Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)

Boys and girls from different ethnicities playing brass instruments

Challenge 2030 is BBE's vision is to see the makeup of bands reflect their communities, and to see Equality, Diversity and Inclusion across the whole of brass banding by 2030.  

The BBE EDI group is striving hard to realise this vision by working with bands and other organisations to facilitate change. Read CEO Kenny Crookston's interview with PRS.  Hear Julie Hoggarth (EDI lead and BBE trustee) and Rosie Banham (BBE Membership Services Manager and EDI group member) talking about the group's work on the BBE show. (Brass Bands Radio, 19 August 2020)

The starting point of Challenge 2030 was a roundtable listening exercise to hear from those less well-represented in banding. From this, the EDI BBE group identified 3 main areas on which to focus their attention.

Roundtable events

Invited guests from organisations including Pride Brass, the Bandspeople’s Alliance to Negate Discrimination (B.A.N.D), the Kinetika Bloco performance group, Leicester’s Drum and Brass, and other individuals representing a diverse cross-section of those less well-represented in banding met at a virtual roundtable meeting on 23 July 2020. Hosted by BBE, the main purpose of this gathering was to listen, to hear their experiences, anecdotes and personal stories of diversity and inclusion, both positive and negative. Find out moreComplete our survey to share your experiences. Read the report based on the Roundtable event and survey responses.

On 26 November 2020, BBE held a 'Disability Roundtable' to hear first-hand from disabled people involved in banding and others with a focus on disability and music-making.  Read on.  Tell us about your own experiences.


The Challenge 2030 project is looking to address 3 main areas:

  1. To increase the understanding and awareness of what EDI means within banding through education and training
  2. To help bands recruit new members and attract new audiences from a wider cross-section of society, an activity which is essential for the survival and sustainability of banding.
  3. To provide resources and information that will help bands make themselves more accessible to everyone

If you're a BBE member you can log in and watch the 'Challenge 2030 - What does the future of banding look like' webinar from November 2020.


1. Education, Training and Awareness

Increasing knowledge and awareness about what EDI really means, challenging our mindset and applying this within banding is critical to bringing about change. 

Listen to the Diversity break-out session from the Brass Band Conference 2019 led by Sophie Hunter, to learn the basics and find out about 'unconscious bias'.

Let's talk diversity! Click here to watch videos and listen to Brass Band Radio BBE shows covering topics such 'Women in Brass Bands', 'Opening up music to the disabled', 'opportunities for youth', 'the formation of Pride Brass' and more.

Emily Rushton is a 4th-year Tenor Horn student at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and is conducting research for her final year dissertation into Equality and Diversity within brass bands in the modern-day. She has created a quick survey to attain a snapshot of the current levels of diversity within bands across the world and would be grateful for as many responses (anonymised) as possible.  Click here to complete the survey


2. Recruitment

Collaborating with other non-banding groups to put together performances and recordings is one way of opening up banding to a wider audience and attracting people who would not normally think of joining a band.  We are putting together a collection of collaboration stories and videos from which you can draw inspiration to plan your own. Click here to see our favourites. Please email yours to rosie@bbe.org.uk


3. Resources

Click here to view these resources:

  • OHMI - Instrument adaptation for disabled people or those struggling to support their instruments
  • Venue and event checklist for disabled access
  • Band rehearsal checklist for disabled access