Save the date – Whit Friday brass band contests to return to Saddleworth for 2024

BANDS from up and down the country – and even abroad – will march the streets of Saddleworth once more for the Whit Friday Band Contests.

The event, dubbed as ‘The Greatest Free Show on Earth’, takes place on May 24, and once again villages will be hosting the ever-popular and historic event.

In June 1884, two events were held in Uppermill and Mossley, and thus it was that the tradition of Saddleworth’s Whit Friday Brass Band Contest was born.

Contests attract hundreds of local spectators and bands as well as those from up and down the country and even abroad, including Emmental Band from Switzerland and Skeie Brass from Norway.

To have a chance of being crowned champions, bands must perform at six of the contests. As well as demanding proof of musical prowess, the evening also tests discipline, stamina and organisational skills.

11 villages in the Saddleworth area participate and each one of those offers a unique experience. Prizes are awarded by each contest.

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