Gamlingay Battle of the Bands
Gamlingay Battle of the Bands was initiated by Forward Gamlingay! a charity set up by residents to improve facilities and opportunities for young people in the village. The idea of running a band competition came about because the organisers thought that it would generate interest from both young people and the media, raising awareness of the kind of opportunities that can be created with a little work.
The event was a spectacular success drawing in large numbers of entries from bands. In fact they had to run two events – one for young bands and one for older bands. The event was well supported by the village with large crowds of people turning up to see what all the commotion was about. It has now run for several years and a spin off project – Gamlingay Records – now records local artists from the area. Forward Gamlingay! has recently opened a brand new community facility and the village can look forward to many more nights of music.
Key members of Forward Gamlingay’s committee and interested local people with a passion for music instigated and pushed the idea forward. They were careful to include a large number of young people from the start to ensure that young people’s voices were heard throughout. They then contacted promoters, venues and recording studios in Cambridge and the surrounding area to come and act as judges. Shops and businesses in the village supported the competition by helping with promotion and several volunteers helped to set up the sound system, run the bar, help backstage or on the door.
Forward Gamlingay! Managed to secure a good deal on the use of the village hall and with so many people offering the use of their equipment and time for free they managed to keep costs down to a minimum. A small charge was made on the door which covered the costs of the prizes and the organisers ran a bar and sold hot dogs and burgers throughout the day. The event managed to cover its own costs.