Friday, July 14, the big tent at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, will come alive with the sweet sounds of steel pan. From 5 p.m., the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) will be kicking off its famous “Pan Weekend” with the Republic Bank Pan Yard Lime, the perfect Crop Over afterwork lime.
This free event is a new addition to the Crop Over calendar, and the first of the steel pan events hosted by the NCF this weekend, with the Republic Bank Pandemonium following closely at the National Botanical Gardens on Sunday, June 16 at 2 p.m.
The NCF promises that the Republic Bank Pan Yard Lime will have everything a good afterwork pan lime should have – food, provided by a variety of food trucks, drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and of course, the highlight of the event, sweet tunes performed by a number of talented steel bands.
“What we wanted to do, is to give opportunity for community groups to perform andshow their stuff, because the community steel band groups and secondary schools steel orchestras are very vibrant,” said Karen Pestaina, Festival Events Planner at the NCF.
“It also ties in nicely with the developmental work that the NCF has been doing with our youth in schools and communities across Barbados.”
The event will feature 11 different steel pan groups which are a mix of community-based groups, like Calvary YPS Steel Orchestra, Aceworx Vintage Vybze Steel Orchestra, Hearts Aflame, and the St. Leonard’s Church Steel Praise Orchestra, as well as steel orchestras from a number of secondary schools, including the Lodge School, Christ Church Foundation School, the Alleyne School, Combermere, St. Leonard’s Boys’ School and Daryll Jordan School.
Exodus, a world-renowned steel orchestra, often described as “Trinidad and Tobago’s finest steel band”, will also be present at the Republic Bank Pan Yard lime, this Friday.
“We have Exodus performing, where they will be giving us a nice teaser for the Republic Bank Pandemonium which will be happening this coming Sunday as well,” Pestaina added.
“They will be giving some of their young players a chance to take the spotlight, which is something we are really excited about.”
For steelpan fans that like to get up and personal, the Republic Bank Pan Yard promises to be quite an intimate affair, as there will be no stage or deck for the performers.
“We know some people really enjoy the experience of being able to see the playing of the pan up close so we’ve designed this event to be a very special, very cool, intimate affair where there is a bit more interaction between artistry and patrons.
“You can walk about and really experience the pan because staging wise, the players are virtually on the same level as the patrons!” the event planner explained.
Patrons also need not worry about parking, as the UWI grounds will be made available for those attending the event.