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Yorkshire and Humberside Brass Band Association


Incorporating the Entertainment Contest organised by the Association in conjunction with and at the invitation of the Proprietor of the Hardraw Scar Waterfall and Grounds


Sadly, we have to inform you that owing to family health problems, the organisers of the contest are not able to go ahead with the contest this year. We very much hope that this will be for this year only and we will be back, better than ever in 2021.

In 1881 the first annual Brass Band Contest was held in the grounds of the Green Dragon Inn at Hardraw. For a short history of the contest click here. Since 1989 the contest has been organised by the Yorkshire and Humberside Brass Bands Association and takes place in what is probably the most spectacular setting for any such event. Brass Bands, ranging from the small village band to the Championship Section, present short concerts throughout the day and are judged both on the standard of their music and on the selection of their concert programme.

Each band’s programme has to contain a march and a hymn tune, and their performance is limited to about 20 minutes each. Occasionally bands may choose to perform the same pieces but the format of this contest means that the audience get to listen to a great range of music in the course of the day. The day is brought to a traditional close with a short concert by the massed bands, after which the awards are presented. For a list of placings and adjudicators click here.

Entry is by programme, which enables the audience to come and go as they wish during the day; bars and catering are readily available and the natural amphitheatre makes a stunning spot to spend a summer Sunday. In any case, it is a wonderful opportunity to listen to brass bands doing what they do best – entertaining an audience!

Over the last 20 years more than a hundred bands have participated in this contest, many of them local, others coming from all over the North of England.

On leaving his 'box' at the end of the 2003 contest the adjudicator made the following comments:­ "I am amazed to see so many people in attendance enjoying this thrilling experience. The setting in this beautiful gorge, surrounded by high cliffs, provides excellent acoustics and all bands did their very best to put on a wonderful show. Long may this unique and glorious event continue".

Information for Visitors

The contest, made popular by the television series “A Band for Britain” takes place in a delightful setting in the grounds of the Green Dragon Inn within sound of the spectacular waterfall, Hardraw Force.

The contest begins at 10.15 am and generally ends in the late afternoon.  Admission is by ticket, available at the entrance gate .  Programmes are available on site.

A one-way system operates on contest days from Hawes, as the lane accessing the village of Hardraw is extremely narrow and most bands arrive in coaches! Direction signs are placed on the route from Hawes.  If you are using satnav the postcode of the Green Dragon is DL8 3LZ.

Car Parking is located in a field adjacent to the Green Dragon within a short walk of the bandstand site. The farmer who owns the field does ask car owners to pay a small charge for the use of this facility. Please do not park anywhere else in Hardraw Village!

It is not possible to take vehicles onto the site.  Disabled access may be possible at pre-arranged times - please contact the management at the Green Dragon Inn to arrange this.

Please note (and ensure that your coachdriver is aware) that there is no coach parking available in Hardraw. Coaches will need to drop off their passengers and return to park in Hawes.

Please note that it is essential that coaches use the one-way system - the roads are very narrow and easily snarl up.

As well as the meals and drinks served at the bar of the Green Dragon, there is on-site catering and a bar serving Theakstons’ beers and other drinks.

The contest takes place in the open air, and while some seating is provided, it will guarantee your comfort if you bring your own chairs.  Given the vagaries of summer weather in the Pennines, waterproof clothing, sun-cream and/or midge repellent are likely to enhance your enjoyment of the day - the bands will play whatever the weather!

We do hope that you will enjoy your visit to Hardraw Scar contest and become one of our many regular visitors.

For full results  and pictures of the 2018 contest click here

 Hardraw Scar 2019

After two years of autumnal weather the sun returned to the Hardraw Scar Brass Band festival for 2019.  The audience who packed into the famous gorge were able once again to enjoy the entertainment programme played on the open air bandstand in the heart of Wensleydale.

The contest is organised by the Yorkshire and Humberside Brass Band association with the generous support of local brewers Theakston’s whose representative Barry Gibb was on hand to present the prizes at the end of a great days contesting.  The prize for the most entertaining band was awarded to Haslingden and Helmshore and MD John Binns by entertainment adjudicators Andrew Potts and Andrew Fake.

The music prizes, determined by the expert ear of adjudicator Andrea Price are divided across two sections. Section A comprises bands from Championship to 2nd section, augmented this year by ungraded Leyburn Band who had been promoted to Section A following their success in Section B in recent years. The tight contest saw Haslingden and Helmshore claim the prize for best March, Tintwistle take the best Hymn and Leyburn take the prize for the best solo with Emma Lundberg’s performance of MD and sister Rebecca’s composition Pater Noster.  The overall placings saw Haslingden and Helmshore placed third with Tintwistle in runners up position leaving Leyburn and musical director Rebecca Lundberg to take a famous first place to the delight of their travelling support.

In Section B (3rd,4th and ungraded bands) the prize for Best Hymn was taken by Otley while Hardraw debutants Darwen Brass, under the baton of Mike Cotter, ran out overall victors also claiming the prize for best march and solo and basses in Section B. Stacksteads were placed second overall and were also the highest placed 4th section band while Shepherd Group Concert Brass rounded out the podium.


Overall Results

Section A

1st Leyburn


3rd Haslingden and Helmshore

Section B

1st Darwen Brass

2nd Stacksteads

3rd Shepherd Group Concert Brass

For full results of the 2019 contest click here