2012 Open Weekend Challenge

Press release by British Federation of Youth Marching Band Organisations

54* marching youth bands take up the 2012 Open Weekend Challenge
Government Minister Sends Support
(* There is still time for more bands to take part)

At precisely 11.00 am on Saturday July 24th the drums of Marching Youth Bands all over the Country will strike up as they become part of the ‘2,012 Together’ nationwide challenge to get 2,012 young people to play live music with marching youth bands as part of London 2012’s Open Weekend. Supported by BP the Open Weekend is a series of sporting, arts and cultural challenges set up across the UK to lead the nation into the two year countdown to the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games. 

This country-wide challenge, organised by the national charity ‘Marching Youth Music’, has been awarded the coveted Inspire Mark by London 2012 and involves youth marching bands from 29 counties. 

The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP Minister for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport has sent the UK’s youth marching bands his best wishes “..... I would like to congratulate you for the foresight in adopting a development strategy aligned with the London Olympics .... I am pleased that Marching Youth Bands are taking part in Olympic Open Weekend this year with [an] ambitious challenge .... my best wishes to Marching Youth Bands throughout the UK”
Drums, Saxes and Sousaphones will he heard all over the UK. The seaside promenade in Cleethorpes will see an ensemble from East Coast Elite striking up, and the historic stones of Stonehenge will rock to the sounds of Bournemouth’s Air Training Corp Band as they take a break from their journey to a gig in Devises. Market Squares in the Isle of Wight, Lincolnshire, Worcester and Bedfordshire will be livened up with bands such as Medina, Marxmen, Spalding Ambassadors and Upton Fusion trumpeting their unique sounds.
The Priory Campus in Burnley, Spring Park School in Croydon and Ingrebourne School in Essex are educational campuses that will host The Company Drum and Bugle Corps, Nautical Training Corps TS Endeavour, and Romford Drum and Trumpet Corps. Town Centre shoppers in Kingston, Dartford, Poole, Prestatyn and Cleckheaton will be entertained by Surbiton Royal British Legion, Talbot Corps of Drums, Blazing Sounds and Spen Valley Scouts and Guides.
Manchester’s 3rd Davyhulme Scout Band will be combining with the Dutch Band ‘Eigen Hulp’, Devon and Somerset Air Training Corps Flight band will take to the field at Taunton FC. Cheshire’s Poynton Commodores will play on the steps of their Civic Hall, and the vibrant Kinetika Bloco will be at London’s Royal Festival Hall. Brentwood’s Royal British Legion Band will be outside the studio of Baytree Phoenix FM, and Concord from Sheffield will be at The Moor as their whole city celebrates Open Weekend.

With the support of BP, Premier Partner of the Cultural Olympiad and long-standing supporter of arts and culture in the UK, Open Weekend will take place every year until the start of the London 2012 Games.

Now in its third year, Open Weekend enables everyone across the UK to share in the excitement of the 2012 Games and actively celebrate the two year countdown by challenging themselves to trying something new or taking an interest to a further level. 

2,012 Together joins with hundreds of other Open Weekend challenges – ranging from learning a new dance an hour before it is performed, to talent contests, learning stonemasonry skills to creating sundials to 3 kilometre relay races through unusual places, sports days and guided bicycle rides. There is an opportunity for everyone to challenge themselves to discover something new or take an interest to another level. 

The Federation’s Jim Vaughan says “ This is a great opportunity for bands to raise local profiles, recruit through the ‘hands on’ workshops, and bring our unique activity to the attention of London 2012”.

London 2012 is the first Organising Committee to create such a wide platform of public participation in the Games, taking the values, ideals and benefits of the Games to people and communities like never before. Opportunities such as London 2012 Open Weekend are encouraging participation and recognising the contribution people, places and projects are making to the success of the 2012 Games. 

Open Weekend is part of the Cultural Olympiad and this year’s event follows the success of the last two years, which has enabled over 1 million people to take part in sport, arts and cultural events across the length and breadth of the UK.

16th July 2010



© Drum Corps United Kingdom 2010