I don’t know where to start trying to write up the ABC event which is now finished.

A small group of us has been involved in organising it for a few months and at last the time came for the actual event to happen. We got to the site on the Sunday and the participants were going to start arriving on the Tuesday afternoon so they could set up camp, get sorted into the right level groups for drumming and start workshops on the Wednesday morning.

There were about 150 people booked in and it was an enormous amount of organising – the site, toilets, put up shower curtains, mark out fire lanes (had to have a 25′ access way round the whole site in case emergency vehicles were needed), programmes and schedule, crew schedule, put up an outside sink and tap, caterers, sort out the African artists’ camping arrangements, information tent/reception area, car park field next door, rubbish and re-cylcing, you’d never believe how much toilet paper 200 people need for a week,  warn the neighbours about the noise and invite them, evening entertainment and running order – just to get started – oh and not to forget TO HAVE A BRILLIANT TIME!!!!! The organising team (about 7 of us) and the crew were brilliant. The workshops were brilliant. The evening performances were – yes you guessed it – BRILLIANT.

The drumming, dance and song workshops were two days on, one day off, two days on with three or four a day you could attend. The camp was for intermediate and advanced drummers only (no beginners) so the standard was exceptional.

ABC Workshop

We had the cream of the cream of African teachers – world class performers and on the last night all the teachers got together to do a joint performance that I’ll never forget till I die!

On the day off we had demonstrations of African cooking, drum-skinning etc and it was good to have a more relaxed day in the middle.

Drum Skinning

I’ve put up photos on Facebook and there are link to some wonderful albums for those who are on Facebook they’re well worth looking at.

Really, this is only a snapshot of the week – it was such a good experience though I’m exhausted. I’ve been working on feedback forms and there are some things we’d have to change a bit if we do it next year but nearly 90% said they’d come back and had a wonderful time!

Drum Skinning2

Some Photos