Just as the final plans were being made to announce The Hannells Darley Park Concert, the country went into lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Owing to the continued need for social distancing and to ensure the safety of the public, no date has yet been given for when large-scale public events can be held again. This means it is not possible for this year’s concert on Sunday 30 August to go ahead as planned.
So instead, Derby LIVE is teaming up with Sinfonia Viva, the orchestra of the East Midlands, and BBC Radio Derby to bring The Hannells Darley Park Concert to audiences at home. On the same date as the original event, viewers and listeners will be able to rediscover highlights from last year’s show on along with new performances, commentary and interviews, on BBC Radio Derby and online.
Derby LIVE are delighted that the sponsors who were originally involved in this year’s outdoor concert are also supporting this innovative celebration of music. They are Hannells Estate Agents, Flint Bishop Solicitors, HUUB, Mortgage Advice Bureau, Stratstone BMW and MINI Derby and WDS.
The show will be broadcast on BBC Radio Derby and online on Sunday 30 August. It will be free of charge. The full programme is being finalised and will be announced nearer the date.
New content will include pieces recorded by a cabaret band of seven musicians from Sinfonia Viva under socially-distanced conditions, led by conductor James Holmes, a familiar face from the Darley Park Concerts who was due to lead this year’s live event. Sinfonia Viva’s new recordings are supported by Rolls-Royce.
Celebrated Derbyshire vocalist Andy Quinn, who specialises in Big Band and West End numbers and delighted the crowds at The Hannells Darley Park Concert in 2018, has confirmed that he will also be performing.
As well as celebrating live music, The Hannells Darley Park Concert is renowned for bringing the community together. This year a social media wall will allow audience members to share photos of how they’re recreating the concert in their home or garden, and share messages.
Councillor Robin Wood, Derby City Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism, said: “Although Covid-19 has affected the way we live our lives in so many ways, we felt that we couldn’t let the summer pass without celebrating the tradition of The Hannells Darley Park Concert in some form. Get a picnic together and enjoy the concert in your own home or back garden, with friends or family. There will be much to enjoy in this year’s broadcast which will keep everyone safe, and show that the will is there to bring events back to Derby, when we are able to hold them again, in a way which feels comfortable for everyone.”
Peter Helps, Chief Executive of Sinfonia Viva, said: “Darley Park is a very special annual event and a firm favourite with all our musicians who thoroughly enjoy the warm and friendly atmosphere both on stage and around the park. We had fantastic feedback about last year's concert so I hope that regulars and newcomers alike will take the opportunity to enjoy some great music and artists - albeit it at home this year. Fingers crossed that this will be a one-off and that we will be back together in 2021 - come rain or shine."
Rachael Gilchrist, Assistant Editor at BBC Radio Derby, said: “We are delighted to be involved in broadcasting the virtual Darley Park concert this year. It’s a fantastic event, which is hugely supported by the people of Derby and further afield. It will be great to get thousands of people in their gardens with their glasses charged and radios on to make this year’s concert one to remember.”
Last year’s concert celebrated 1969 and Golden Anniversaries through a programme of music put together by the Grammy-nominated Sinfonia Viva, introduced by Andy Twigge and Steve
Jordan of BBC Radio Derby. After an atmospheric start with Also Sprach, the theme from the classic Sci-Fi film 2001 A Space Odyssey, crowd favourites included the Derby County theme, Steve Bloomer’s Watchin’, performed as never before. Soloist Grant Doyle, who has sang more than a dozen roles for the Royal Opera, was another highlight.
The conductor from last year, Ben Pope, is re-mastering the sound for this year’s broadcast and will also present live introductions to each piece of music.
Once again, the Hannells Darley Park Concert is supported by local businesses which have the city at their heart. These are: Hannells, the family-run, award-winning estate agents; UK top 200 law firm Flint Bishop Solicitors; HUUB, specialists in performance wetsuits and apparel as worn by Olympic medallists; Stratstone BMW and MINI, Derby, part of the UK’s leading luxury automotive retailer; and WDS, suppliers of managed print services and document management solutions to businesses for 16 years.
Michael Brain, joint Founder of Hannells, said: “Having been involved in the concert for some time, and having seen it get better and better, we’re disappointed that we can’t do the proper show this year. But the council have put their heads together and come up with something different for the people of Derby. It will bring back fond memories from last year, and give people something to look forward to, until we can all get together again.”
To find out more about The Hannells Darley Park Concert at Home, go to https://www.derbylive.co.uk/whats-on/the-hannells-darley-park-concert-at-home/
Everyone who has already bought tickets for this year’s concert will be contacted and refunded. There is no need for them to contact Derby LIVE as we will be in touch with them direct, as our Sales and Information Centre at Riverside Chambers currently remains closed.