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Northwood - Indoor Arena

The Brigades’ Showcase Marching Band Championships are held at the "Northwood Stadium Indoor Arena". Consequently will not be able to offer any official pre-performance warm-up or rehearsal time. Bands will however still have an opportunity to warm up during the time allowed during your Maximum Performance Time


Bands on Arrival


Band vehicles should park as directed by the Marshals and Bandmaster/Corps Director should go directly to the Reception Desk, located at the Main Entrance at the in door arena. All Marching Members and Staff should remain with their vehicles until wristbands are issued. There will be STRICTLY NO ACCESS to the Indoor Arena without a wristband. All Band and Staff wristbands will be issued in accordance with your Registration Form. The Security Marshals will ask you to display your wristband at all times. Please check to ensure all wristbands have been correctly fitted and you should always make sure your wristband is visible to the Security Marshals when entering through the Main Door, even when in uniform, or you may be refused admission.


Return of Trophies

On arrival all Band Trophies from last year should be returned to the Reception Desk at the main entrance.

Spectator Parking


On arrival all vehicles should park as directed by the Marshals. Since 2013 Stoke City Council have installed Pay & Display meters and all vehicles will be required to display a valid parking ticket.  


Spectators Admission


Spectators will be able to purchase an Admission Wristband at the Main Reception Desk.  Adults: £6:00   Children: £3:00  (under 5 years free)   Concessionary : £4:00. Please ensure the wristband is worn correctly at all times or you may be refused admission. 

Smoking Legislation

For the comfort of all spectators and our young people and to comply with legislation the Stadium, Indoor Venue and all of the surround grounds are regulated as  No Smoking Zones.

Indoor Seating is Limited


Please note the indoor arena has limited seating available and all spectators are asked to bring their own portable chairs. All spectator seating should be positioned below the balcony facing the display arena. No chairs will be allowed along the side walls either side of the display area, allowing bands to use the maximum width of the hall.

Indoor Arena  - Layout


A Podium will be provided for Conductors/Drum Majors (usage at your own risk) or you can provide your own. The arena layout will be marked with cones with the 50 yard line being the official centre with cones/markers placed at intervals of 5 yards. i.e. 30, 35, 40, 45, 50. 45, 40, 35, 30. etc. the maximum width will be determined by the indoor hall measurements. The Pit Staging Area will be positioned immediately in front of the trophy table. All static equipment must be lifted or carefully wheeled and not dragged “in or out” of the Performance Arena.


Caption - Scoring System


There will be a maximum of five Judges and they are each allocated a total of 200 points using a box scoring system. The full criteria and definitions can be found in the Showcase Rules and points are awarded in the following categories:


      (J1) General Music Effect. (J2) General Visual Effect. (J3) Field Visual. (J4) Field Wind.

      (J5) Field Percussion.

The caption scores awarded are then divided by 10 to give a total score out of 100 marks.

  Soundsport:  (J1) Music Performance (J2) Visual Performance (J3) Overall Impression: 

   For Soundsport there are NO Caption Scores. All participating units will be awarded a

                                Bronze, Silver or Gold award according to merit.​​ ​




A selection of Hot and Cold Refreshments will be available all day at reasonable prices: Hot Dogs, freshly made Sandwiches, Confectionery, Soft Drinks, Tea, and Coffee and will located behind the spectators area by the main entrance.


First Aid


The First Aid Post is situated in the Central Administration Area under the Main Balcony and will be signed posted accordingly and managed by a qualified First Aider.

Judges Audio Recordings & Collection Times

In conjunction with other Marching Band Championships all of our Judges we will be using Audio Digital Recorders and their spoken comments will only be provided on a USB memory stick as both a Windows Media (.WMA) file and an MP3 file format (.MP3).

If you wish, you can also supply up to a maximum of two of your own USB stick or MP3 Players for additional copies.  (Please note we can only copy files on to 2 x additional devices). Your own USB sticks/MP3 players must be presented to the Band Reception Desk on your arrival and CLEARLY MARKED with your Band’s Name. Every effort will be made to copy the files on to your supplied devices but please ensure that any specialised cables/software are also provided and your MP3 player supports WMA playback.

To listen to your recordings you will need a suitable Laptop or Tablet. The Judges recorded comments will be available approximately 15/20 minutes after your Band’s performance from the Band Reception Desk and can be collected by your ‘Official Representative’. 

If you have arranged to attend the Judges Critique it is recommended that you first listen to their comments, which will enable you to formulate your questions and to make the experience as constructive as possible.

Video Recordings & Photography

Personal Video Recordings and Photography are permitted but please remember not to obstruct our Judges, the Official Photographer and other spectators. 

Band / Corps  -  Booster Stalls


Booster Stalls can be booked up until 31st May.


Changing Facilities

We are able to provide limited unsupervised changing facilities at Northwood Stadium’s Indoor Sports Hall (see Site Plan) and this will be and available only from 11:00 am until 5:00 pm. Once changed please do not leave any belongings unattended. Alternatively you are asked to change on your own vehicles.

