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Australian Steelband Festival 2013

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by Janice Heath (subscribe)
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We be jammin mon
Marysville is not ordinarily the kind of place you would expect to find a celebration of Caribbean music and culture, however on the weekend of 12-14 April, Marysville will host The Australian Steelband* Festival 2013, the first festival of its kind in Australia.

This Festival showcases three steelbands from the local area as well as bands from interstate and overseas in a programincluding individual band performances and Steelbands Panorama Playoffs. On the Sunday, Community Super Steelband, Australia's largest combined pan orchestra of 150 pan players perform a shared Calypso. If you've never before heard a large group of drummers playing together, it's an amazing sound, and an experience you shouldn't miss, particularly given the open air, mystic mountains setting of Marysville.

Colourful Music / Photo courtesy of Ozpans via Flickr


A highlight of the Festival is the Saturday Calypso Night with Trinidadian Calypso showband "The Trinidad Connection", CaribVic's Carnival Masqueraders and Nicky Bomba's tropical 6-piece Bustamento.

Denis Gonzalez / Photo courtesy of Ozpans via Flickr


Carnivale Masque / Photo courtesy of Ozpans via Flickr


Bustamento / Photo courtesy of Ozpans via Flickr


As well as all the music, there will be a street parade, Caribbean market, Caribbean food, children's activities and even a (goat-friendly) Trinbago goat race.

Pantastic / Photo courtesy of Ozpans via Flickr


Put on a 'party face' / Photo courtesy of Ozpans via Flickr


If you would like to stay overnight or for the whole weekend in Marysville or nearby areas, the Visitor Information Centre can help with accommodation options in Marysville and surrounds. The area also offers a range of activities for visitors, including walks, waterfalls, road and mountain biking, wildlife, trout farms, fishing and scenic views. Bruno's Art & Sculpture Garden is a must-do.

You can get to Marysville by car in around two hours from Melbourne. The road is winding (and very beautiful) going through the Black Spur between Healesville and Narbethong. If you would prefer that someone else drive, McKenzie's Tourist Services run bus services from Southern Cross station to Marysville.

So, why not come along, enjoy a day or a weekend away in the Caribbean without even leaving Victoria and help celebrate Marysville's continuing recovery from the 2009 bushfires.

Tickets for the festival are available now from Moshtix, by phone 1300 438 849 (GET TIX) and on the day in Marysville from the Ticket Office and selected retailers. Tickets are not required for anyone under the age of 16.

*What's a steelband? Steel drums or "pans" had their origins in Trinidad where they have evolved from using metal containers such as paint cans and biscuit tin-cans through to empty oil drums. For the story of steel pan music see this site.
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Why? The hills are alive with the sound of drums
When: 12-14 April, 2013
Where: Marysville
Cost: Festival Pass $60 adult, children under 16 free, single day passes also available
Your Comment
SO great to be able to support the Marysville community
by Lucy Graham (score: 2|275) 2179 days ago
This is a fantastic opportunity for all music lovers and those who appreciate the arts in all forms. Just be in Marysville to hear and enjoy the music played on these recycled oil drums, tuned to perfection for the Carnival atmosphere in Marysville next weekend.
by kespa (score: 0|2) 2174 days ago
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