Silchester Music Festival
We are based in a music-loving community but we realised that there was little or no opportunity for young musicians to perform their own music to an audience. Hence a collective (including Richard Alexander of APS Ltd) started the free ‘Silchester Music Festival’ to give them a platform to perform on.
Young musicians and bands applied, were auditioned, selected, sometimes coached beforehand, and ultimately got to play their music on a live stage, under lights, in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd – and they grabbed the opportunity with both hands. Starting in the early afternoon there was a continuous stream of performances well into the evening with each act performing for thirty minutes.
APS provided the professional sound, lights, staging, power, as well as the marquee structures involved. However, without the vital and enthusiastic support of the Council and commitment given by many local people in all aspects of the planning and organisation, this event would have never become the resounding success it did. Indeed, it was a significant part of Silchester winning “Hampshire Village of the Year” in 2008 and South England Village of the Year in 2009.
When audiences grew beyond a certain level, it became apparent that several operational aspects such as crowd management and health and safety control were beyond the capabilities of this small volunteer-based event. A victim of its own success, the festival reluctantly closed down. However, schools and other venues have since opened up numerous opportunities for young talent to shine and APS continue to offer their support through these.
Not only is the Silchester Music Festival and amazing night, it is an amazing feat of organisation. The festival significantly helped us in winning the Southern Village community of the year award
Silchester Parish Councillor
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