Move to limit number of drummers at Jack In The Green celebrations

The number of drumming groups taking part in this year's Jack In The Green event is to be cut in a bid to make the procession '˜more diverse and interesting'.

Wednesday, 1st March 2017, 11:33 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:53 am
Jack in the Green 2015, Hastings. Photo by Frank Copper. SUS-150505-072447001

Organisers of the popular festival decided to have fewer drummers at this year’s event following feedback from revellers and others taking part in the parade.

Keith Leech, chairman of Jack In The Green, said: “Basically what has happened over the years is we have always been open to everybody to come along.

“But the number of drumming groups in the area has grown exponentially.

“Over the last few years we have had comment from other groups who want to participate with quieter music or other music, only they could not actually perform because of the sounds of drums.

“The decision was therefore made this year, as a trial, to limit the number of drummers to see if it helps things.”

He added: “We are aware other groups we want to encourage to come along are being put off because of the large number of drummers.”

Keith said the organisers did not want to hold auditions for the procession because they did not want to make musical comparisons between groups.

Instead they opted to give preference to the groups which have supported the event from the start or whose members help with the preparations for the four-day event.

Those who are set to take part in this year’s procession include Rumpledrumskin - a London-based group who helped to found Jack In The Green - local favourites Section 5, Sambalanco and Dende.

Keith said: “The groups have always been incredibly helpful with other things in relation to the event.

“Whatever needs doing, they are around helping.”

He added: “We have also been approached by Hastings Academy who have a children’s drumming group and decided it would be good to encourage the future and therefore they have been included as well.”

Drumming groups which will not be appearing at this year’s event will include Drumskulls from Ninfield, Pentacle Drummers from Eastbourne and Stix Drummers, who are based at Pevensey Bay.

Keith said the groups who will not be performing are welcome to take part in a different capacity - but must leave the drums at home.

He said: “Most of the drumming groups we have been in touch with have been very understanding, very happy and I have encouraged them all to come along anyway and try something different which could make it more diverse and interesting.”

Keith added: “We are genuinely sorry and upset we have grown too big to accommodate everybody we would like to. Next year things may change. We will see how it goes.”

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