Brass Bands England FAQs


Here are the answers to some of our most commonly asked questions.

If you have any further queries then please get in touch with us on: 01126 771 015


General information

Who are Brass Bands England and what do you do?

Brass Bands England [BBE] are an Arts Council England [ACE] Sector Support Organisation [SSO].  We encourage, support and promote all things Brass Bands.  Click here to see examples of how we have supported Brass Bands, and to find out how we could help to unlock the potential of your organisation!


What is a Sector Support Organisation?

Sector Support Organisations are a new category within ACE’s National Portfolio for funding.  Some of these organisations have previously been funded as National Portfolio Organisations [NPOs] (like BBE) or through other Arts Council investment.

SSOs play a vital role in supporting the cultural sector, but they don’t necessarily produce or directly deliver art or culture themselves.  In BBE’s case, we offer services that support and encourage Brass Bands on a national scale.


Why should we join Brass Bands England?

BBE offers its members a wide range of benefits and services, such as:

  • Unlimited free use of our DBS checking service;
  • Specific advice and assistance tailored for Brass Bands;
  • Bandsafe;
  • Discounted insurance;
  • Member bands are eligible to apply to the Norman Jones Trust;
  • We advise and assist bands with external funding applications;
  • We lobby and advocate for brass band at both community and Government level.

For more information about the benefits of being a BBE member can be found on our join us page.

How can my band apply to join BBE?

Applying to join BBE is a quick and simple process.  You will need to request an application pack which will need to be submitted, along with the membership fee, to our dedicated office team.  Once received and processed by us you will have all the benefits that go with being BBE member!


How much does it cost to join BBE?

BBE’s subscription fees are both fair and competitive.

Full Band Membership can be obtained by any band (or bands under a single constitution).  Bands that have a ‘B’ Band, Junior Band or Training Band can join under one umbrella membership for £100 providing they meet this criteria.

Organisational Membership is £100 per year.  Suitable for Brass Band Associations/Networks.
Full Band Membership is £100 per year (to be paid in full or in biannual/quarterly installments by agreement.
Youth Band Membership is £50 per year.
Individual Membership – £25
Student Bands Membership (Coming soon!)
Individual Student Membership (Coming soon!)


Can individuals join BBE?

You can join BBE as an individual.  Joining as an individual gives you access to the same advice, help and support as our advocacy work going forwards.  Individual members can also access our reduced rate of insurance from the Brass Band Insurance Service.


Our band is already member of BBE who do we contact?

You can find our contact information on our contact us page.


How can we recruit new members?

This is one of the most commonly asked and difficult questions to answer as there are lots of ways to recruit members.  The main things to think about are – What are the strengths of your band? and What would make someone want to join? Are you a contesting band with great results, are you a great social band or do you specialise in community music and learning?  Once you have worked out your USP (Unique Selling Point) recruitment should focus on showcasing these strengths. Your membership drive might include:

  • A community performance with volunteers flyering passers by about membership vacancies;
  • The formation of a training band to develop talent from within;
  • Opening a dialogue with local schools;
  • An online PR campaign to attract new members.

The list is endless.  For more help sign up to one of our PR workshops or get in touch to talk through ideas with one of our team.



National Youth Championships


What is the National Youth Championships?

The National Youth Brass Band Championships of Great Britain is a Brass Band competition and festival open to any Youth and Training Band in Great Britain.  It is designed to celebrate, unite and promote youth music making in Brass Bands at all levels.

There are four entry levels suitable for bands of all abilities and participants under 20 years.  This event is a brilliant showcase of talent and supports young players right up to where they might join an adult band (if they hadn’t already).


Where can I find information about the National Youth Championships?

Please visit the Youth Championships page for up-to-date information on how to enter a band and how to buy tickets for the event.





What is Safeguarding and why is it so important?

Safeguarding is the action that is taken to promote the welfare of children and vulnerable adults and protect them from harm.  Safeguarding means:

  • Protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse and maltreatment;
  • Preventing harm to children and vulnerable adults’ health or development;
  • Ensuring children grow up with the provision of safe and effective care;
  • Taking action to enable all children and young people to have the best outcomes.

Having a Safeguarding Policy is important for any members organisation that has contact with children, young people and vulnerable adults.  BBE offers a Disclosure and Barring Service [DBS] checking service to member and non-member bands. We also administer a free online self-assessment toolkit called, Bandsafe.


What is BandSafe?

BandSafe is a free online self-assessment toolkit for Brass Bands (or any amateur music ensemble).  The toolkit has been designed by Brass Band musician and Safeguarding Champion, Heidi Bradley and is based upon a set of standards written by the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children [NSPCC] for youth organisations.  The aim of BandSafe is to support Bands in the development of policies and procedures that are fit for purpose, and that are put in place to minimise risks to the members and integrity of the Band.

Please keep an eye out for our information events about Safeguarding coming soon!


What is Child Performance Licensing Legislation? And how does it affect our band?

