By Ian Dipple Friday 20 September 2013 Updated: 20/09 08:53
A CELEBRATION of Redditch’s community through music and song brought the inaugural Summer Bandstand Festival to an end.
Visitors enjoyed music from acts including reggae artist Otis Irie, samba band Someone at the Door, Bollywood and folk singers Saas aur Awaaz, young singer Caprice Ebanks, Punjabi bhangra folk dancers Nachda Saansar, and English ceilidh dance band Captain Swing.
There were also displays from Redditch Local History Society, Jestaminute theatre group, the British Asian Women’s Group, Redditch Heart Safe and Save the Alex as well as vinyl records and gifts made out of old LPs on sale from Vintage Trax.
Saturday’s festivities brought to an end a series of monthly events held around the iconic structure which have included a concert by several local choirs and performances by bands of various musical styles. The aim was to bring the bandstand back into use following concerns from residents it was at risk of being removed to one of the town’s parks.
With the festival now over, work will begin on a range of landscape improvements to the bandstand area to make it more accessible.
It includes shortening the two flower beds, removing some shrubs, increasing the grassed area and the removal of the rose archway, which will be split into three to create a decorative entrance to the bandstand area and grounds of St Stephen’s Church.
The work is scheduled to get underway before Christmas and should be finished by April for the start of next year’s 50th anniversary celebrations of Redditch New Town.
Sue Yeng, chair of Redditch Community Forum and a member of the bandstand Committee, said they hoped to work with Redditch Town Centre Partnership to build on the success of this year’s programme.
“We have proved the area works and with a good partnership between the council, businesses and community it could really grow and create a new legacy for the town,” she said.
“I’m really excited about the new improvements for the area. We’ve made leaps and bounds since last year and it feels like the bandstand is coming to life again.”
Council leader Bill Hartnett added: “After Saturday’s great finale to this year’s schedule we’re already excited about what next year holds for the bandstand.
“By improving the space for performances, opening up the bandstand more and making it easier to see, including from the row of shops on Church Green East, the bandstand will become more useful.”
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