The band contests are also held in Ashton (outside the Broadoak Hotel and at Ashton United football ground) as well as in nearby towns such as Dukinfield, Stalybridge and Droylsden. The contests are held in a number of the villages in the Saddleworth area, too, and brass bands from around the country, and even from overseas, tour round in coaches trying to play at as many contests as they can in the time.
This photo above shown a band that is close to home - Mossley Band playing at the Upper Mossley contest, with a backdrop of the Pennine hills. After playing as they marched along Market Street, the band played a test piece in the arena before jumping into their coach to play at other locations.
Each band might get around to 10 or 12 contests in the evening and each venue attracts something like 40 bands, with some of the more popular venues seeing considerably more. Towards the end of the evening the bands end up marching and playing in the dark, although the arena is lit up by floodlights.
The contest circuit is unique to this area and is a special event enjoyed by large numbers of local people as well as visitors from far and wide.