Laventille Steelband Festival
Laventille, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and
Monday July 18, 2005
The Laventille Steelband Festival (LSF) Committee, organiser of the sixth
annual Laventille Steelband Parade will achieve a milestone this year, by
staging the event devoid of DJ music. The event takes place in
Laventille, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.
The steelband parade will take place on Sunday, August 7, between 4 pm to
midnight, where columns of steelbands - both conventional and single pan -
will take the spotlight, between Mc Allister Street to Leon Street in
Laventille, as part of the LSF’s contribution to the celebration of
Initially, the parade, designed to showcase the national musical instrument
was rivaled by the amplified sounds of DJ music, which ultimately affected
the presentations of participating steelbands.
As fate would have it, proprietors in the community have recognised the
potential of the parade, which has consequently led to them reducing the
level of electronic music on the day.
At this year’s sixth annual Festival, however, the LSF committee has
intensified its drive towards ensuring that pan music is exclusive along the
According to Michael Cooper, chairman of the LSF committee, "the aim is to
establish a quality event. The Festival’s growth and popularity
have vindicated the committee’s efforts to stage such an event in
Laventille. The co-operation of DJs over the years has been excellent,
though there were incidents of misunderstanding. Nevertheless, this
year, we expect to make our vision of a parade, free of DJ music 100 per
Last year’s parade drew an estimated 15,000 patrons to the community and was
attended by Trinidad and Tobago's President, His Excellency Professor George
Maxwell Richards, Senator Joan Yuille-Williams, Minister of Community
Development, Culture and Gender Affairs, Energy Minister Eric Williams,
Police Commissioner Trevor Paul and other dignitaries.
Thirty-seven bands are listed to take part in the 2005 parade. On the
day, a re-enactment of the Emancipation story will take place in the form of
a road show, with exhibitions in drumology, tamboo bamboo and dance
presentations ahead of the pan music frenzy.
Also, junior and adults awards will be presented to members of the community
in the categories sport, culture, education and community service.
From inception, the presentation of awards has been an integral part of the
LSF programme. Annually, special awards are bestowed on persons who have and
continue to contribute to the development of the steelpan and engage in
community service in Laventille.
For yet another year, the organising committee has chosen the theme "Proud
To Be... Laventille," in keeping with its desire to empower a greater sense
of pride and belonging among those in the community.
Before the pan parade takes centre-stage, there will be a programme focusing
on youth development in the form of a steelpan camp.
The camp takes place from July 18th through the 22nd at the Laventille
Community Complex, Trinity Avenue, Laventille sponsored by Angostura.
Now in its fifth year, the camp caters for youths between the ages of 9 and
17 years, selected from schools in the Laventille district. Among the
laudable objectives of the camp are: to improve the knowledge of the
steelpan and its history, to identify and generate an interest in careers in
the steelpan industry, to improve the image of the instruments and maintain
Laventille’s prominence in the pan world.
At the camp, students will cover topics such as music theory and practice
and pan making, in addition to exploring careers associated with the
national musical instrument.