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The Best Festivals To Discover The Drums!

By Yann, published on 12/12/2018 Blog > Music > Drums > How To Listen To Live Percussion?

Every year there are millions of large and small music festivals where you can listen to live bands, the best drum music and see musicians on stage performing. If you are a performer, drummer, jazz music lover or improvisational lover of a percussionist instrument. There is a festival for you where you can be inspired, amazed, and surrounded by other like-minded people.

History Of The Drum

The drum is a percussion instrument and must consist of at least 1 membrane covered surface which is known as the drumhead. It is from the drum head that music is made, by striking it with something, typically hands or a drumstick of some kind.

Historically drums were used for ceremonies, music, to communicate messages, to evoke emotions, spiritual or religious and for motivation or respect. The sound of percussion instruments like the drum is highly dependent on how it was made, big or small, wide or thin and this even includes what it is made of. Drums come in many styles, and different drums are suited to different styles of music. They all make very distinctive sounds, you may know of the drumkit, but the bongo, conga and djembe are also types of drum.

Drums are some of the oldest instruments in recorded history, and despite the difference in design of some modern-day drums, they have retained the same construction and functionality over thousands of years.

In this article, we will look at different festivals that are dedicated to drums from around the world, where bands will excite you and allow you to discover the drums in a way that you have never seen! Can we have a drum roll, please!

Go to small music festivals Listen to live bands and see musicians on stage performing. Photo Source: Unsplash

Top 7 Worldwide Drum Festivals

The UK Drum Show

The UK drum show dedicated to everything about the drums. Drumming legends attend this event to present you with their skills and answer your questions. This is better than any festival since you actually get to meet the musicians behind the music and ask them questions which can help your own drumming journey.

The show is perfect for beginners who don’t know how to play the drums as well as professional musicians. Beginner drum lessons are popular with visitors, where you can learn how to hold the drumsticks, get an introduction to your drum kit and learn to play a basic drum beats. The free lessons are a great bonus, and the live shows all add up to what promises to be an electrifying two-day event.

Bag’Show Drum Festival In Paris

  • Location: Paris, France
  • When: Annually end of October
  • Price: From €25
  • Website: baguetterie.fr

This show is exciting; set up like a festival and a trade show and workshop for everything that you would ever need to hear, see or feel related to the drums. They have it all, drum sheet music, drumming lessons, your dream drumset, drumming teachers and even tech smart drumming machines. But the best part or the icing on the cake is that they have performers on stage for your viewing pleasure.

The Bag’Show festival is the biggest drummers event in France and drums have been beaten since 1979 in Paris. The artist changes every year but visiting this event, you can take the opportunity to discover or rediscover drummers like Rodney Holmes (Santana), Ash Soan (jazz fusion), Derrick Wright (Adele), Romain Joutard (Frero Delavega, Christophe Mae) or Adam Marcello.

Throughout the day drummers and percussionists demonstrate their gift on the stage. Once you have seen them perform why not discover the new products on the market from big brands like Yamaha, Roland, Gretsch, Ludwig or Tama. Even the acoustic and electronic instruments can be tried for free on the various stands.

This is a great place to go to have some classes to learn how to play drums like a rock star, buy the instruments for your new band, or buy your first drum and have some beginner drum lessons. Why not get an experimental drum so that you will be able to play funk, reggae or jazz with your group. This festival brings together under one roof the Amateur, and professional artists, drummers, specialized journalists and manufacturers, and all music styles are explored, pop music, electronic music, African music and much more.

Beginner drum lessons are popular with visitors, The show is perfect for beginners who don’t know how to play the drums as well as professional musicians. Photo Source: Unsplash

Drum Festival Switzerland

In the 1920s the drums were in the spotlight at the front of the stage, this was the beginning of its modern history. Drums were the cornerstone of jazz music, present from the bebop era, and played the drums at every jazz concert. Gradually, the drum migrated to the back of the stage, but they did not lose its importance in the sound of the music.

