The bandstand was a key feature of the original Rowntree Park. In the park’s early days the bandstand was just past the lychgate/dovecot (after you walk through from the cafe). The conductor of the Rowntree Band in 1921 was G E Lickley. The brass band would play many weekends and there was seating for people put out (stored under the cafe).
In 1929 the bandstand was moved to the Southside of the park. From 1932 the bandmaster was Mr G Walker. The bandstand continued to be well used for a number of years with major repairs in 1953. By 1969 the bandstand was less well used and was showing signs of decline. Major flood damage in the 1980s and 1990s led to the bandstand being demolished. Only the base remained.
The park was awarded a lottery grant, and in the early 2000s many areas of the park were restored. At this time the bandstand area was made into an outdoor area that is still there today. Over the years there have been a number of events held in this area, but sadly continuous flooding means the power supplies no longer work. Events can still happen in this area but a generator must be used for power. Only last year we had Lindyhopping, drumming, York University theatre events and more. The Friends have explored the possibility of getting a covering for the stage area in the future (if we can find funding) and get more music and theatrical events back in this amazing open area space.
The Friends of Rowntree Park volunteers have brought more music back into the park over the last couple of years. Over summer weekends from 2018 we have had live music events held under the cafe and these events have been free and well attended. This is something we hope to continue to do – once we are all allowed out again!