Book a bandstand? No problem

Ever wondered how your group could get to perform on that lovely restored bandstand in your local park? Here’s Paul Rabbitts of Pavilions for Music to tell you how.

Pavilions for Music - bringing bandstands back to life

It was during the middle to late Victorian era as a response to the need for bringing leisure, recreation and amusement to the masses that parks, town centres and seaside towns responded by introducing bandstands as places to perform and hear music.

Indeed they were so popular that no park or town was complete without one. Echoing to the sound of Sullivan, Rossini and Wagner, their heyday was up until the Second World War. After the war, the great decline set in and many were lost.

Today, as a result of significant lottery money many have been restored and replaced and bounce to brass, rhythm and blues and folk music. But many remain silent, in spite of the fact that their popularity and love for these wondrous structures remains. However, without music they are merely empty shells.

Pavilions for Music has therefore been set up as a new Community Interest Company with the sole aim to bring these bandstands back to life. A new website has been established that is a mine of information - a database of bandstands is available to use and details on who to contact, facilities available and who manages them. Most of these spaces are free of charge to use for community groups and local charities.

Currently, even if they are used, it is often limited to a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon. So let's lobby our local council, and ensure that all bandstands are no longer silent but resound to music as the wonderful performing spaces they are.

The website will develop over time and be updated on a regular basis so please do let me know if you are having problems in using your local bandstand. But also, if you are lucky enough to be performing on one of them, please drop me a line via the website or by email to