Our Big Gig, England’s largest summer community music festival is to return, Communities Minister Stephen Williams announced today (6 March 2014).
Our Big Gig will once again host hundreds of music events in communities across the country from 11 to 13 July 2014, with grants and support available for event organisers who wish to programme community events in their areas
Funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government, Our Big Gig will see the country once again come together to celebrate local music at community events, showcase new and existing talent and give people the opportunity to have a go at making music.
These events have proved hugely popular. Last summer, over 200,000 people attended 326 free Our Big Gig events which saw a wide variety of musical activities take place in a range of unusual spaces. From schools to skate parks, beaches to boats, some 14,600 people performed across the length and breadth of the country.
For 2014, all types of community organisations are being urged to apply to put on an event in their local area and bring together diverse groups of people through music. Be it a sports club, faith group or another. All successful applicants receive grant funding and event management training is provided.
Organised by music and arts organisation Superact, Our Big Gig has grown out of the Bandstand Marathon; an iconic London 2012 festival event that helped close the London Games with 9,000 people across Britain simultaneously performing Coldplay’s ‘Viva La Vida’.
As an official ‘Spirit of 2012’ legacy event, the Olympic feel good factor pervaded Our Big Gig in 2013 as 5,800 people volunteered to help at events and nearly 35,000 people took part in new musical activities.
Launching Our Big Gig for 2014, Stephen Williams said:
Our Big Gig is a great opportunity for local people to take the lead in putting on a musical event that unites their local community, celebrates home grown talent and inspires people without a background in music to get involved.
Like taking part in sport, making music has the power to transform lives and I’m really looking forward to events that inspire people of all ages and backgrounds to get involved and make music part of their lives.
Katharine Lane, Director at Superact added:
Our Big Gig is a fantastic opportunity for organisations to put on a musical event in their community and reach out to people that they may not yet know.
While Superact has been running community music events across the UK for years, we never cease to be amazed at the unifying power of music.
We’re looking forward to receiving event applications from across the country and would encourage as many people as possible to apply before 31 March.
‘Our Big Gig’ is 1 of a number of projects that the department is funding to bring people together from different backgrounds and help build stronger communities.
To apply to host an Our Big Gig event visit www.ourbiggig.co.uk and fill out the online form.
The deadline for applications is 31 March 2014.