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Issue 6016

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HERE IS THE NEWS - Looking back at the Daily Herald's Nationals sponsorship

No Whit Friday contests in 2020

Thursday 19 March, 2020

The Whit Friday Brass Band Contests will not take place in 2020, organisers of both circuits have confirmed.

Bands and spectators from all over the world had been due to descend on Tameside, Saddleworth and Oldham for the famous event on June 5, 2020, but continued concern over the spread of COVID-19 means it will no longer happen.

Adam Pickles, chairman of the Friends of  Tameside Whit Friday Brass Band Contest committee, said: “In light of the government’s advice regarding large scale public gatherings and in order to protect both the banding community and the public at large, The Friends of Tameside Whit Friday Brass Band Contest committee has taken the unprecedented step to postpone the 2020 contest in Tameside until 2021. 

“Whilst we want to apologise for any inconvenience this may causes, we can assure you all this decision has not been an easy one to make and has not been taken lightly. We firmly believe the postponement is in the best interests of all groups involved; bands, organisers, volunteers and the wider public.

“The Whit Band contests are one of, if not the oldest brass competitions in the country and have been running for well over 140 years. This legacy and heritage of the event is of utmost importance to us and we will do everything we can to ensure the contests continue into 2021 and beyond.”

Commenting on behalf of the Saddleworth Area Contests, chairman Bob Rogers said: “Following much soul searching and debate between the 11 Saddleworth and Oldham Whit Friday Contests, we have reluctantly decided that we must follow government guidelines, and guidance from Brass Bands England,  and not hold the contest in 2020.  

“We know that this is one of the highlights of the calendar, not only for local people, but also for brass bands nationally and internationally. We look forward to running a fantastic event on May 28, 2021, and hope that everyone keeps safe throughout these unprecedented times.”