BRADFORD’S first October is Music Month is already proving to be a huge hit with audiences.
With two weeks of the district wide musical extravaganza still to go, reports of packed venues and thrilling performances have been flooding in to the organisers who say the best is yet to come!
Bradford Business Improvement District (BID) – the limited not-for-profit company funded by more than 600 levy-paying businesses and organisations to help promote and develop the city centre –is sponsoring the first ever October Is Music Month and has been working with Bradford at Night, Bradford Council and Bradford Producing Hub to co-ordinate the extraordinary series of events.
“The reaction has been amazing,” said BID manager Jonny Noble. “We knew it was a great idea because there is so much going on behind the scenes musically in Bradford that people are just not aware of.
“Bringing it to the fore with October is Music Month and highlighting just some of the amazing talent and high-quality musical experiences – not just in the city centre but across the wider district – has really opened people’s eyes to how much there is.
“The sheer variety and breadth of musical sounds and styles is just fantastic!”
Gail Simpkins, of Mama Hoodoo’s Music, who has been co-ordinating many of the events said she was really excited by how well the month-long celebration of Bradford’s music scene has gone so far.
“October Is Music Month is a brilliant concept,” she said. “And we have seen an overwhelming response from audiences – be it people who intentionally sought out events, or accidentally stumbled across them.
“We set out to provide musical experiences in all sorts of unusual and interesting places and so many of the performances – such as Punjabi Roots Academy, who were very warmly received at The Broadway – have gone down really well with shoppers and passers-by as well as those who knew in advance and sought them out.
“It’s just been great!”
The programme of more than 100 individual events started on October 1 and there was only a slight setback with the official opening concert three days later which was hit by bad weather. The Lydian String Quartet – a Bradford-based professional string quartet performing stylish classical music and sparkling arrangements of film, jazz and pop songs – had been due to take to the stage in City Park.
“We were forced to move them to inside The Broadway at late notice but it didn’t stop the fun and the crowds loved them,” said Mr Noble.
“There are still dozens more events to go and the best way to find out what’s there for you is to visit www.bradfordatnight.co.uk/october-is-music-month or www.visitbradford.com/oimm to view the full list!”
Some of the highlights between now and the end of the month include:
Music In The City Of Culture Conference at The Underground (Oct 20); Electric Sufi at Kala Sangam arts centre (Oct 21); top Queen tribute band The Bohemians at Nightrain (Oct 22); Rock ‘n’ Roll Bingo at Juke Bar (Oct 27); Dominican Musical Journey at The Dominican Association (Oct 29); and the OIMM Closing Event on Oct 30, at The Broadway, with Flash Cassette (electro disco), Claire Silvester (violinist) playing a Lindsey Stirling set, and Life & Soul Seeker’s Silent Disco.
Bradford at Night’s evening and night-time co-ordinator Elizabeth Murphy added: “We’ve been blown away by the multifarious assortment of musical happenings. It’s not just about live gigs, there are all sorts of events, such as conferences, music games nights, nostalgic talks, karaoke, talent sessions and more.
“It has a real family feel and it appeals to people of all ages and backgrounds and really helps to bring the city to life, as the darker evenings start to draw in, with a proper celebration of Bradford’s musical talent and heritage.
“We also want it to bring in more visitors to the city centre and lesser-known parts of the district and help give our retail, food and hospitality sectors a much-needed boost as we start the run-up to the festive season and all the signs are that it is definitely having that effect!”