Thursday, 3 October 2013

The world's largest brass event is definitely coming to the Netherlands

In 2018, the European Brass Band Championships will definitely be held in Utrecht, the Netherlands. After concluding the negotiations, Norwegian Ulf Rosenberg (European Brass Band Association), Frits Lintmeijer (Alderman of Culture) and Appie Alferink (Zimihc) signed the contracts at Utrecht city hall, on 30 September 2013. The coming of the world's largest brass event to Utrecht was an initiative by Michiel van der Schaaf (Toerisme Utrecht) and emphasises the city's ambition to develop itself into a centre of amateur music.

The new TivoliVredenburg music centre is intended to be the main venue for the event that will take place early May 2018 and which is expected to draw thousands of visitors.

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In addition to the championships in the symphony hall (1,700 seats), the European Youth Brass Band, the European Soloist Competition and others will be accommodated in the chamber music hall and cross-over hall of the new music palace in the Utrecht city centre.
‘Utrecht has a perfect stage for large international cultural events, such as the European Brass Band Championships,' says Ulf Rosenberg, president the European Brass Band Association (EBBA). ‘The new TivoliVredenburg is a top location, Utrecht is centrally located in Europe and has a splendid infrastructure in a region with a rich cultural life. In addition, the city has proven its intention of setting up a large festival that will draw a broad audience with plenty of visibility.'

Initiator Michiel van der Schaaf of the Toerisme Utrecht Convention Bureau, which specialises in drawing international congresses and events to the Utrecht region, underlines this. Van der Schaaf, who also succeeded in drawing the European Championships to Rotterdam in 2012, intends to realise an even bigger festival than before: ‘Over the next few years, Utrecht is focusing on developing itself into the centre of amateur music perfectly suited for large-scale events such as the European Brass Band Championships, certainly if we can make them part of a larger and long-term whole. Over the 1980s and 1990s, Utrecht has built up a good reputation in the international brass world, and we intend to polish this up again over the coming years. This also fits in with the planned further growth of tourism to the city.'


‘Music is becoming increasingly important in Utrecht,' Utrecht Alderman Frits Lintmeijer adds. ‘The opening of TivoliVredenburg in June 2014 is a good example of this. As the municipality of Utrecht, we are naturally more than happy that the championships will be held here, and together with parties and entrepreneurs in the music sector, we will be building it up as we move on towards 2018. Our ambition is to make a considerable leap in quality and realise an even larger event than before, also as a springboard to bringing in more international cultural events.' It is obvious that Zimihc, as the central promoter of the amateur music sector, will fulfil a central role in this.

The first concrete projects in the run-up to the 2018 European Brass Band Championships are expected in early 2014.

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Contract signing Utrecht 2018
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