The popular Ironbridge Gorge Brass Band Festival takes place over the weekend of 14th and 15th July. Now in its eighth year, this free family event showcases some of the finest brass bands from Shropshire and the surrounding counties and is the largest, non-competitive brass band festival in the country.
This year, a conductor’s baton representing one of the five Olympic rings will be arriving in style at the festival and bands will be participating in ‘Brass the Baton’, a London 2012 Inspire project, which is part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad.
The festival will feature 19 brass bands including the Jackfield Elcock Reisen Band, the Tongwynlais Temperance Band, the Abraham Darby Brass Band, Wem Jubilee Brass Band, Cleobury Mortimer Brass Band, Porthywaen Silver Band, Llangollen Silver Band, City of Wolverhampton Brass Band, Black Country Brass Band and the Jaguar Land Rover Band.
Susan Palmer, Festival Secretary, said: “This year’s festival looks like being even bigger and better and we’re delighted to be playing our part in the 2012 Cultural Olympiad too. It’s thanks to our sponsors and volunteers that the festival is such a success and it couldn’t take place without the support and enthusiasm of the local community and the wonderful bands, which all perform their amazing music free of charge.”
Admission to the daytime festivals is free and it takes place in a beautiful setting on the Green at the Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron and Enginuity, one of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust’s ten award-winning museums in the area. Throughout the two days, brass bands take to the stage, performing to 4,000 people over the course of the weekend.
On the Saturday evening, a ticketed charity gala concert will take place. This will feature a selection of ‘Last Night of the Proms’ favourites as well as the arrival of the ‘Brass the Baton’ conductor’s baton and a performance of an extract from the piece of music that has been commissioned specially for the project entitled ‘Going the Distance’ by Paul Lovatt-Cooper. The concert will feature the Jackfield Elcock Reisen Band and the Tongwynlais Temperance Band and all proceeds will be donated to the Severn Hospice.
Tickets for the charity gala concert on Saturday 14th July in support of Severn Hospice are £10 each. To order in advance, please visit www.eventbrite.co.uk or book on the Ticketline 07980 475335
For more information about the festival visit www.ironbridgebandfestival.co.uk or follow on twitter @ironbridgebrass.