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Bringing gigs to Cheltenham key to boosting economy

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: March 28, 2013

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SOME of the country's greatest bands have been visiting Cheltenham in the last year.

But there is room – and an appetite – for more, with residents and businesses calling for Cheltenham to make its way on to the national musical map.

Among those who have graced the town's stages, are Welsh rock band Stereophonics, who were at Cheltenham Racecourse on March 21, and the Kaiser Chiefs who played in February.

Take That star Howard Donald played a DJ set in January to a packed out Subtone in Cheltenham, with Marvin Humes, from boy band JLS is preparing to perform an exclusive set at MooMoo Clubrooms this Saturday.

Susie Bradshaw, conferences and events manager at Cheltenham Racecourse, said it was important that more artists came to the town.

"We do offer something different at the Racecourse, a more intimate venue for both fans and artists," she said.

"It's very important we keep bringing people to the town, and keep organising gigs and people to come here.

"I know a lot of people enjoyed the Stereophonics when they came, it was a big success. We're looking to build on that, and hopefully bring in about a show a month.

"A lot of people come from all over the country for these performances. When the Stereophonics played, we had calls from people outside the town asking about directions or the weather, and I even recognised some Welsh accents.

"There is a market here for bands to come, and we already have a few acts lined up for the rest of the year.

"We try to promote the rest of the town as well, so if there are various festivals, we can encourage people to go.

"We also work with hotels to create packages for the visitors, so they might stay a long weekend, or after the gig."

Neil Ingram, 34, manager of the Frog and Fiddle pub in Cheltenham's High Street, often puts on live music acts.

He said: "It's great when there's a big band in town, but we could do more really. We've had Mumford and Sons in here a couple of years ago.

Hopefully we can get more people coming. The music scene is not bad and we have some good venues."

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  • ORCHIS  |  March 28 2013, 4:45PM

    I hope there will not be anymore outdoor music events at the racecourse. The noise levels from the Wychwood Festival but in particular the Greenbelt Festival are excessive and intrusive as residents living in Southam. Woodmancote and Bishops Cleeve can testify. When music can be heard behind double glazed doors and windows in homes several miles away then it cannot be fair to those choosing not to attend these events. The indoor Centaur is an excellent venue and this is the place for music, not outside.