ORGANISERS OF Carrbrook’s Whit Friday brass band contest have appealed for more financial backing to ensure the event’s future.
This year marks the 35th anniversary and will be held on Friday, May 20, starting at 4.30pm.
Each year, hundreds of people attend the car park opposite the Buckton Vale Institute to watch brass bands from all over Europe compete.
But the organising committee admits they are lacking the funds to meet the £3,000 running costs and they want more business owners in the area to contribute. A fundraising race night will be held at the Institute on Friday, April 29.
Chair Andrea Broadhurst said: “We are a new committee so we are a little bit in at the deep end to begin with.
“It’s really important to Carrbrook to have a band contest and there are fewer and fewer contests every year because of the effort people have to put in.
“It used to be done by the Council but since the funding cuts, they’re in the background in an advisory role and they don’t provide any funding.
“We’ve got a Facebook page and a Twitter account that we use to publicise the event and we have recently asked the local community to help us out with sponsorship – in exchange for an advert in our programme.
“We keep sharing our page with other local community groups in an attempt to gain more sponsorship, even if it is only a tenner here and there just to help us to get the funds we need to get the stage the contest. Sadly, we’ve had a very limited response so far.
“Some local shops have also offered us sponsorship, but overall we have really struggled to attract sponsorship from the local community. I’m not sure if people realise that the contest is 100 per cent self-funded.
“Last year we didn’t have the stage as the committee decided it was too expensive and the feedback from the bands was they missed having the podium to play on. The price for the stage this year is £600 and that’s a massive chunk of our budget.
“We’ve tried to apply for external funding but because we’re not set up as a charity. It’s like a catch 22: we can’t be a charity as we don’t have enough income to become registered so we have that as a stumbling block.”
Andrea Walters, who co-ordinates the volunteers who make the event, is also fearing a shortfall.
She added: “The band contest will still go ahead and obviously we don’t have to pay the bands prizes until after the event, which helps us with our cash flow.
“The money goes towards the prizes for bands that play. If we cut the prize money, then we might not attract the same number and calibre of bands. So, we want to maintain the prize fund at least at the same level as last year.
“We have 10 prizes altogether including a separate youth band category, as well as a prize for deportment.”
The Carrbrook committee has taken to social media in a bid to tempt businesses and business people in the area to take out an advert in the programme, which costs £50 for a half page or £100 for a full page. For more details contact them via Facebook.