Bandstand Marathon began in 2008 and run annually until the 2012 Olympic Festival’s finale after the Paralympic Games. Here are some of the past events from each year, listing participants, the bandstands and their location.
Bandstand Marathon – 2008
The inaugural Bandstand Marathon saw 50 events take place in the South West in 2008, These were all bands, being brass, silver, town or concert bands. Events took place in Falmouth, Burnham-on-Sea, Okehampton, Crediton, Taunton, Tavistock, Cheltenham, Bridgwater, Bristol, Bude, Clevedon, Dawlish, Dorchester, Exmouth, Gloucester, Lyme Regis, Minehead, Penzance, Plymouth, Poole, Redruth, Sidmouth, St Ives, Stroud, Swanage and Guernsey.
Bandstand Marathon – 2009
120 events took place in 2009 and included, by kind permission of Her Majesty the Queen, the Berkshire Youth Brass Band playing in the castle grounds at Windsor. Eight bands performed in the south-east of England, including brass and silver bands, concert bands at Victoria Gardens Chatham and Abbey Fields in Chertsey, with a swing band joining Fullbrook School concert band at Bandstand Square in Woking.
In the north-east of England colliery bands played at Mowbray Park in Sunderland; Saltwell Park in Gateshead and on the Promenade at Newbiggin-by-the Sea. Folk group The Dogs of Tralee played at Horden Welfare Park in Horden.
The East Midlands produced twenty-three events, including brass bands at Ilkeston and Derwent, the Belper Town Wind Band at Heanor Memorial Park; the Ireland Colliery Chesterfield Band at the recreation ground in Bakewell and Worksop Miners Welfare Band in Titchfield Park, Mansfield. Aside from traditional brass bands, The Nottingham Boys, an Indian chenda group played at Yeoman Hill Park in Mansfield Woodhouse; the Abington Wind Band played at Abington Park, Northampton and Japanese Taiko Drummers AKATSUKI performed at Queens Park, Loughborough. The West Midlands were less well represented, with five brass bands and the Worcester Concert Brass in partnership with Indigo Arts at Church Green, Redditch.
The east of England hosted twelve single-band concerts, with a variety of music from Cambridgeshire taking place all afternoon on 26 September at Milton Country Park in Cambridge. Clarence Park in St Albans showcased Ronak Mela Baja, a Bollywood brass band.
Wales promoted three events with the Barry Brass Band, the Vale of Glamorgan Band on Barry Island and the Llandudno Town Band. The north-west of England had one representation from the Penrith Town Band.
Unsurprisingly the south-west of England, which had hosted the Bandstand Marathon the previous year, had 54 concerts, the largest number of bands in any region. This included Spectrum Music playing at The Quay in Dartmouth; Hoover the Dog in the Mediterranean Biome at The Eden Project; the Gloucester Salvation Army; Musicians from Ansford School playing at Collet Park in Shepton Mallet as well as brass, silver and town bands.
Bandstand Marathon – 2010
70 events occurred on 26 September 2010, with concerts from brass, silver, town and concert bands. These took place at many bandstands, including in the south-west at the Seafront Bandstand in Swanage; the Riverside Bandstand in Taunton; The Bandstand in Eastbourne; Leas Bandstand in Folkestone; Cliff Park Bandstand in Dovercourt; Gorleston Bandstand in Great Yarmouth and Millennium Bandstand in Haverhill.
The East Midlands put on a Showcase of Music in Corby town centre and at the same time, Bassett’s Park in Wellingborough offered a five-hour marathon of music. New music this year in the West Midlands included the Vieux Carre Jazz Men at the Promenade at Newbiggin By the Sea.
In 2010, Wales offered music from the Brecon Town Concert Band, Crosskeys Silver Band and Llandudno Town Band. Scotland hosted players from Carnoustie and District.
Bandstand Marathon – 2011
On 25 September 2011 there were over 150 events across the U.K, with events taking place in London for the first time. 26 events took place in the east of England; 16 in the East Midlands and London welcomed The Trouser Band at Myatt’s Field Park in Lambeth; the Nunhead Community Choir at Peckham Rye Common; the Duke Street Big Band at Battersea Park; the Incredible Sax Band at Clapham Common and Redbridge Music Lounge at Valentines Park, Ilford.
The north-east joined the Bandstand Marathon with bands and groups including the Segretta Stompers at the Alnwick Food Festival, while the north-west were well represented not just with bands but also the ReSound Community Choir at Coronation Park in Ormskirk; Sandbach High School Concert with Samba Bands and the Barnton Silver Band playing at Brampton Lodge Care Home in Warrington.
The south-east welcomed the London Saxophone Choir to Epsom and the Kent Police Band at Folkestone Bandstand. In the south-west the Wantage Park Bandstand, Pinewalk Bandstand in Bournemouth, Eastbourne Seafront Bandstand all hosted events, with music from Plymouth Youth Guitar Ensemble, Glastonbury Male Voice Choir and Sambuca Diaries at the Peace Memorial Bandstand, Stratford upon Avon. Wales held 8 events and Scotland hosted Strathaven Choral Society at George Allen Park in Strathaven.
Bandstand Marathon – 2012
As part of the Cultural Olympiad 2012, in the East of England, 22 concerts were performed, including one at the Bandstand, Canvey Seafront. The East Midlands hosted 18 concerts, taking place at several bandstands in the area such as the Don Redfern Memorial Bandstand in the Pavilion Gardens Buxton; New Park Bandstand at Melton Mowbray; Abington Park Bandstand, Northampton and three bandstands in Nottingham – the Arboretum, the Victoria Embankment and the Nottingham Castle Bandstands.
London held 31 events including locations at Battersea Park, Clapham Common, Regents Park, Victoria Park and one at the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich. The south-east hosted 35 events and the south-west 39. The north-east hosted 12 concerts and the north-west 19 concerts. West Midlands hosted 9 and Yorkshire 12.
Northern Ireland had bands playing in Armagh, Bangor, Enniskillen, Jordanstown, Strabane and Warrenpoint and Bandstand Marathon was also visible in Scotland at Aberdeen, Ayr, Bathgate, Cupar, Grangemouth, Inverness, Kilsyth, Kirriemuir and Musselburgh.
Wales celebrated Bandstand Marathon in Ammanford Park, Victoria Park in Barry, River Gardens in Chepstow; Waunfawr Park in Crosskeys; Knighton Hospital; Llandudno Promenade; Victoria Gardens Bandstand in Neath; Belle Vue Park, Newport and Swansea city centre.