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Drum Festivals

Many countries present as a smorgasbord in the fine and meaningful art of drumming in major drum festivals. Perhaps you think of the military and marching drums, or have given into tribal instincts common to many parts of the world in association with drumming. Drum Circles, Rock&Roll, creativity, ancient rituals, and good rhythm theories, produce the coming together of fantastic drum festivals, uniting all alike. Good times and education are ours. Together we can do it.

Contemporary & Classical Drum Festivals All Over the World

To give you a perfect example of a contemporary, well organized, and “up-to-date” drum festival, lets take a look at “Pasic” of United States fame (Indiana).120 concerts, and more, will present at this single drum festival and event. So exciting! In addition to the concerts, you can expect drum classes, work shops, and presentations from all over the world. All over the world is swiftly becoming a reoccurring theme with drum festivals. PASIC Marching Percussion Festival will also be blooming in full color for your enjoyment and participation, with a chance to battle in the “Drum Line”.

Electronic drums hopped in the scene around 1976 and introduced a whole new set of drumming which has become highly evolved. Yamaha and Roland jumped on the band wagon with their introductions of the electronic drums developing “Techno” on Roland’s TR-808 and TB-303. These are drum machines combined with the almighty bass synthesizer which is patterned based, and drumming, never-the-less. When drumming married electronic bass…, rhythm, anticipation, and expectation gave way to techno drum festivals and gatherings featuring the dance as a partner. The two have always walked hand in hand.

Speaking of electronic drums, bass, and festivals, in Southern California we have “Beyond Wonderland”. “Beyond Wonderland” presents as a drum festival along with electronic bass drum festivals in other parts of the U.S. such as the “Sonic Bloom” festival ( held every Spring in Colorado). Check them out. In France we have “Abode in the Snow”, and “Jungle Dam Weekende“ in the Netherlands. Russia has “Pirat Station” and Germany presents “Dreamland” as a bass and electronic drums festival. Drum festivals and drummers coming together all over the world. These are only to name a few.

Where Did It Come From? How Did It Happen? Drum Festivals

Contrary to popular belief, the first drums made their appearance in ancient China. A form of a drum festival was held in their religious ceremonies and rituals. Drums went on to be used in wars and as forms of communication (as in sending messages). Africa (whom had already introduced tribal type drums) and Cuba came on the scene in the 1800’s putting bongos as an advantage for a portable beat in gatherings of fellow drummers and dancers.  Drum festivals came from a variety of drummers and followers coming together from all over the world.

Lets look at a few of the key players whom have made a spotlight in the drumming world in addition to the fine examples handed us from remote regions and other well known examples of fine drum and percussion work such as Spain and Africa. You can count almost every country of the world as having a contribution to the drum festival. 

  • Nova Scotia- Nova Scotia has set a fine example in the Rock & Roll world with the Cape Breton International Drum Festival organized in 2001. It is a yearly event happening around the beginning of May with a workshop type class on the second day. Many famous drummers have taken the stage there including the ones from the band “Styx” and “Yes”, for you classical dreamers.
  •  Japan- Who would ever think of the “Taiko” as being a star player. The Taiko represents a large role of Japanese percussion type instruments often referred to as “Wadaiko”, or Japanese drums. In late July of every year, many gather in front of the Matsumo Castle for the Japanese Wadaiko Drum Festival.  It is exciting, note worthy, and also FREE OF CHARGE. Now you can’t BEAT that.

Continent of the “Caribbean”-  The seven islands of the archipelago known as the area of Gaudeloupe is home to the Gwoka. The Gwoka represents the most undiluted and purest form of what we know as a “Festival of the Drums” and the celebration it represents. Gwoka, French Creole wordage, simply means “Big Drum”. The Gwoka came in existence, as currently known, during the transatlantic slave trade era of the 17th century.

The drum festival of Gwoka served as an inspiration for the current day drum festival in Grenada, home to the “Tivoli Drummers” and birthplace of the GRENADA DRUM FESTIVAL. Here you will experience a rich style of choreographed drumming seemingly not excelled or paralleled any place else on the Earth. This is definitely worth checking out as part of a pure roots pack for all drum festival goers seeking a total experience.

Drum Festivals Overall

Drum festivals are being held all over the Earth. We have a fairly good definition of the drum, but exactly what constitutes a festival? A festival can be defined as a time of celebration. A joyful “Celebration of Drums” is fitting, and has deserved this spot since the very beginning of time. Lets go on. A festival often has special observances marked by a program of events and specialized entertainment. Yes, this hold trues for drum festivals. Many of the modern day drum festivals feature the fine performance of gifted drummers along with their bands. At times the drummers perform solo and offer advice and special tutoring through drum clinics as part of the overall festival.

Some of the more ancient type observances and drum festivals, in a cultural surrounding, offer such treats as fashioning your own drum or going over feasible design ideas. There is much that can happen at a drum festival for both learning and mega entertainment. You are in for a very good time. Like all well tended festivals, regardless of the kind, drum festivals are an excellent opportunity for gathering from all over the world in sharing, bonding, and teaching.