The Children (Performances and Activities) (England) Regulations 2014 came into effect on 6th February 2015.  These regulations replaced the Children Performances Regulations 1968 as amended, which were repealed in their entirety together with all guidance that related to them.

Child Performance Licensing Legislation is something that has been put in place to safeguard children while taking part in types of performance, which includes Brass Bands.  Different Local Authorities interpret this legislation differently and so bands have faced problems with this legislation. In response to this, the National Network for Children in Employment (NNCEE) have produced this advisory document to obtain better consistency.  However, this is guidance not regulation and thus it still remains at the discretion of each Local Authority on how they regulate the issuing of licenses.

Local Authorities often lack the capacity to respond to enquiries and are, more often than not, over-cautious in their advice about this.  We would recommend contacting us in the first instance if you have any enquiries about Child Performance Licensing Legislation – we will research this for you.  

Full guidance from can be found via this link.



What is Funding/Fundraising? and Where can we find it?

All bands need an income to cover running costs.  Without the funds (money) to pay for a project, it will just remain an idea.  There are lots of charities, government departments and organisations who can offer financial support (funding) to get your idea off the ground – you just need to look.

Fundraising can be used to describe any activity that raises money for your Band; from running internal events for your band’s benefit, to making grant applications to major funding bodies for specific projects.  There are many ways of raising additional funds to support anything from new music to a new bandroom.

Brass Bands England can offer advice about fundraising and income generation.  Up-to-date documents are available for members to view/download in our members area and we also hold regional training sessions for bands where anyone can attend.  

We can also help bands by working with them directly to generate fundraising ideas and assist them with grant applications.  Just get in touch using our Contact Us page.



Charitable Status


What is a registered Charity? And does our Brass Band need to be one?

A charity is an organisation which:

  • Has exclusively charitable purpose (as defined by law), and
  • Exists for the public benefit (as defined by law).

A registered Charity is a charitable organisation that is registered with the Charity Commission and must conform to certain guidelines to fulfill this status.  Becoming a charity is a significant undertaking with regulatory obligations, however there are other benefits which would make formalising the charity status worthwhile.

A brass band does not need to be a registered charity.  When considering if charitable status is something your band should obtain, it is worth weighing up the pros and cons for your band.  For example, you might be able access to new funding opportunities only available to organisations with charitable status, however, if the administrative burden is greater than you could manage it would be worth considering if this is right for you.  We recommend that proper time, research and consideration is taken when making a decision about charitable status. We can provide support to members about suitability just get in touch using our Contact Us page.





What is Governance and what does this mean to our Band?

Governance is the establishment of policies, and continuous monitoring of their proper implementation, by the members of the governing body of an organisation.

Governance within a Brass Band relates to the overall management and running of your Band.  This is usually led by a committee, and also includes all rules and regulations documents the band use, such as your Constitution.  

Brass Bands England offer in depth best practice advice about good governance.  Members can access this advice in full in our members area.  

Please keep an eye out for our information events about Good Governance coming soon!





What is PR and how can we use it?

Every organisation, no matter how large or small, ultimately depends on its reputation for survival and success.  Public Relations [PR] is about reputation – the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you.  

PR in this context is the way your band manages the information it puts out to the public and other organisations.  If implemented correctly, it can be a useful tool for information sharing about day-to-day activity, promoting events, attracting new players and boosting ticket sales too!

Social Media is one element of public relations as a form of online communication that can promote interaction between you and your audience.  When managed correctly it can be a fantastic tool for providing quick and easy publicity for events, engaging with your community, sharing information and networking.


What is our Network? And how can our Band use it?

A Network is a group of organisations and individuals with similar interests or goals (in our case Brass Bands).  Networks are key to brass bands; helping bands to interact with other like-minded individuals and organisations so they can develop and grow.  A Network is not just something for social media; bands need to be part of all kinds of partnerships and networks in order to survive and thrive.


How can BBE help with our PR?

BBE have specific advice and ideas available to members to help with PR.  This includes support with the publicity of members events via social media.  BBE also offer courses and workshops about marketing and promotional tools to support your band.  BBE also offer members FREE access to our Virtual Box Office so you can sell tickets online in advance, in conjunction with your PR.


What is the BBE Virtual Box Office?

The BBE Virtual Box Office is an online ticket selling platform on which you can sell tickets for your events in advance online.  This service is free to members bands but non-member bands are also welcome to use this service for a fee. 



Data protection


What is it GDPR? What does it mean for our band?

The EU General Data Protection Regulations [GDPR] replaces the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC and was designed to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe, the protect and empower all EU citizens data privacy and to reshape the way organisations across the region approach data privacy.  The Enforcement date is 25 May 2018, at which time those organisations in non-compliance may face heavy fines. This legislation is not aimed at small amateur organisations, however, it will apply to them and therefore bands should be prepared for and aware of the changes in their responsibilities. As every band and organisation is different or partners, Making Music UK have produced some tailored guidance to help bands.  This can be found at this link.