Should you plan a music tour in 2022?

Youth Brass 2000 managed to re-start touring in the summer of 2021 after 18 months. With a bit of lateral thinking and a lot of determination, they worked with Travelbound to arrange a UK mini-tour. We hear how their music tour with Travelbound proved to be a great success!

Youth Brass 2000 performing

When the pandemic hit last year, they had to stop rehearsals and abandon plans for their summer tour to Austria. Like a lot of other ensembles, they decided to defer their tour to summer 2021 in the hope that they would be able to go then. But as summer 2021 drew near, it became apparent that an international tour would again prove to be impossible.

“The annual tour is an integral part of the band’s activities; in particular, it is great opportunity for the newer members of the band to see what Youth Brass 2000 is all about and to create new friendships. We were hugely disappointed that our international tour had to be postponed again but at the same time we were really determined to give our young musicians the opportunity to perform again in front of an audience after 18 months. We therefore decided to ask our travel company Travelbound to help us organise a short UK tour instead.”

Don Collins, Youth Brass 2000 Band Chairman

After considering a few different options, the band settled on a mini-tour to London over 3 nights. Relying on Travelbound Music Performance Tours meant the Band was confident that the transport providers, the accommodation and the concert venues would be vetted and risk-assessed for COVID-19 compliance.

The tour presented a lot of challenges. First of all, it had to be organised in only a few weeks. It was not easy at first to find suitable accommodation for the band because a number of properties were refusing to take group reservations.

The band’s preferred outdoor venues were unavailable with some only running a reduced series of concerts. Others were already booked up whilst others had elected to use the pandemic to carry out some restoration work. The joint concert the Band had planned at an army base had to be cancelled at the eleventh hour. But Youth Brass 2000 were undeterred and continued to work with Travelbound Music Performance Tours to achieve the best possible tour for their members.

Don Collins Youth Brass 2000

Keeping everyone safe whilst on tour was paramount. With this in mind, the Band obtained a number of NHS COVID-19 Rapid Self-Test kits before departure and asked everyone to test at the start of the tour as well as during the tour itself. All performances were risk assessed to ensure they would be safe for the Band and for their audience.

Youth Brass 2000 on the Thames in London

The tour proved to be a great success. The Band was based at a friendly and welcoming hostel by Hyde Park where they were able to rehearse every day. Under the baton of their Musical Director Chris Jeans, they performed three well-attended concerts in Queen’s Park, Clapham Common and Dulwich Park where their eclectic repertoire was truly appreciated by their audience.

There was also time to enjoy a West End Show, a river cruise on the Thames and a trip on the London Eye. In addition, there were some great group meals at restaurants such as Hard Rock Café at Piccadilly Circus.

“We are delighted to have been able to start touring again. This is what we enjoy the most as a band and it has been fantastic to see our players come together as a group and enjoy playing together again. It was also lovely to have so many of our former players and even some parents come to our concerts and show their support which would not have been possible on a European tour.”

Don Collins, Youth Brass 2000 Band Chairman

So, would Youth Brass 2000 travel with Travelbound again?

“Absolutely. The planning of the tour was stressful at times as it was lot of work in a short period of time but it was definitely worth it! We have given our young musicians a truly memorable experience and hopefully the desire to continue with their music-making. Now we can’t wait to start planning our 2022 international tour to Italy!”

Don Collins, Youth Brass 2000 Band Chairman

While we may still be in the pandemic, Youth Brass 2000 have shown that with a bit of determination and a willingness to adapt to try something different, it is possible to resume performing and touring. Perhaps re-starting is more about starting something new than it is about resuming something we used to do. 

Using a specialist company like Travelbound Music Performance Tours to discuss all available touring options can be the first step towards touring again with your ensemble.

Youth Band 2000 performing in the bandstand

Youth Brass 2000 are an award-winning youth brass band from Northamptonshire. They travel abroad regularly to attend the annual European Youth Brass Band Championship and to undertake a week-long international summer tour every August.

To find out more about how Travelbound can help take some of the pressure off organising a music tour, get in touch with the Travelbound Music Team on 01273 265 290 or contact us here.

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