating for us all. We are delighted, though, to be able to look forward to 2022 with optimism and are thankful that Brass Bands England has responded positively to our request to move its plans forward at very short notice and present the EBBC at a world-class concert hall in the cradle of the brass banding world. The hall is well known to brass bands as the home of the British Open Championships since 1997 and the venue for the European Championships in 2000 and 2007, and we are confident that BBE will organise a memorable event there in 2022.”

The event will take place from 29 April to 1 May, and in a break with tradition the main contests are scheduled for the Saturday and Sunday, beginning with the European Youth Contest. Ulf Rosenberg added: “We are happy to trial this new timetable for the EBBC, which brings the Youth Contest closer to the heart of the overall event. We are looking forward to working with BBE on what promises to be a great return after an enforced two-year break for the world’s most prestigious brass band contest.”

Brass Bands England Chairman, Mike Kilroy, added: “We are aware of the challenges currently facing banding throughout the continent and are pleased to be able to respond to EBBA’s request to stage this great event. Availability makes it impossible to host the event at Sage Gateshead as we had planned, but we are grateful to the management of Symphony Hall for making the necessary changes to their schedule to be able to accommodate us. We are thankful that the EBBA Executive Committee members have agreed to amend the schedule to make the event more inclusive for the young players involved, and we are very excited about bringing the EBBC back to England so soon. Our highly-professional team will be working tirelessly to make it a memorable event for visitors from all over Europe as banding activity continues to revive after the Pandemic.”

Further details of the 2022 European Brass Band Championships and associated events will be revealed in the coming weeks here on the Brass Bands England website or via the Brass Bands England Facebook page.