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Week Nine saw live bands performing non-profit gigs in on and off-campus venues, at events organised by a student from the University.
Lancaster Band Week included events at a variety of venues with the aim of providing live music entertainment for both students and the public.
The event did, however, meet many challenges in its organisation. The week of events, which was originally meant to benefit the charity SIFE Lancaster, faced major problems just one week before the live events began.
The plans for the Thursday – a live music night at the Sugarhouse – had to be rearranged to take place at Elements, due to the Sugarhouse pulling out of the event. This then meant that SIFE Lancaster pulled its backing from the events.
SIFE (Students In Free Enterprise) is an international non-profit organisation which works through higher education and businesses to encourage students to help the communities around them, whilst also learning skills that will benefit them in later life and in the world of business. The Lancaster University branch was founded in 2004, and is currently conducting 18 projects with University students in order to give them important skills for running a business.
Ben Robins, the student who organised the events, explained his motivation in organising the original events: “It started primarily from organising the Thursday gig [originally at the Sugarhouse] for the charity SIFE, then wondering if I couldn’t just add a couple of days either side of it to drag it on for as long as I could.”
“Wherever I can, I’ll try to make entrance to places free; I want this to be more about an introduction to live music rather than pre-recorded PA music in nightclubs. Open access to the general public is important,” said Robins, speaking before the week’s events.
Bands such as Tape, Guernica and Boo Boo Kiddy Fonc were the first to perform at Revolution on Monday Week Nine, also making them the first live acts to perform at the Lancaster bar, something which Robins described as a “groundbreaking” event in the bar’s history.
Performances on Tuesday at Lounge, Thursday at Elements, Friday at Pendle bar followed, with the week ending on the Saturday at Grizedale bar. The wide range of locations was chosen in order to showcase what Lancaster can offer in terms of live music.
“In terms of how I’ve been organising the week, it’s been mainly a process of going to venues around town directly and finding out when [and] if they’d be able to accommodate a live band; I’ve had an even balance of success and failure on that front,” Robins said of his success at organising the week.
“Considering the amount of problems I’ve had in organising the event, it’s gone remarkably well,” said Robins. “I hope to rectify these issues [of bands and venues pulling out] for Lancaster Band Week mark two, which I hope will take place next term.”