The organisers of the Butlin’s Open Brass Band Festival have announced an extension to the ‘early-bird’ discount on entry fees for the 2021 event, which will take place at Butlin’s Resort in Skegness from 8-11 January. Bands entering by 30 June (previously 30 April) will still be eligible for a £25 discount on the £100 fee. Through the Butlin’s partnership with Brass Bands England, announced in early March, member organisations of BBE will receive a further £25 discount on their entry fee.
Festival Director, Steve Walker, commented: “The Coronavirus pandemic has brought a lot of uncertainty over bands’ future activities, so in order to help those considering coming to Skegness next January to make plans while the current restrictions apply, we feel it might be helpful to extend the discount period for a few months. These are terrible times for us all and we send our best wishes to everyone in the banding community currently facing their own challenges. Hopefully this extension will encourage bands to continue rebuilding their activities by coming to the Butlin’s Open Brass Band Festival in January and we look forward to kick-starting 2021 on a much more positive note.”
As previously announced, only bands in the Championship Section will now be set a compulsory test, with those in sections 1-3 playing works of their own choice. Bands in the 4th Section will now play 20-minute own-choice programmes with no restriction on content, to be assessed by open judges.
The Championship Section contest will retain its current format, with the 2021 test-piece being announced as the ever-popular Paganini Variations by Phillip Wilby, which was first used as a test-piece at the 1991 British Open Championship. As an added bonus, the winner of the Most Entertaining Band prize in the Sunday entertainment contest will now receive an invitation to the Brass in Concert Championship at Sage Gateshead the following November. The overall top prize will remain at £10,000, the biggest on offer for any brass band event worldwide.