Morrab Gardens, Penzance
Pavilions for Music
Bringing Bandstands Back to Life
This is a website with a bit of a difference. It has the sole purpose of assisting in an initiative in "Bringing Bandstands back to life". After several years of being online, it has been refreshed with new graphics, updates, images, news and guidance.
Bandstands have been a feature of the British way of life for well over a century but after the Second World War an increasing number fell into disuse and were neglected. Sadly many were demolished as public parks and seaside resorts went into a spiral of decline in the 1980s and 1990s. However, in 1997 the Heritage Lottery Fund started investing in our public parks and gardens and this has seen the rediscovery of bandstands which has continued to this day. Former Director of the Heritage Lottery Fund, Dr Stewart Harding has described them as ‘wonderfully exotic structures that are at once very familiar and also alien in their strange designs - looking like UFOs, Moorish temples, rustic cottages or Chinese pavilions’.
This revival is still under way and continues to this day. Over 120 bandstands have been restored and are now in use up and down the country and are once again becoming the focal points of restored and vibrant parks, not just echoing to the sounds of brass, but often bouncing to rhythm and blues, rock, opera, street theatre and drama. A bandstand is, however, merely an empty shell unless music is played on it and once again many local authorities (but not all) and other organisations are realising this. Their return is welcome. Many bandstands are back.... but many are still silent.
This website is therefore not only a celebration of the bandstand, it is a database of all the existing 625 bandstands in the country, old or new, whether Rustic, Victorian, Art Deco or simply modern in style. Its sole purpose is to put people who want to use them in touch with those responsible for managing them, the rules and regulations you need to adhere to and how you can book your local bandstand and ensure their continued survival and use for many years to come. Use them or lose them and please help to bring your local bandstand back to life.
I have also added a new Facebook page with lots of up to date details. Please do check by on the link here
Farnworth Park, Bolton
Origins of Brass..... with 40,000 brass bands active at the end of the 19th century
Stanley Park, Blackpool
....to rock, rhythm and blues in the parks... Dire Straits, David Bowie, Pink Floyd, The Who and the Bay City Rollers have all performed on a bandstand
....to being beside the seaside... whether dodging seagulls, sampling hotdogs, paddling in the surf... find a local bandstand and chill with a 99