2021 national qualifiers fall victim to uncertainty surrounding COVID-19Thursday 1 October 2020
The tentacles of the virulent COVID-19 spread ever further into the brass band calendar on a daily basis. We are continually informed of new events to fall foul of this Coronavirus pandemic.
Probably the most significant of these since the cancellation of the National Championships is today’s announcement by Kapitol Promotions that the Regional Championship qualifier contests that were scheduled for February/ March 2021 have been called off – the latest victims of this seemingly never-ending infection.
At the request of – and following consultation with – all the regional associations, including SBBA, Kapitol has confirmed that next year’s qualifying events for the 2021 National Finals will not go ahead due to continuing uncertainty over COVID-19.
In a statement from Kapitol, director Philip Morris explained: “The world’s pandemic is causing continuing safety and other issues, including relating to the hire and staffing of major venues. Therefore, on behalf of the organising bodies of the eight qualifying events, it is with regret that I am confirming that the 2021 qualifying events cannot go ahead.”
Kapitol Promotions also confirmed that the bands qualifying for the 2020 National Finals will be invited to compete in next year’s finals and that the test pieces selected for this year’s competition will be used.
Because the London & Southern Counties Regional Championships was the only one of the eight qualifying events that could not go ahead this year due to COVID-19, Philip Morris said that Kapitol was continuing to liaise with the L&SC regional secretary to find a positive way forward.
As the qualifying event in Scotland is incorporated into the Scottish Championships alongside a youth event, education officer John Boax is liaising with youth bands about potential alternatives which may be staged at a later date.
Speaking on behalf of the Scottish brass band community, SBBA president Carrie Boax relayed this message to Philip Morris: “Many thanks for the tireless work you and your team do behind the scenes. We all dream of the day it will be over and so look forward to the day we can get to the Albert Hall to hear live brass music again.”