In preparation for the construction of a new library in Castle Rock, the town band successfully found a way to preserve the iconic bandstand gazebo structure, though it continues to look for a new performance venue.
Established in 1999, the Castle Rock Band is a group of volunteers who play live music for free on holidays or during events. Since 2004, the band has mostly performed at the library bandstand, which was dedicated to the group as a free venue.
Caste Rock Band President Buddy Rich said the bandstand was built in partnership with the library and is a reproduction of the gazebo where Castle Rock’s original 1880s town band played.
Rich said the band was notified at the beginning of the year that construction on the new library would result in the demolition of the bandstand unless it found a new home.
With the bandstand’s ties to the community and historic aspects, Rich said the CALF Lowell Ranch agreed to have the bandstand relocated to their property a few miles away from the library.
“(The bandstand) was almost demolished and the claw just about had the opportunity to knock it down,” he said. “It has some historical reference … and there were going to be costs to the library whether it was torn down and hauled away or hauled away in a unit.”
To transport the bandstand, workers will carefully take apart the roof and legs from the concrete base to be reassembled at the ranch, which is scheduled to happen on March 30.
While Rich is glad the bandstand will be saved from demolition, he said the band still has a dilemma about where to play in the future. Rich said the band is in talks with the ranch to see if the band can still perform there, but no formal plans have been made yet.
“In talking with CALF, it will be their baby to decide how they want it set up,” he said.
Currently, the Castle Rock Band has two scheduled shows this year — one on Memorial Day weekend at the Castle Rock library and on the Fourth of July weekend at Festival Park.
However, Rich said the band would like to schedule more shows this year, but hasn’t been able to find a free venue available for regular use in the town.
“We played most of our shows outside at the bandstand, which is no more, and frankly, we’re kind of at a loss trying to find a place for us to play again,” he explained. “Everybody wants money for us to play there.”
Rich added that the band has reached out to the town to try and work out an arrangement to provide a regular venue for the band. Melissa Hoelting, community relations manager for Castle Rock, said discussions are ongoing.
“We’re actively working with the band to find dates that work for them,” she said.
For Rich and many other band members, it’s important to find a new venue to keep alive the tradition of the Castle Rock Band. The band was started as a nod to a similar troupe that performed in the town from 1887 through World War I and helps educate residents about that history, Rich said.
Occasionally, the band even performs in costumes that replicate the uniform of the 1800s band.
“We’re going to keep on trying to find places to play,” he said.
Though the bandstand will already be relocated, the Castle Rock Band’s Memorial Day performance will serve as a sort of send off for the transition, Rich said.
Anyone interested in hosting or joining the Castle Rock Band can contact the group at email@example.com.