Restored and renovated in 2009

The newly restored 'Birdcage' Bandstand
Photo by Tony Mould
Colourful musical entertainment
Photo by Tony Mould
The Bandstand by night
Photo by Tony Mould
The Mayor of Brighton and Hove, Councillor Ann Norman, watched by the City Macebearer, Robert Robertson, cuts the celebration cake
Photo by Tony Mould

Brighton & Hove’s historic seafront bandstand was officially opened this week on Friday July 24, after a major restoration project to return the building to its Victorian splendour.

Opened by the Mayor
Patcham Silver Band started off the evening of celebrations before Brighton & Hove Mayor, Councillor Ann Norman, performed the official opening by switching on the lights. Brighton & Hove Youth Orchestra’s string ensemble entertained invited guests and visitors, along with Samba band Estrondo and indie band Gloria Cycles.
Year long project
The opening ceremony and concert marks the culmination of a year-long, £950,000 restoration project by Brighton & Hove City Council. Built in 1884, the ornate cast iron structure is regarded as one of the best examples of a Victorian bandstand in the country. Work included removing the bandstand’s eight cast iron pillars and transporting them to a foundry in Derbyshire where 40 layers of paint were grit blasted off.

Extensive restoration
The coats of paint applied over the years helped to protect the bandstand in its exposed seaside location. The intricate decorative arches – or spandrels – linking the pillars were also removed for restoration and a new bridge was constructed to link the bandstand once more with King’s Road. Crowning the whole project is the oriental style-roof which has been transformed, among other work, with a new coating of copper.

Regular concerts
The deck of the bandstand will now be used for regular concerts for the first time in decades, while the base of the building has been converted into a café. A programme of Sunday afternoon concerts, featuring a wide range of musical entertainment is lined up for the summer, running from August to September.  

Comments about this page

  • I am so pleased to see that this beautiful feature has been restored at last. The local council has a lot to answer for regarding the deterioration of so many important features in the past. It is to be hoped that military bands feature heavily on the programmes and continue to keep the military in our hearts and minds. A happy day for me certainly.

    By Jeremy Homeward (27/07/2009)
  • It’s so nice to see the Bandstand back to its former glory. Lovely photos Tony.

    By Maralyn Eden (27/07/2009)
  • I always loved that bandstand.

    By Edward Castle (28/07/2009)
  • If you want to see a ‘before’ version, go to youtube and type in ‘Don’t go near the water’ and you will see some classic Beach Boys footage of when they played on the bandstand. It must have been cold that day.

    By Allan (28/07/2009)
  • I am pleased to know that the Bandstand has been reopened. I used to go with my Mum on a Sunday afternoon and listen to the bands playing, there were always a lot of people in deckchairs listening and enjoying the music. I used to use the toilet underneath and worry myself to death wondering if the band could hear me pulling the chain. Keep up the good work in bringing Brighton and Hove back to life.

    By Sandie Waller (28/07/2009)
  • I remember when we were small, back in the 1950s, strolling along the front with our parents to watch the band playing. When the National Anthem was struck up, everyone moving, children included, would immediately stand still and those who were seated rose to their feet. It’s lovely to think there will be bands back in the ‘Birdcage’.

    By Janet née Keats (29/07/2009)
  • Shame it’s already rusting!

    By George (28/02/2010)
  • On Saturday 28th September 2013, my nephew Kevin Bisiker was married to Susan Vella at this beautiful restored bandstand. It was a great day, we all had a really good time, and the reception was held a little way along the prom at the Brighton Music Hall. They did the couple very proud – the choice of food was either soup, sausage and mash, spotted dick and custard; or prawn cocktail, fish and chips with mushy peas, and knickerbocker glory. What a wonderful day it was and, as I was born and bred in Brighton, I felt very much at home.

    By Joyce Blackman (nee Bryant) (04/10/2013)
  • When I were “but a lad”, I was quite often taken to hear various (mainly Military) bands. My late father was a trombone player in the Patcham Silver Band and also in the Territorial Army Band, who used to rehearse in the TA Centre in Dyke Road. I always remember their bandmaster, a Mr McKeown who was by trade a cobbler and had a shop in Elm Grove. Due to years of work his fingers were slightly distorted. I wonder whether the Band still exists as does Patcham Silver?

    By John Snelling (26/10/2019)

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