The GRCC Music Festival of 1933

Yes you read the headline correctly, GRCC organised a music festival in 1933. Carry on reading for this fascinating tale from our past.

When you think of GRCC as a charity, you would be forgiven for not associating us with music festivals, but in 1933 that’s exactly what we were hosting. Back in the early days of our organisation, work was split into committees. There were committees for health, education and juvenile welfare amongst many others. The committee that is relevant to this story is the music committee which had the idea of uniting communities with a music festival.

The committee wanted to emphasise village life and therefore decided to hold the music festival in Stow-on-the-Wold instead of Gloucester. Six mixed choirs were brought together for May 4th and 5th with judges in place to decide the winner.

We’re not saying by any means that this was the Glastonbury of Gloucestershire but this was during a time in England when music, and especially folk song and dance, were universally considered the means by which men and women expressed themselves. The aim for the music committee was to regain for music the place in the interest and affection of village people.

The festival was a great success for GRCC and for the village of Stow-on-the-Wold. This was demonstrated by Mr Arnold Goldsbrough, the adjudicator, as he commented, ‘It is hard to be restrained when speaking of the festival held at Stow on May 4th and 5th 1933, since it was one of the most happy and successful festivals that I have ever taken part in’.

The only disappointing aspect of this, is that we don’t have any photos of the event! We can’t say for sure whether we will hold another music festival but it was certainly interesting for us to discover this part of our history.