As they gained popularity, the drums passed through each style of music. But the drummers deserve much more than a back seat as it is a real talent that many of the musicians demonstrate when they play the drums. The Drum festival strives to show all of the possible kinds of expressiveness of the instrument by inviting talented drummers that are little known in Europe to gain exposure for their craft.

International Festival of Drums and Fanfares

  • Location: La Baule, France
  • Price: Free (Indoor, Private concerts may be charged)

At the beginning of its popularity, the drum bands consisted solely of drummers playing drums and was often used as a military musical instrument to motivate the troops and give rhythm to their march. The aspect of this formation gave rise to the marching bands that we can see so often in parades.

Marching bands, of course, have, In addition to the drums, the brass band which consists of many instruments (trumpet, tuba, trombone, clarinet, saxophone, flute). Many festivals have their fanfare, and sometimes even several, to the delight of young and old.

At this festival, the musicians offer different shows over three days: concerts, parades, outdoor games synced with light animations. The drum is not the only instrument to be honoured, but it is another way to discover it, in a more traditional form.

The London Drum Show, English Drum Festival

This event brings us a weekend in London dedicated to the drums. There are drum masterclasses with musician Jonathan Rodney, Pick Withers or Pete Cater. Which are on a first come first served basis. Throughout the show, advice is provided by professional drummers, on acoustic and electronic drums styles all of which are showcased and all of the equipment you could dream of is for sale including the electronic drum,  many things on sale at preferential prices.

Free drumming classes are offered for all levels where you can learn about drum kits, the drum beat, the drum set, drum patterns and the sticks that you should use. After your free drum lessons, you can see vintage drums on display for your viewing pleasure. In 2018, a tribute to Keith Moon, the famous drummer from The Who, will be rendered by several drummers. drum teacher could offer to keep you updated.

This is a great show where you can watch your idols perform, Learn to play the drums with different kits, trying out different styles and buy the best kit for your own band and musical adventure.

The Drums Summit Festival

  • Location: Toulouse, France
  • When: Annually in March
  • Price: From €5  – €12
  • Website: www.baguetterie.fr

Every year for the past 18 years, the Drums Summit festival has been held in March and offers several dates of jazz concerts, around the drums.

This festival is family friendly and has great to take part in the activities, for adults and children. You can take part in doing a drum solo, learning drum beats, learn how to read sheet music,  take a look at a rock bands drum patterns, through to film-concerts, musical ensemble meetings, free drum lessons, masterclasses and jazz performances.

The famous jazz drummer André Ceccarelli is very often present sharing his jazz drumming, as are other celebrities. The goal of Drums Summit is above all the sharing of culture, regardless of the style of music.

It is very enriching to learn or advance Progress in areas that you had previously misunderstood. Photo Source: Unsplash

Other Events Related To The Drum

The drums are a fairly popular instrument, and several other events are popping up here and there. To offer one-off workshops, online lessons, open seminars, and drumming shows.

  • Drums Addict Festival: The last edition took place in 2010 in Bordeaux, but the association is still active, offering multiple tips to apprentice drummers. Who knows, maybe a new edition will see the light of day soon?
  • Drummers Festival: They have already had 25 sessions for this Belgian festival which offers concerts, musical ensembles and exclusive masterclasses over two days. The last edition took place in 2018 and honoured drummers and musicians Thomas Lang and Virgil Donati,
  • Drum Fest: Every year since 2012, the Drum Fest offers a drumming festival that looks like a fun competition between drummers.
  • Wikidrummers Festival: Since 2016, the festival welcomes international artists and offers a Groove Contest, the groove contest is judged on your drum patterns and skills and is open to all and subject to a jury vote,
  • Yamaha Drum Show: Drum brands occasionally show off with their merchandise. This is the case with Yamaha who regularly does this.

The world of drums is attracting more and more followers, and it is becoming normal to see new events flourish in connection with the percussion instrument.

Each year, it is, therefore, possible to participate in several festivals and events around drummers and drums, whether as a simply curious, amateur wishing to progress or professional looking for inspiration.

So which drum festival tempts you?


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