Web Posted - Wed June 30,
Held in MFO Park in
Bahnhof Zurich Oerlikon during the weekend of the 25-27th June 2004, this
government assisted annual event celebrated its third anniversary with the
Steelband Festival being added to its programme this year but not enjoying
the benefits of any funding and very little sponsorship. Twenty-six Swiss steelbands performed over the three-day period. During the preparation of
the event it caught the eye of pan lovers, players and responsible persons,
involved in music and its culture, from all over the world. They were all
glad to hear what Off Beat/Steel Magic were doing in Switzerland and wanted
to be part of it but at least twenty four bands and soloists from
Switzerland, Germany, Holland, Trinidad, England and the USA were refused
owing to financial constraints.
It was revealed that the interest shown
would be used as a tool to encourage the Swiss Government, Education
authorities and local sponsors to invest in future festivals.
The organisers of
the Steelband Festival was Off Beat “Magic” event with President, Monika
Nicoletti-Tung, Logistics/Engineering manager, Eduard “Edi” Stolz,
Restaurant & Bar manager Yoli Hausherr and over 40 hard working volunteers
ensuring that it was a great success.
NORD Fest Steelband Festival is the first three-day steelband festival in
Zurich and possibly Switzerland. The aims of the Festival were
• to grasp the
opportunity to infect the general public at the NORD Fest 2004 with the
sweet magical sound of steel pan and its musical variety.
• to promote the
steelpan instrument in Zurich and Switzerland on a whole.
• to attract the
attention of the Swiss government and the responsible parties in the
ministry of education for music.
The “Jewels” of the
festival were the two youth steel bands, Kool Kats
and Steel Magic,
highlighting the fact that the steel pan culture has a future and will
continue to prosper in Switzerland far into the future. In addition the
dedication and hard work of tutors/musicians in the likes of Ralph
Richardson, Junior Gill, Tamla Batra, David Henry, Claudio Pini, Patrik
Bernhard and Micha Hausemann have made the festival a success with the
wealth of their music offered during the three days and the work they
perform over the years ensures the continuity of the steel pan culture.
On the Friday,
Agagilla, Steelistics, Tartarugas, Quilombo and the Apple Steel Bands
entertained the audience in the MFO Park from 6:00 p.m. Saturday saw the
steelbands performance kick off at 11:00 a.m. with Frangipani followed by Pantaloni, Tropical Dreams, Carambolage, Kool Kats, Pan Dreams, Rhythmics
Selection, Pan Phonics, No Panique, Ferrum Helveticum, Bollito Misto
Provocaters steelbands. Bollito Misto was the only ‘Pan around the neck‘
steelband to perform at the event and they took great pleasure in leading
the crowds through the Park to the performance area. The area’s seating
capacity was filled. The highlight of the evening was by no doubt the Provocaters, a band made up of all the pan tutors/musicians or in their own
words, ‘all de ole dogs’ in Zurich – including Ralph Richardson, Junior
Gill, David Henry and Paul Francis. Their performance was a musical treat.
At one point in their performance the ‘Pan Jumbie’ took hold of me and as I
stood in front of the stage with hair rising on my arms, heart beating to
the rhythm of their music and my spirit soaring in Pan heaven. I felt that
they were the perfect messengers for steelpan and its culture in
started at 12:00 p.m. Pfanne Steel Band initiated the performances of the
day followed by Steel Magic, Off Beat, Kaleidoscope, Cariba, Zurich
Renegades, Steel Parrots, Danza Mania, Corazon Latino and Sweat & Steel
steelbands bringing down the curtain on what was a very well planned,
entertaining and enjoyable event. Each steelband’s performance was individual and a highlight in itself proving the versatility and dexterity
of the instrument and its musicians.
In addition to the steelband festival there was also extra entertainment prvided in the MFO
Park with lots of different playground rides and bouncy castles for the
children and another stage for music bands and choirs. International cuisine
was on offer from the many stalls operating on the day from Thai, Indian,
Swiss, Vietnamese, Mexican, and Spanish to Jamaican. So you when you felt
famished, food, drink and sweet pan music was supplied.
Look out for NORD
Fest 2005. It will be a treat so see and be there!
For additional pictures click here
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