Organisers of Hatherleigh’s Bandamonium are celebrating this week after the event was named Band Project of the Year at the Brass Bands England Awards.

Bandamonium, which started two years ago in answer to Devon’s lack of Whit Friday marches, was one of five band projects from across the country shortlisted for the award category and walked away with the trophy after members of the brass band community voted for their favourite.

Tim Williams, founder of Bandamonium, said he rushed home from a trip to France after hearing the news to attend the awards ceremony.

He added: “I was in France and I came back early to go up to Huddersfield for the ceremony as I was the only one who could make it. I was surprised to win - Bandamonium is a new project but we are building momentum - and the public in the brass band world voted, so to have that recognition from peers in great.”

Bandamonium now enters the ranks as one of six Brass Bands England Awards 2023 winners which include winners of the Outstanding Contribution Award, Young Bandsperson Award, Services to Youth Award, Brass Band Conductor Award and Lifetime Achievement Award.

Along with a trophy, organisers have also received a small grant which they plan to use to put on a composition competition. They hope to open the competition within the month to challenge musicians to compose a march which bands will play at Bandamonium next year.

Since it was first held in July 2022, when five bands signed up to take part, Bandamonium has continued to grow.

At the last Bandamonium event in July this year, the number of bands performing doubled to ten and Mr Williams hopes that it will increase to 20 bands next year. Six bands have already signed up and the next event is still ten months away.

Organisers are already working on next year’s event and are hoping to put on a whole weekend of brass band fun.

Mr Williams spoke about some of the plans organisers are putting into place: “It’s getting bigger. We are going to have more bands and we are going to have a fun brass group on Friday and on Sunday we are going to have a church service. Brass bands will be accompanying the hymns.”

Currently, Bandamonium organisers are looking for sponsorship and hope to receive some help organising transport for all the bands.

As part of Bandamonium, bands make a tour of the pubs in the area, performing at each one. However, organisers are aware that this could cause traffic backlog if each band travelled around the area in their own coach.

Therefore, Mr Williams is hoping to provide transport so that bands can share coaches and prevent traffic problems on the narrow roads through some of the villages.

Mr Williams was inspired by the traditional Whit Friday brass band marches, traditionally held in the north west of England, and decided to put on his own light-hearted version of the event.