The very best brass bands from across Europe will be visiting the UK later this month, for what’s deemed to be the biggest event in the global brass calendar.
From 28 April - 1 May in Birmingham, the European Brass Band Festival will be the biggest brass banding event of its kind to take place in the UK in many years and will feature over 70 bands across its four day run.
In addition to ticketed events taking place inside Birmingham’s Town Hall and Symphony Hall, a free Outdoor Stage, funded by Arts Council England in recognition that the event is ‘nationally significant’, will operate in Centenary Square throughout the four-day event offering visitors and passers by the chance to enjoy a diverse range of brass groups and ensembles. Uniquely, the stage will provide UK community bands with the chance to perform alongside some of the top international bands featured in the Festival.
Introducing this year’s European Youth Brass Band, a collaboration of young people from across the European continent playing together in a great symbol of unity, the Outdoor Stage will also showcase local talent including the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Brass Band. The return of brass banding, a UK cultural world-wide export, to the heart of England offers the opportunity to showcase the full diversity of the genre to a new audience as well as welcome our European neighbours to the UK for a celebration of culture.
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “Music and the arts have always been an important part of life here in the West Midlands as well as for me personally. So I’m really pleased to hear that our region will be showcasing the very best in brass band talent at our acclaimed Symphony Hall and Town Hall venues.
“May I extend a warm West Midlands welcome to the many musicians from across Europe and I hope they enjoy their stay, taking full advantage of our world renowned hospitality. I’m also thrilled to learn that there will be plenty of local musical participation including Sandwell’s Langley Band, City of Birmingham Brass Band, and of course a diverse range of school bands.”
The additional funding from Arts Council England for nationally significant projects will enable a new audience to discover the depth and quality of brass bands in the UK. Showcasing everything that the activity of brass banding has to offer, audience members will be asked to share their experiences of the Outdoor Stage on the hashtag #ThisIsBanding.
The free Outdoor Stage will run from midday to 6pm on Thursday 28 and Friday 29 April and from 10am to 6pm on Saturday 30 and Sunday 1 May in Centenary Square, Birmingham.