The Band of the Year award was conceived in order to reflect the respective performances of bands in the Northern Ireland contests held throughout the year. Each section has its own Trophy with the overall winner also being awarded the Haughton Cup.
Band of the Year points are awarded on the following basis:
1st place – 4 points
2nd place – 3 points
3rd place – 2 points
4th place – 1 point
Results obtained at all contests organised by the Brass Bands Northern Ireland and North of Ireland Bands Association are eligible. Where Junior/Youth Bands are concerned, only points awarded at the annual BBNI Solo & Ensemble competition will count towards Band of the Year.
The awards are presented annually at the Brass Bands Northern Ireland Spring Festival Contest.
The first contest used to calculate points in each year is Brass in Concert (Fivemiletown).