In 2020, the nation will be commemorating the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, or VE Day for short. The days marks the end of hostilities in Europe at the end of Word War II, when the Allies formally accepted Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender on May 8, 1945.
This year, VE Day and the traditional May Day Bank Holiday Monday have been merged, so the holiday is now on a Friday, creating a three day weekend of commemorations in Great Britain and across Europe, in Australia, Canada, the USA and elsewhere.
At 3pm on Friday 8th May, thousands of pipers across the world playing “Battle’s O’er”, a traditional tune signalling the end of a battle, plus a new commissioned tune, “VE 75 Years”. Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced that the war was over at 3pm on 8th May 1945.
At the same time, glasses will be raised in thousands of pubs nationwide in The Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of World War 2.
At 6.55pm, town criers will deliver a special Cry for Peace Around the World, followed by the sounding of church bells at 7pm.
At 7pm, the parties start! As the official VE Day 75 website says:
“town and parish councils and local communities are being encouraged to organise celebrations and parties in streets and neighbourhoods, on town and village greens, and in pubs, clubs and hotels.”
Saturday sees more community 1940s themed parties, whilst churches will be holding a special Service of Celebration and Commemoration at 10.30am on Sunday morning.
Bells, bugles and bagpipes
If you’re planning a VE Day celebration, and you want a bagpiper, bugler or bellringers, you’ll need to book them now. Their skills will be much in demand over the weekend, as you can see! Call us with your requirements and we’ll draw on our extensive “little black book” of contacts to find the musicians you need.
In the mood for a party
Organising a VE Day party? Recreate those iconic sounds of the 1940s with a Glenn Millar style big band, a jazz band, or an Andrews Sisters vocal group for everyone to enjoy dancing to. At Matters Musical, we’ve got a whole range of swing bands, vocal groups and jazz bands ready to recreate the sounds of those wartime dances in village halls. Call us to book ASAP before the best bands are booked to boogie-woogie elsewhere!
Shake those tail feathers
If you’re not quite sure how to jive, swing, jitterbug or Lindy Hop, one of our specialist 1940s dance acts can teach you the moves. You can book a workshop in advance, or combine a demonstration dance and ‘have a go’ session as part of your whole party experience.
To inspire you, this is an amazing performance from the 1941 film “Hellzapoppin’” featuring Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers. Please don’t try this at home!
Dress to impress
For that true vintage vibe, why dress up in the clothes, uniforms and even the shoes of the period. Dress your venue too with bunting and flags. Not sure what to wear? Most of this group on YouTube do a great job, and the sailor definitely has all the right moves.
Or go more Ritzy with a mirrorball and tails, recreating a London club as in this clip from a TV series – check out the white tails, high hats, hairstyles and pencil moustaches!
Victory in Europe
VE Day 75 is billed as “A shared moment of celebration”. So why not share the music that kept other wartorn nations smiling, from French chanson to German cabaret, Viennese waltzes to Spanish guitar.
Did we mention the need to book early?
If you haven’t booked your VE Day entertainment yet, call us. We can help provide a whole range of entertainment, including some unusual ‘fusion’ acts that apply the style of one era to the music of another. Take it away, Miss Kitty and the Cads!