RONG ON RIGHT PATH - BB shines a light on one of the rising stars of Norwegian banding

Issue 6062

BACK IN BUSINESS - Boost for bands in England as rehearsals resume

STAGE SET FOR CORY CONTEST - Draw made for online championship, with international flavour

BBE seeking clarification over COVID-19 update

Thursday 10 September, 2020

Brass Bands England (BBE) is in close contact with the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) regarding the latest announcement on social gatherings by prime minister, Boris Johnson, its chief executive has revealed.

The legislation restricts social contact to groups of no more than six but there are certain exceptions, such as sport and education. The implications for non-professional music groups remain unclear but DCMS has indicated the matter will be addressed by the time the new legislation goes live on Monday, September 14.

It comes as Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, announced that Scotland would also cut gatherings to a maximum of six from two households, indoors and outdoors, from Monday.

Kenny Crookston, BBE chief executive officer, commented: “We appreciate the frustration that the banding community is experiencing at this time and our staff members are working tirelessly to achieve clarity on this very important announcement. Sport and education are among activities receiving exemption from the new legislation and we are discussing with DCMS the relative risks for musicians, which are well documented in recent months, as well as how an appropriate case for can be made within government for a fair and equitable approach. Our colleagues at DCMS are also under tremendous pressure at the moment and we are thankful for their efforts in seeking this urgent clarification on our behalf.”

BBE team members will be available at 6pm tonight (Thursday) to discuss any concerns bands may have over COVID-19 mitigation and can offer advice on how to proceed as safely as possible when rehearsals do actually take place.

Bands can sign up for tonight’s Zoom session here. The session is free of charge and open to representatives of all bands and banding organisations.