• Gavin Holman deposited Morpeth Band Festival 1895 – almost the end of a great tradition on Humanities Commons 6 months, 2 weeks ago

    From 1861 through to the mid-1870s Morpeth had held a series of non-competitive annual band festivals known as the “Monstre Band Festival” after the “monster” massed bands that were a feature of the events. The early events were held in the Old Brewery Field (now built up as the area around Olympia Gardens). Between 8 and 15 bands took part with 200 to 500 performers. Audiences ranged from 4,000 to 8,000. These were major events for the town, with hundreds of visitors arriving by coach and special excursion trains. The entrance fee was around 6 pence, and each bandsman received around 5 shillings, the bands themselves offering their services gratis. A revival in the 1890’s was not to prove successful, largely due to the weather being against the organisers.