Is the contest always held on the same date?

No – The contest is always held on Whit Friday, which falls on the 8th Friday following Good Friday. As the date for Easter can vary from Mid March to Mid April, it follows that Whit Friday can fall on any Friday from Mid May to Mid June.

How do you know which bands are going to be playing?

We don’t. The tradition of the Whit Friday Band Contests is that bands choose which contest they want to play in and when. The committee do not know who will be playing until the coach arrives and the band register to play.

Obviously the committee want to encourage as many bands as possible to choose to play at Denshaw so before the event the committee send out flyers and reminders to over 150 bands. We also work hard to ensure the night is enjoyable and well organised so the bands are keen to return.

How are the bands judged?

On arrival each band informs the booking in desk which piece they intend to play. The musical score for their piece is taken by a “runner” to the adjudicator, who sits upstairs in the Oddfellows club where he is hidden from view and unable to see which band is playing.

The adjudicator listens to each band and scores them according to how well they have interpreted the piece and how “together” they sound.

After all bands have played, and the scores calculated the band with the highest score overall wins the first prize. The open prizes can be won by any competing band of whatever level/section.

At Denshaw, prizes are also awarded to the highest scoring bands in their various sections (1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th) and to the best Saddleworth bands, the best local bands and best Youth bands.