On the edge of history

Issue 5946

Cory Band looks to make further history at the RAH on 8 October. All about the National Final and much more in the latest packed edition of BB!

British Bandsman breaks century-long tradition to publish monthly

Friday 30 September, 2016

The Managing Editor of British Bandsman has announced that the magazine will be published monthly with immediate effect, breaking a tradition stretching back over a century. The announcement coincides with the launching of the new British Bandsman website, which will from now on carry regularly-updated news content in addition to a new delivery method for online subscribers throughout the world.

Making the announcement, Kenneth Crookston, who is also Managing Director of the magazine’s owner, KGC Media Ltd., said: “Since taking over ownership of British Bandsman 18 months ago, it has been our intention to provide our loyal worldwide readership with the best possible service within the modern environment in which brass bands exist. Unfortunately, this is also a time in which increasing overheads, notably printing and postage costs, as well as changing marketing strategies, have contributed to the demise or realignment of many printed publications, some with long and distinguished histories like British Bandsman. It will never be our intention to become one of those ‘lost’ publications, so the release of a new and active website to work in tandem with an extended monthly magazine will provide both long-term stability and greater currency to one of the most important and long-standing pillars in worldwide brass banding.”

British Bandsman has been published since September 1887, initially monthly, but in March 1902 it became a weekly publication and remained so until September 1975, when it was printed fortnightly for 12 months before returning to weekly distribution. In September 2014, it was recognised by Guinness World Records as the oldest weekly music magazine in the world and it is behind only the quarterly Musical Opinion (1877) on the list of oldest music periodicals.

Kenneth Crookston continued: “It is natural that far-reaching decisions like this require much soul searching, and readers can be assured that recent proprietors have resisted making it for a number of years, with the weight of history often uppermost in their thinking. Further price increases have also been considered to support the growing cost base, but market forces determine that this would be an unsustainable route. There will be a period of adjustment for readers, many of whom have been subscribing for several decades, but we are confident that the new service will be of greater value and relevance than a weekly publication can provide in the Internet age.”

The cover price of British Bandsman will now be £3.95, while all subscribers will also have access to premium online content at www.britishbandsman.com. Annual subscriptions will reduce to £44.95 (UK), £89.95 (Europe) and £119.95 (Rest of World), while online only subscriptions - now available to all - will be £34.95 annually. For those currently paying by Direct Debit, the new rates will be £42.95 (annual) and £3.49 (monthly), with the new rates being applied on all payments from 15 October onwards.

Kenneth Crookston concluded: “We will continue to write to readers when their subscriptions are due and will recalculate the expiry dates of each one according to the new rates. We will also round each account up one edition in order to make this transition as straightforward as possible for our loyal readers and ensure that everyone receives the best possible value. We would like to thank all of our readers in advance for their understanding and co-operation as we look forward to a new era in the history of British Bandsman.”