West Sussex County Times

Organisers of Horsham Battle of the Bands hoping things should be back to normal this summer

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Organisers of this summer’s 29th annual Horsham Battle of the Bands are confident they will be pretty much back to normal.

The 2021 finals are scheduled to take place on August 14 and 15 in the Human Nature Garden in Horsham Park with heats at The Rec Rooms on July 14, 15, 21 and 22.

Entries are open until June 30.

More info and details of how to enter can be found at www.horshambot­b.co.uk

Event programme manager Jamie Friday said: “Last year after being moved from two or three venues, we moved to The Rec Rooms in September and did it socially distanced. Normally we would be late July/early August in the Human Nature Garden, but it got to the point where we couldn’t go there so we moved and it went really well.

“The fact that we were able to do anything at all was amazing. We only had about three weeks to turn everything around, and The Rec Rooms offered.

“On the acoustic side, it was a normal-sized entry. Originals were a bit less but that was generally because the bands hadn’t had the chance to rehearse.

“For the covers, we had four entries. It went well, and the achievemen­t was just that it happened.

“The amount of things that were really stacked against us, the fact that we were able to hold the competitio­n at all was the biggest achievemen­t.”

It ensured continuity as the competitio­n heads towards its 30th year next year.

“We will have had 30 consecutiv­e competitio­ns so to have lost one last year would have been a nightmare.

“But this year at the moment, it is all feeling a

bit more relaxed, a bit less stressed though we are still having to deal with a lot of unknowns. The unknowns are what restrictio­ns could be in place at that time. We are still waiting to find out what happens with the trial events. We are just waiting to find out what the challenges will be.

“But at the moment, we are very positive. We know that we will go ahead in some format. But we also know that there will be changes along the way. But we hope to be completely restrictio­n free.

“We shouldn’t have any problems with social distancing.

““We should be back to where we were in 2019. Based on the way the pandemic is going at the moment, I am confident.

“And I am glad that we are late August for the finals rather than July. We are going to be able to have about six weeks slippage at the moment compared to the roadmap (which sets out that all restrictio­ns could be lifted on June 21). We are also getting really positive feedback from audiences.”

The point is that all musicians have had a hugely tough past year, especially those close to being profession­al, with all gigs being wiped out: “There will be a lot of bands that can’t wait to get back out there.

“Last year we had both extremes. We had bands that were really keen to perform and we had bands who didn’t feel they could perform because they hadn’t had the chance to rehearse together. But it has been such a difficult thing for the whole industry. It had been very, very hard.”

If you missed the online launch event, you can watch it on the Horsham BotB Facebook page.

If you would like to become a Silver or Bronze sponsor of this year’s event, email the team at info@horshambot­b. co.uk.

Gold sponsor (funds): Woodstock IT. In kind Silver sponsors (prizes): Audiobeach Studios; AWAL; Chezzimm Photograph­y.

 ??  ?? Jamie Friday
Jamie Friday

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