Information for Bands


The Contest takes place on Huddersfield Road outside the Oddfellows Club. There will be a short march down from the church lych-gate, although this may be shortened further if we have a large number of bands waiting.


The Contest starts around 4.00 p.m. You can book in before this time, typically from 2pm, on a ‘first come first served’ basis but your coach and all band members must be present and must remain present until the Contest starts. We cannot accept booking-in from a runner who has not travelled with the band.

It is worth knowing that we traditionally have a quiet spell around 8.00 to 9.30 p.m. and we offer a spot prize of £100 for one lucky band signing in between these times. This prize is open to all bands, irrespective of classification, provided that your band has not won another prize at Denshaw.

Our last booking-in time is 10.30 p.m. However, we cannot guarantee that every band booking in up to that time will be able to play, as the Police expect us to close the Contest by midnight and reopen the road to traffic. If it is getting close to 10.30 and you are still hoping to play at Denshaw, we advise you to ring (07920 763979 or 07415 383532) or tweet to @Denshawcontest before you arrive to check the number of bands waiting and possibly avoid disappointment.

If your band is intending to arrive towards the end of the evening, please be ready to play the National Anthem as you may be the last band to play.

Getting here and coach parking

If you are travelling West on the M62 please use Junction 22 (not the A640 from Huddersfield as this road is closed on the night). If you are travelling East you can use Junction 21 or 22.

Please park your coach on Rochdale Road (not Ripponden Road as this can cause unnecessary congestion).

You can drop off your runner at the crossroads whilst your coach is parking up.

Information at booking-in

Please have the following information to hand when booking in:

> Name of band

> Section

> Copy of march to be played

> Contact details (so we can send your results after the Contest)

> Colour of uniforms (so we can find you on the night!)

> £2 entry fee

How many bands are waiting?

We will be tweeting (@denshawcontest) regularly during the evening to keep you updated on the situation, including how many bands are waiting. This can change very quickly as bands arrive (we have no control or prior knowledge of where bands are at any given time and it is not unusual for several to arrive at once) so you may find that there are more bands when you arrive than you expected. We will tell you when you arrive how many bands are waiting and estimate how long your wait will be.

Helping us to run a smooth Contest

Please make sure that your band is ready for the march down at the right time as we don’t want to be sending our volunteers to try to find you when it is your turn! It would be a good idea if you could have someone waiting near the Contest co-ordinator, who will be able to tell you when to assemble your band. If your band is not ready in time, it will lose its turn. This is not only frustrating for you but it also causes logistical problems for us.

Occasionally a band will book in but decide later not to wait. Please don’t just drive off – let us know that you are going!

Body of Persons Approval (BOPA)

Bands may be aware of legislation requiring a Body of Persons Approval (BOPA) licence for organisations who use children under compulsory school age in public performances. The definition states that a child is of compulsory school age until the last Friday in June of the academic year in which they become 16 years of age.

Oldham MBC has decided that the Whit Friday Band Contests fall under the terms of this legislation. The 11 Contests have been working with Brass Bands England and OMBC Safeguarding Team to find a solution to manage these regulations. We have applied for a collective licence to cover all 11 Contests but we will need the following information from you:

1. The number of under-16s in your band

2. The number of adults who are accompanying them

You can give us this information on the night but, in order to speed things up at booking-in (which can be pretty hectic at times!) it would be helpful if you could provide this information in advance on the ‘Tell Us You Are Coming’ form on the official Saddleworth Whit Friday Band Contest website

And finally…

It costs a lot of money to run the Contest, not least the prize money. The cost of postage is becoming prohibitive and we are trying to reduce costs wherever possible.

It would really help if you could give us an email contact so that we can send your results electronically.

And if you are lucky enough to win a prize please consider giving us your bank details to allow us to make a BACS payment rather than a cheque.