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New Bold as Brass contest - entries now open

Thursday, 6 January, 2022

A new free entry contest for bands in the second section and under

The Bold as Brass Contest is a brand new brass band contest delivered by Brass Bands England (BBE) in partnership with the National Coal Mining Museum of England.

Bands in the second section and under are invited to participate in the event, which will take place at the Museum site in Wakefield on Saturday 25 June.

Entry is free, plus there’s £50 up for grabs for the first six bands to sign up.

What’s involved?

Competing bands will be asked to perform a road march lasting up to six minutes (although this can be performed stationary if preferred), and a 20-minute entertainment performance (seats available) within the museum site.

Performances will be adjudicated and there will also be a People’s Band award based on audience votes. 

A range of non-cash prizes will be awarded, contributed by BBE, to support your band’s development. Trophies will be awarded to the best overall band and the best band in a range of further categories - please see the BBE website for further information.

A non-competitive section will allow bands who just want to come and perform to do so, with the option to still be able to benefit from the adjudicator’s feedback but without being ranked.

Why a new contest?

The aim of Bold as Brass is to provide bands with an enjoyable day out and an opportunity to connect with new audiences of different ages and interests, in a unique heritage setting which marries the cultural traditions of mining and banding.

Sitting just after Whit Friday but before BBE’s popular Proms in the Playground initiative, the event is designed to provide an opportunity for bands to perform marches within their repertoire as well as showcase their summer programmes in a space where audiences can sit and enjoy the music.

BBE’s Partnership and Development Manager, Alex Parker, commented: “After a hugely successful trial event in 2021, it looks likely that brass bands will become an ongoing presence at the National Coal Mining Museum’s heritage site, and this is your chance to be one of the first bands to perform!

The contest will prove an enjoyable and social day out for both audiences and players, with food and drink being served and plenty of opportunity to enjoy other bands perform. I always enjoy visiting and brass bands provide the perfect accompaniment to the cultural offering on site. Why not book to go underground in the free mine tour while you are there?”

How can my band enter?

Bands in the second section and under are invited to enter by midnight on Thursday 14 April.

To support bands to take part in the contest, £50 will be granted to the first six bands that apply. Successful recipients will be informed by 1 May and funds will be granted following the performance.

Bands that require further support to attend are reminded that the Norman Jones Trust is available for application for banding projects, such as a summer outreach scheme.

If you would like more information about taking part, please visit contact or call 01226771015.

Enter your band now