Bandstand concerts herald summer of music in Regent's Park

The South London Jazz Orchestra play one of the free concerts on the Regent's Park bandstand

The South London Jazz Orchestra play one of the free concerts on the Regent's Park bandstand - Credit: Courtesy Friends of Regent's Park and Primrose Hill

A free summer festival of concerts gets under way this Saturday in Regent's Park.

Organised by the Friends of Regent's Park and Primrose Hill, events run throughout the summer on Sunday afternoons and the Bank Holiday at the Bandstand - with jazz music on the Broadwalk from 2-4pm on Saturdays, featuring performances by talented London music students awaiting graduation.

Ranging from choirs to big bands and local orchestras, the picnic concerts have proved popular over the past two years drawing crowds of up to 900.

Some of the hundreds of park users who enjoyed one of the free concerts last year

Some of the hundreds of park users who enjoyed one of the free concerts last year - Credit: Courtesy Friends of Regent's Park and Primrose Hill

Sunday, July 17 will be Bandstand Memorial Day commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Hyde Park and Regent's Park bombings on July 20, 1982 when IRA explosives killed 11 servicemen and seven horses.

Seven bandsmen of the Royal Green Jackets died when a bomb exploded underneath the Regent's Park bandstand during a lunchtime concert.

A plaque at the base of the bandstand commemorates the tragedy, and every year survivors and families gather there for a memorial service. This year there will be a service of remembrance at 11.15am before The Quicksilver Buglers and Central Band of the British Legion play.

The Royal Green Jackets

The Royal Green Jackets at their memorial ceremony to mark the anniversary of the IRA bomb that killed seven band members at Regent's Park bandstand in 1982 - Credit: Courtesy Friends of Regent's Park and Primrose Hill

Other performers over the three-month series include the Chiltern Hills Brass Band, the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, The Mardi Gras Jazz Band and an end of season party by the Kew Wind Orchestra on September 18.

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Mark Elliott, chair of Friends of Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill, said: “It is a  joy to see the pleasure these concerts bring to residents and visitors. We have made our open-air concerts one of the best programmes in the London parks.

"In our 46 free concerts this year there is something for everyone - brass bands, concert bands and jazz bands big and small. There really is so much choice in this year’s programme featuring many local concert bands as well as bands from both York and Bournemouth. Leave your problems at the gate and come and enjoy what we have to offer."

The Grimsdyke Brass Band

The Grimsdyke Brass Band will once again play at Regent's Park Bandstand on August 21, 2022 at 12.30pm - Credit: Courtesy Friends of Regent's Park and Primrose Hill

A poster of events can be found at www.friendsofregentspark.org/activities-events/music/ and details of the Bandstand Memorial Day at www.regentsparkmusicfestival.org.uk/