you're a promoter, sponsor, investor, performing artist, steelpan music
enthusiast or a tourist just looking for a good time, this was the
festival for you.
When Steel Talks
took a critical look at Antigua's 2004 Moods of Pan Festival
produced by Gemonites Steel Orchestra and its potential for future
The festival, now in its sixth year, has the ability to explode into
one of the premiere steelpan music events in the world. The
location, time of year and quality of acts makes this festival such a
sure bet, that
When Steel Talks
feels comfortable recommending it on all levels. The show's
promoters are made up of very bright and
capable people who are both creative and have a long-range
vision that they are actively and successfully implementing. Their
keen sense of community, business, entertainment, culture and
professionalism makes the future growth and profitably of this annual
event a sure shot.
Gemonites was able to secure major
support from the international corporate organizations, local businesses
and Antiguan government. It was no small feat to coordinate the
logistics of bringing in steel orchestras and their instruments and
other major acts from all over the globe. The following is our
take on the four-day event.
This year's event was held
at the Deanery Grounds which provided adequate space for the audience
and double stage set up for the performing artists. The open air
setting was welcomed as it allowed the audience to take advantage of the
beautiful Antiguan weather, in addition to providing a preferred
acoustical environment for the steelpan instruments.
The performances were all of a very high level;
and were both visually entertaining and musically stimulating. All
the acts came well prepared and well-rehearsed. Each act
showcased its specialty and uniqueness. The acts were professional
and left all the audiences quite pleased and wanting to hear more.
Each night the shows flowed quickly and smoothly without any major
snafus. The festival could have easily been broadcast on live
television. Indeed the show was heard live on the local Antiguan
radio station. The double stage setup worked
seamlessly. The shows' productions team (Gemonites) obviously gave
much thought into the shows' lineup and flow. Their ability to
quickly make and implement changes without short circuiting the
production displayed the potential for live satellite broadcasting to
Sound & Lighting
While the lighting was
adequate additional frontal lighting and a moving spotlight would have
been appreciated. The sound was slightly above average as it
relates to steelpan events. There were no major horror stories as
music lovers have become accustomed to as part of the norm in some of
the major steelband markets. Having said - that the sound
for the steel orchestras needs improvement. The sound for Arturo
Tappin and his combo was adequate. Which probably
demonstrates that if a sound check was done for the steel orchestras,
similar results would be realized.
At the event Gemonites offered
a DVD of the past "Moods In Pan Festival" so we are confident that this
year's event will also be made available on DVD in the future.
Indeed, the show can be heard on the Antiguan radio station Observer
The event had a comprehensive website where up-to-the-minute changes
were reflected. It provided potential patrons and the media with
valuable information about the acts and events. A greater global
outreach is needed to raise the awareness of this event's happenings.
When Steel Talks
suspects that after this show
everyone who has anything to do with pan will be in Antigua next year
for "Moods In Pan Festival 2005."
When Steel Talks
gives the Moods In Pan Festival 2004 a B+
with the confidence that this grade will get even better in the
future. Gemonites has a clear commitment towards musical
excellence and the forward progress of steelpan activities that spills
over into everything they touch. The treatment of the artists were
top notch. The Antiguan hospitality was above reproach. The
performing artists resided at the beautiful Jolly Beach Resort.
Again, the four-day festival's coordinators receive high grades for
their coordination of transporting to and from the performance areas -
all the artists - without drama.
Remarkable as it may seem, after
spending most of their time coordinating and taking personal care of the
details of the show, the members of Gemonites Steel Orchestra took
the stage as musicians and closed the festival with a rousing
performance, letting no one forget that they are also - great pan
musicians. Great show. Great work...
A must have for the serious steelpan music lover... [more]
Pan In New York 2004
educational, historical, cultural and artistic masterpiece that
showcases one of the most vibrant live music performance movements
in the United States today...
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