Appeal to help struggling 100 year old Westoe Brass Band play on after the pandemic

A longstanding South Tyneside brass band are appealing to the public to ensure they can play on after the pandemic.

By Sarah Sinclair
Sunday, 31st May 2020, 7:00 am
Updated Sunday, 31st May 2020, 10:43 am

Musicians from Westoe Brass Band have appealed for donations to secure the future of the group during the coronavirus crisis.

The well-known band has been music to the ears of South Tyneside residents for more than 100 years and currently almost 40 registered members.

However, it is among the many organisations struggling to stay afloat due to the outbreak of Covid-19 and the lockdown measures which have been brought in to control it.

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Westoe Brass Band play at the amphitheatre at South Tyneside Summer Festival in 2019.

The band has been forced to cancel a whole summer schedule of large-scale gatherings such as the South Tyneside Festival and Durham Miners Gala - and will lose out on the much-needed fundraising opportunities from these events.

The organisation – which is entirely self-funded - is trying to raise £3,000 to secure its musical future in the borough.

Band manager Jo Wright said: “As with many arts organisations, a lot of our money is generated through the events that we do.

“We usually clear our diaries from May until the end of August but all of those have been cancelled, we can’t perform and as a result have lost a lot of revenue.”

Westoe Brass Band play at the amphitheatre at South Tyneside Summer Festival in 2019.

Jo continued: “The band are hopeful that towards the end of 2020 they will be able to once again perform in concerts however, until then, there are outgoings that still need to be covered such as payment of insurance and rent.

“Like any business things have to tick over but the revenue has gone.”

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The fundraising campaign has already raised more than £1,000 through donations from the community, which Jo says has been “humbling” for members to see how much the Westoe Brass Band means to the town.

Band manager Jo Wright.

She added: “We set the page up to support the band during this time and the response has been really lovely and quite humbling for us as an organisation.

“People come up and thank you after you perform but this has really proved how important the band is to the town.”

A message from the Editor:

Westoe Brass Band play at the amphitheatre at South Tyneside Summer Festival in 2019.

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