The European Brass Band Association has confirmed the host nation venues for its Championships for the period 2020 to 2023.
It follows an extraordinary general meeting of the organisation in Amsterdam on 9th September, and confirms the news given by EBBA President Ulf Rosenberg to 4BR during an interview at the British Open Championship in Birmingham.
The festival will be held in Palanga, Lithuania in 2020; Malmö, Sweden, 2021; Innsbruck, Austria, 2022 and Stavanger, Norway, 2023.
EBBA's press release stated that the cities had been selected, "...based on an evaluation by EBBA's Executive Committee to ensure that they meet the defined criteria: the quality of concert halls and infrastructure, good transport links and a strong local organising team."
EBBA's approach to the hosting process came under close scrutiny at its press conference at the most recent European event in Utrecht in May this year, with EBBA President Ulf Rosenberg was questioned at length by 4BR in regard to Palanga and Stavanger.
However, at Birmingham he told 4BR that he was delighted that these four agreements were now complete, pending established agreements and management contracts being signed, and that there was already interest in the years beyond — with Wales expressing ongoing interest in hosting it in 2024 in Cardiff.
Following the EGM, he said: "I'm pleased to say that from EBBA's side we are confident that the selected cities and organisers are fully capable to host and develop what is widely acknowledged as the world's most prestigious band contest.
We are looking forward to working with local organisers to present the European Championships, including the competitions for young conductors, soloists and composers, the European Youth Brass Band, the European Youth Brass Band Championships, the Gala Concert and many others connected events. Preparations for the 2019 EBBC in Montreux are already progressing well with the Swiss organisers."
The confirmation of Palanga's hosting in 2020, the first in an eastern European country, will also be seen as a significant achievement — with both EBBA and the Lithuanian organisers emerging from protracted, and at times fractious negotiations, with credit.
4BR understands that such has been the new sense of 'diplomatic detente' that the contract with Palanga will be signed early next month in the Lithuanian Prime Minister's office.
"It's high time that we are able to take the EBBC to Lithuania, some 20 years after the end of its Soviet occupation," Ulf Rosenberg added.
I'm pleased to say that from EBBA's side we are confident that the selected cities and organisers are fully capable to host and develop what is widely acknowledged as the world's most prestigious band contestUlf Rosenberg
Sweden, Austria and Norway
"I'm also pleased that in 2021 Sweden will host the event for the first time at the magnificent Malmö Live concert hall.
In addition, we are building on the legacy of a successful event in Linz in Austria in 2010, with the beautiful city of Innsbruck where its excellent cultural centre will be the location in 2022. In 2023 the event will return to Stavanger at its outstanding new concert hall.
EBBA has also received interest from other countries and cities wishing to host the event in future years."