Bunker Cabaret who have performed on the Banjo

Music events are music to ears - so what about a new Proms in the Park?

Jim Parker

Torquay promenade seems to be going back to the future in the best possible way.

I can remember back to the days in the late 70s. or was it the 80s, when thousands of people crammed on to Torre Abbey Meadows as the Bay was put on the national and international map with events like the Radio One Roadshow and the good old Seaside Specials.

We have had the odd music-beer festival/concert but nothing to really to put us on the world-wide stage as a music venue.

All that is beginning to change. Music on the Meadows was a huge success as part of the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations and the Electric Bay weekend just gone was another big hit.

There are bound to be some concerns and complaints – noise, having our esteemed Meadows blocked off and not being able to walk your dog. Large groups of younger people can also bring with them some other issues.

But don’t the positives far outweigh the negatives as we strive to put more emphasis and investment into these events just as the English Riviera BID Company as part of its future tourism strategy.

At the other end of the scale, more smaller events are taking place on the prom

The ‘Banjo’ area of Princess Gardens is being brought alive with a series of free family-friendly events.

As Torbay Council says in a press release: “There will be good old-fashioned seaside family fun featuring music, theatre, storytelling and workshops.”

Its events team is working with Continental Drifts and Global Local to put on the colourful events for both residents and holidaymakers to enjoy.

The enhanced event space at the Banjo was one of three projects delivered following a successful £750,000 funding bid and the space is now equipped with water and electricity and complemented with new illuminations.

The council says: “Bringing strong and vibrant events to the area will not only have a positive impact on the local economy, but also enrich the lives of both residents and visitors to the Bay.”

Council leader Steve Darling said: “We are delighted to see the Banjo area being brought alive with so much wonderful entertainment suitable for all the family.

“It’s what the space was originally designed for almost 70 years ago and following the huge success of the Platinum Jubilee Weekend events, we are delighted to be brining even more free entertainment to the Bay this summer.”

Mike Morey, cabinet member for infrastructure, environment and culture, “The Banjo Summer Sessions promise to be a really exciting addition to the Bay’s programme of events over the summer months.

“There is a really diverse programme with something for everyone to enjoy, so I do encourage you to come down and join in the fun.”

Cllr Morey added: “The feedback from the weekend event has been good so far,

“We used to have things like the Seaside Specials over the years but they have gone down the drain.

“The idea is to build up the events with bogger ones on Torre Abby and smaller ones elsewhere like the Banjo for residents as well as holidaymakers. So far so good.

“We have had a wash-up over the Air Show and Music on the Meadows and have had some good vibes back.”

So here is one for you…..

There is a big drive at the moment to find ways putting idyllic Cockington more on the map.

Proms in the Park did just that for Cockington only a few years ago

I’m no sure why it stopped and was silenced.

Let’s bring it back to life!

(Here is a programme of events (running between 11am and 4pm) for the Banjo:

Sunday July 31 Global Local presents the Old Time Sailors – 17-piece shanty band

Wednesday August 3 Prom-Prom – Good old fashioned seaside fun for all the family.

Wednesday August 10 Prom-Prom – Good old fashioned seaside fun for all the family.

Sunday August 14 Pantonic All Stars Orchestra – Steel band youth orchestra

Wednesday August 17 Prom-Prom – Good old-fashioned seaside fun for all the family.

Friday August 19 Pantonic All Stars Orchestra – Steel band youth orchestra

Sunday August 21 Global Local presents performances from Fat Brass and Stomping Dave – live music with a festival vibe.

Wednesday August 24 Prom- Prom – Good old-fashioned seaside fun for all the family.

Saturday August 27 Global Local presents Hero and Leander – Live gig theatre with additional music from Emsickle

Sunday August 28 Global Local presents Hero and Leander – Global Local presents Hero and Leander – Live gig theatre with additional music from Emsickle

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