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Press release

Our Big Gig Launches in London

Press Release25/04/13


Biggest national celebration of music in communities to take place this summer

  • Our Big Gig will see hundreds of music events in communities across UK from 11 – 14 July
  • Organisers urged to programme gigs in their area to showcase best local talent


Our Big Gig, which takes place from 11th – 14th July, will see the whole country celebrate and enjoy music, showcase new and existing talent and increase participation in music making.

From school halls to concert halls - local communities and event organisers are being encouraged to get together, pick up instruments and programme gigs in their local areas for a UK wide music celebration.

Plans have been unveiled today at London’s iconic St Pancras Station for Our Big Gig, a new UK wide community led music celebration for 2013, taking place thanks to funding secured from the Department of Communities and Local Government and Arts Council England.

Launched by Communities Minister Don Foster at St Pancras International station, who picked up the ukulele to join in with a performance with the Uke Choir, and was joined by performers from the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony. Our Big Gig builds on the success of previous annual Bandstand Marathon events. The initiative is coordinated by arts organisation Superact and last year’s event marked the closing of the London 2012 Games with 9,000 people take part in the simultaneous playing of Coldplay’s ‘Viva La Vida’ across the UK.

Our Big Gig 2013 will give members of the public the opportunity to attend free gigs in their local community, as well as participating in a range of musical activities particularly for those who are new to music. Hundreds of events across the UK between the 11th – 14th July will take place in indoor and outdoor performance spaces and local people can choose where they want to hold their event with an aim to showcase unique local music talent in unusual places.

The Our Big Gig initiative has today issued a call out for community event organisers to sign up to and get involved in putting on a gig in their area, bringing together diverse groups of people and celebrating their achievements as a community. 275 community events organisers will be selected to receive funding towards their event, marketing materials (posters, banner and t-shirts), PR support, training opportunities and the chance to have their event listed and promoted on the ‘Our Big Gig’ website.

Speaking at the launch Communities Minister Don Foster said: “These events will provide free music, entertainment and the chance for people right across the country to meet and get to know other residents of their city, town or village.  Last year 200,000 people attended free concerts over the closing weekend of the Paralympics, and just like the games themselves they brought people from all walks of life together.   The government is keeping the Olympics spirit alive and making the games and their legacy benefit current and future generations and these concerts are an important part of this.”

Don Foster added: “I’m calling on all aspiring musicians an d their communities and councils across the country to come forward and set up a free local concert this summer to showcase every kind of music and instrument from accordions to xylophones and zithers.”

Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said: “Our Big Gig will be a real summer highlight. Up and down the country, communities will be involved in running their own music events, in a range of venues, introducing audiences to new bands, artists and styles of music.

“This is a great opportunity for communities to think big, to nurture home grown talent, and to come together, in celebrating the many joys that music can bring. I can’t wait to see the results.”

Organisations can apply to host an ‘Our Big Gig’ and find out more information at

Editor’s Notes

About SuperactSuperact is a not-for-profit arts organisation, established in 2006, using creativity to improve the health and wellbeing of people from a wide variety of backgrounds and abilities.


Working across a range of communities within the UK and internationally we use the arts to make a significant contribution to people’s lives; breaking down barriers, building self-esteem, promoting social inclusion and employability, and providing strong channels of expression and communication where previously they were not well established or perhaps did not exist at all.


Superact exists to help people gain access to arts based projects and initiatives that deliver awareness, principally within the healthcare, education and criminal justice systems. It might be helping a person with dementia maintain stronger links with a fading past, helping a young offender discover a sense of self-worth and expression that might prevent re-offending or giving children the chance to experience the creativity of other cultures.









About DCLGThe Department works to move decision making power from central government to communities, putting them in charge of local services and planning, showing them how their money is being spent, and working to bring communities and people from all backgrounds together.





About Arts Council England

Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2011 and 2015, we will invest £1.4 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.





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