Published on May 6th, 2020 by gavin

British Open and Spring Festival Cancelled

The British Open Organising Committee have released the following statement.

As we hope that all of our friends in banding are keeping safe during these challenging times.
We have obviously been monitoring the situation in relation to the 2020 Spring Festival and British Open contests having regard to government advice, and the overriding need to maintain the safety of our audience, competing bands and our own team.

At present it is too early to know, even assuming a relaxation of the current lockdown and other measures, what the effect of social distancing may have on bands playing on stage and spectators in the auditorium at Symphony Hall, The Winter Gardens, or at other brass band contests.

We have maintained dialogue with the management team at both our venues and their recent advice indicates that they have concerns about the staging of events in September and October.
In view of this uncertainty, and with a great deal of regret, we have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s British Open and Spring Festival contests.

Obviously all those bands who were invited to the 2020 British Open will receive an invitation to next year’s event scheduled for Saturday 11th September 2021 at Symphony Hall.
The Open test piece announced for 2020 is ‘The World Rejoicing’ by Edward Gregson. Having regard to the circumstances the composer and distributors of the music have agreed that no performances of the work will be permitted to take place in the UK before September 2021 so that the UK premiere can take place at next year’s British Open. To maintain this, no performing materials (ie sets of parts) will be released to British bands or the invited European band until May 2021.

We believe that this is the first time since the inception of the British Open in 1853 that the contest has been cancelled, but these are unprecedented circumstances.
With regard to the Spring Festival, again all bands who received an invitation to the three contests this year will be invited to next year’s event which will be taking place on 8th May 2021 at the Winter Gardens Blackpool. Bands qualifying through the 5 scheduled qualifying contests for the Senior Trophy, if these take place, will also receive an invitation to the Spring Festival.

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us, and we look forward to returning to both the Winter Gardens and Symphony Hall to ‘Rejoice’ and enjoy a day of top class performances as well as sharing the occasion with our banding friends. Obviously the usual ticket sales for the Open will not be taking place now until next year.

Martin Karyn and Frank
Contest Organisers, British Open Brass Band Championships

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