Annual Festival of Brass comes to Bolsover

IMG_5977_1The Bolsover Festival of Brass will be beamed all over the world this year thanks to the tireless efforts of the event’s founder Carole Hirst.

Carole, a brass band member herself, is arts development officer for Bolsover District Council and first staged the festival – the biggest of its kind in the UK – in 2006.

“It’s our tenth anniversary this year and to celebrate we decided to organise for live coverage of the event to be available online. There will be ten hours of coverage and anyone in the world will be able to see it.”

The event on October 4 is being screened on the website of First Art – a collective of four cultural and community organisations working to increase the involvement in the arts of people living in North East Derbyshire, Bolsover, Ashfield and Mansfield.

Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places supports First Art and Carole has managed to secure funding to be used on various arts projects including brass banding. She also staged a brass summer school at the end of July.

The brass band festival started life as an entertainment event but has grown to become a six-section festival with around 40 bands and 2,000 musicians taking part.

Each band has to perform a 20-minute concert programme including a stand-up soloist.

Carole says that bands from the Midlands and north of England are joined by others from all over the country.

Last year’s winners of the Championship Section were Belper-based Derwent Brass. (You can read a feature about their success last year on

Carole said: “It is a tremendous day which has grown beyond anything I imagined ten years ago and I am especially delighted that this year we are going to be extending the event to a wider audience online.”