Band Performance - Report Time

All participating bands are required to meet at the “Band Control Area” located by the back door of the indoor arena on the east side of the building. Please report to the Band Controller ten (10) minutes prior to your performance time, as indicated on the official timetable. Failure to report at the correct time may result in penalty points being incurred, if in the opinion of the Showcase Referee an advantage has been obtained over other competing units. If any alterations to the timetable are necessary these will be notified to you as soon as possible. All bands when entering the In-door arena must do so in silence as other bands will be performing. Any unit or part thereof found playing in the vicinity of the outside venue after the official start time of the Championships risks disqualification. Please note only participating members and staff wearing the correct wrist band will be allowed to enter via this entrance. All spectators must enter the indoor arena via the Reception Desk by the Main Entrance Door.. Each Band/Corps will be under the sole control of the Drum Major, Lead Musician or Officer in Charge from entry into the marshalling area until clearing the Arena at the completion of their performance. They in turn will take their instructions from the Band Controllers. Each Band/Corps, according to “Class” is allocated a “Maximum Time” and “Minimum Display Time”.  Please see Showcase Rules for the precise timings.

On Leaving the Indoor Arena


All band members and pit equipment will exit (stage left) via the side exit, on either a single drum beat or drum rhythm, which must stop when all marching members have left the arena. All pit equipment and scenery must be returned to your transportation vehicles after your performance.


Olympic Retreat  (Please listen for announcements)


At the conclusion of the Showcase Championships all competing Bands/Corps will be asked to participate in the “Olympic Retreat” and “Awards Presentation”. Bands will be required to form a single line in “Performance Order” outside of the Band Control Entrance at the end of the Championships. Please follow the Marshall’s instructions. Spectators must not go onto the Arena during the Olympic Retreat.


No ‘after contest’ performances


Due to the Stadium and Local Council Regulations, no additional performances or playing of instruments will be allowed after the conclusion of the “Showcase Event”.  Each band will be invited to play as they leave the Showcase Arena, following the Results and Presentations Ceremony.

Toilets Facilities


Toilet and disabled facilities are available via the Spectators Entrance (see Site Plan). Please remember to wear your wristband if you leave the main arena area as proof of admission, or you will be refused re-admission.


Spectators - Safety

For Health and Safety reasons be aware the Indoor Arena at times will be very busy and care should be taken to walk safely. PLEASE DO NOT RUN or obstruct the view or movement of our Judges, Officials and Official Photographer.    



Litter Bins are provided please use them or take your rubbish home.


No Dogs


Please note the Venue is a "Sports Facility" consequently no dogs or animals are allowed anywhere on site or in the Stadium Grounds.

Rehearsal / Warm up / Tune up Area

Bands are encouraged to arrive during the morning prior to the “Showcase” start time and rehearsals will be permitted on specified areas around the Stadium on a first come first served basis between 09:45 am and 11:45 am. but subject to weather conditions on the day. Any unit or part thereof found playing in the vicinity of the indoor venue after the official start time risks disqualification.

Emergency Telephone Number

In the event of an emergency a mobile contact number will be available from 09:30 hrs. on the morning of the Championships. 

Performance Critique  (Requested on Band Application Form)


The Judges Critique will commence as soon as possible, after the results have been announced and held in the Showcase Office/Officials Room below the main balcony.  Bands/Corps who indicate they wish to attend the Critique have been allocated a specific time. The order in which bands enter Critique is be based on those travelling the furthest, consequently those having to travel the longest distance will be scheduled first, allowing all bands to participate.  Please also remember to bring you Judges “Remark Sheets” with you as this helps our Judges recall their comments whilst discussing your band’s performance.

Please do not be late for your critique as you may lose your allocated time. Before you enter Critique please listen to your Judges audio  comments before hand otherwise there will be little benefit in attending to discuss the Judge’s comments. We will be making the recordings available normally within 15/20 minutes of each Band’s performance, which should allow everyone time to listen to them.

Two bands will enter Critique at the same time: one with the General Music Effect & Display & General Visual Judges, the other band with the Field Visual/Drill, Field Wind and Field Percussion Judges. After 4 minutes the bands’ staff will swap captions/judges giving a total Critique time of 8 minutes per band. The next two bands will then enter and the same scenario will commence, swapping between captions every 4 minutes and so on, until all bands have been seen. No more than 2 staff per Judge please! (There are five Judges in total.) If an instructor wants to speak with only one Caption Judge they should wait until the time their Band moves to that caption judge, unless a specific Judge is available earlier.

We would recommend that you take advantage of this facility as it can prove to be a very useful way of developing your own band’s performance. The criteria by which the Judges allocate their marks and caption definitions are available to view on this Website via "Rules" tab.

Please remember Critique is a time to discuss and make positive comments and to ensure you make the best use of our Judges knowledge in their particular field of expertise, plus making the experience as constructive as possible.

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