Rhythmfest Barrie was a resounding success Saturday, as hundreds of people came together at Heritage Park to 'beat' their way into the Guinness World Record Book!
There were afew tense moments when the head count came in at 40 below the previous record of 246 people to form the world's largest group of hand drummers, but volunteers quickly dragged people in off the street, handing them drums grabbed straight off the vendor's tables and told them to keep to the beat! Several people helped to carry one enormous drum also borrowed from a vendor to accomodate the extra drummers, and soon the head count tallied 256! (see video above)
The spirit of willingness to help and join in was almost as moving as the deeply inspiring sound of all those people drumming together.
Throughout the day the big Rhythmfest tent was alive with various interactive musical workshops, drummers, singers, and performers. Everyone got a chance to try their hand at drumming, shaking maracas, dancing and celebrating the joy of rythm. Many thanks for the instruments lent by the good folks at Music Pro!
My favourite soon became a beautiful drum from Egypt, inlaid with mother of pearl. As it was my job to hand out the instruments and take care that none went missing, I took it upon myself to keep a special eye upon this exquisite beauty. It struck me how we can develop such a personal relationship with our musical instruments, even feel a deeply profound 'bond' with them.
One of the most joyful expressions of our shared humanity comes through music. As the evening culminated with the fiercely intense drumming and African dancing of the Toronto group 'Beyond Sound' the crowd went wild, almost driven to a frenzy by the heat and passion of the music. Everyone felt compelled to jump up and the whole tent danced with wild abandon, truly immersed in the music and the rythm, filled with elation as the spirit of love and togetherness filled the air.