Eric Pickles has called on local bands to take part in ‘Bandstand Marathon - Communities in Tune’, a nationwide music day which aims to encourage 500 areas across the country to come together and celebrate the final day of the Paralympic Games on 9 September 2012 through a range of free live performances.
The Communities and Local Government Secretary joined three different performers, including, the Brentwood Royal Legion Youth Band in Colchester on Friday to highlight the initiative and give his personal backing to the planned ‘Bandstand Marathon’.
The day will showcase as much live performance from as many cultures and communities as possible and events will take place across a wide range of outdoor performance spaces. This could include anything from a steel drum band playing in an historic bandstand in a local park, a piano recital in a shopping centre or a choral choir in a public garden, Mr Pickles made clear.
As highlighted in the Government’s recent ‘Creating the conditions for integration’ paper, the Government is strongly supporting people to play an active part in society, to focus on what they have in common rather than their differences and celebrate what is good about their local area.
Under the theme ‘Communities in Tune’, the Government is teaming up with organisers Superact and Making Music, providing them with funding to expand and enhance their existing annual Bandstand Marathon day, doubling the length of the local events to four hours, and increasing the number of events from 100 venues last year to a predicted 500 this year.
Speaking at the national launch at Colchester Castle Park, Essex, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said:
2012 is a great year for the country, with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic and Paralympic Games there is no better time for communities to come together and celebrate. Bandstand Marathon will be a fantastic afternoon of free live entertainment, getting people enthused about a wide range of music and a great opportunity for everyone to celebrate what is good about their local area. The day is also a terrific opportunity to champion our local Bandstands which are very much a part of our cultural heritage and help bring them back to life.
Superact Director, Nick Smith said:
We are delighted to have received the Department for Communities and Local Government’s support for the Bandstand Marathon in 2012 as it has enabled us to massively expand the event in this Olympic year. Thanks to the Department, 2012 will see the 500 events across the UK on 9 September 2012 doubled in length from two to four hours and also enables us, in partnership with Making Music, to train local organisers in planning and delivering the events, adding to the community’s ability to come together around a shared love of music.
Bandstand Marathon is part of the London 2012 Festival, a spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration from 21 June and running until 9 September 2012 bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK.
Notes to editors
1. The Department for Communities and Local Government is working with the Superact and Making Music to produce a nation-wide community music day that will allow communities across the country to come together through a range of musical performances as well as providing a variety of opportunities for communities to take part and to celebrate what is good about their local area. Superact have been granted the London 2012 Inspire mark which recognises innovative and exceptional projects that are directly inspired by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. For more information on Band Stand Marathon - Communities in Tune and how to get involved see http://bandstandmarathon.org.uk (external link).
2. The Government’s new approach to integration, Creating the Conditions for Integration was published last week and can be found here: www.communities.gov.uk/publications/communities/integration.
- Superact is a not-for-profit arts organisation using creativity to improve the health and wellbeing of people from a wide variety of backgrounds and abilities. They use artists and musicians, both amateur and professional, to deliver highly successful projects in the healthcare, education and criminal justice systems. For further information see: www.superact.org.uk (external link).
4. Making Music has been the UK’s number one organisation for voluntary music since 1935. They thrive on encouraging all kinds of music groups and individuals to be part of a vibrant multi-cultural music scene. Their 3,000 members include choirs, orchestras, music promoters, jazz and wind bands, community festivals, samba groups, sitar ensembles, barbershop choruses and brass bands. These groups come to Making Music for the expert help they need to set up, run and develop music groups in their communities. Making Music is here to help everyone flourish in their music making. For further information see: www.makingmusic.org.uk (external link).
5. The Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival: The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad is the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Movements. Spread over four years, it is designed to give everyone in the UK a chance to be part of London 2012 and inspire creativity across all forms of culture, especially among young people.
The culmination of the Cultural Olympiad will be the London 2012 Festival, a spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK, from Midsummers Day on 21 June and running until the final day of the Paralympic Games on 9 September 2012.The London 2012 Festival will celebrate the huge range, quality and accessibility of the UK’s world-class culture including dance, music, theatre, the visual arts, fashion, film and digital innovation, giving the opportunity for people across the UK to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Principal funders of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival are Arts Council England, Legacy Trust UK and the Olympic Lottery Distributor.
BP and BT are Premier Partners of the Cultural Olympiad and the London 2012 Festival.
For more details on the programme and to sign up for information visit www.london2012.com/festival
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