Positive Music Rhythm-Event Tips

Positive Music Planning Process

So you’re planning your event or conference and looking to engage in a rhythm- event.

Organising an event can be overwhelming and challenging at the best of times. Especially if you have a variety of activities planned for your event.  

Professional Drum Circle Facilitators give 100% to their clients and always aim to deliver a successful drumming experience for all participants.

Whether it’s part of team building drum circle for your organisation, multi-cultural event for your school or a celebrational ceremony  for your local community.

The following tips will help you to create a successful and trouble free drumming circle for whatever you have planned.

The following suggestions are great tips, so make sure that you discuss all the points that are shown here when you hire a Drum Circle Facilitator.

Logistical Considerations

#1: Loading in access, setup, pack down for Rhythm Team

Due to the nature of the equipment utilised it is important that vehicle access is close to the performance space to unload percussion instruments. A reserved parking space is ideal. If parking close to the venue is not possible, some assistance from participants would be required to ensure that the activity starts on time – at least two volunteers.

Is there anything that could delay the set-up and pack-up time such as?

  • Flights of steps
  • Hilly terrain
  • No access parking on site after set-up
  • Another event/activity before or after the drumming workshop or drum circle

#2: Is your venue appropriate size for your drum circle?

Depending what kind of rhythm-event you have chosen. There are many kinds of set-up configurations for a Positive Music rhythm-event.

Boomwhacker session – percussion tubes: Between 20 to 500 participants, can be in a circle, auditorium style, sitting at tables.

Percussion session – hand held instruments): Between 10 to 500 participants, can be in a circle, auditorium style, sitting at tables.

Drum Circle session – big drums, percussion tubes and percussion instruments: Between 10 to 200 participants, can be in a circle or concentric circles.

Example Auditorium set-up for Boomwhacker or Percussion session

Example concentric circle set-up for drum circle event

Set-up space for a drum circle session requires that all tables be removed and that chairs are set-up before Positive Music team arrival at the venue.

The objective of setting up a drum circle is that everyone can hear and see each other. This promotes equality while enhancing a sense of inclusion and connection amongst participants.

Make sure there’s enough chairs, preferably with no arm rests, for all participants when setting up the configuration of the circle.

Let’s look at the different set-ups for a drum circle of a small group of 10 and that of a larger group of 84 participants.

Your objectives for your organisation or school might be to:

  • experience happiness and unity through drumming
  • feel accepted by the group, and a sense of belonging
  • promote harmonious working relationships

Allow plenty of space around the drum circle area for people to move about.

The drum circle facilitator may incorporate movement, which adds a lot of fun and creativity to the session.

Drum circle

Drum circle set-up for small groups up to 30

Here is a set-up suggestion for a drumming circle of 10 to 30 people.

The following is a suggestion for a team-building drum circle.

Make sure that the second row isn’t directly behind the first row so people can see the facilitator and that they aren’t looking at the back of anyone’s head.

African drumming workshop set-up for about 50 people

Drumming workshop set-up for about 50 people

Avoid setting up areas near or around:

  • cafeterias
  • toilets
  • smoking areas
  • serving of alcohol

Avoid distractions such as:

  • other entertainment activities
  • bouncy castles
  • business meetings

    drum circle set-up for over 100 participants

    drum circle set-up for over 84 participants

  • other team-building activities
  • industrial work
  • play ground equipment

Drum circle set-up for 84 participants. Three rows with four aisles – first row 20 chairs, second row 28chairs and third row 36 chairs.

#3: Is a PA and microphone system required for the number of participants?

As you can imagine if you have over 50 people drumming away it can be challenging for participants to be able to hear what the facilitator is saying. This can be frustrating for the
facilitator and participants, ending in confusion and a disappointing result overall.

Some Drum Circle Facilitators supply their own PA and microphone systems at an additional cost for your event. Some Facilitator don’t have their own so it is important to ask if a PA and microphone would be required for your event, and if so, depending on the facilitator you may need to hire one.

Always allow extra time for set-up of extra equipment such as PA systems.

#4: Is your drumming activity indoors or outdoors?

Some Drum Circle Facilitators prefer to facilitate indoors, due to the acoustics, quality of sound and attention of participants, so it’s important to ask who you are hiring whether they facilitate outdoors.

Other factors to consider for an outdoor drum circle 

There are some things that we cannot control and one of these is the weather.

You might be holding your event or function in summer time would like the drum circle in a beautiful location such as the park or beach. Here in Australia the weather can get really hot, muggy and just down right uncomfortable, taking the joy factor out of it for participants.

It’s important to have a back up plan for another site or space for your activity in case of rain, even for those really hot days in summer.

What are the conditions of the outdoor venue? 

Make sure the ground level is even – uneven ground will be unstable for chairs which will leave participants distracted, feeling uncomfortable and unable to concentrate and engage in the rhythm-event.

Facilitated drum circle is a great way to connect

Facilitated drum circle building community

Details such as big tree roots sticking out of the ground can interfere with the configuration of the set-up and result in frustration for the volunteers.

Is your event during the evening time?

A wonderful time for a party is during the evening in summer. The energy and excitement of celebrating a birthday party or wedding ceremony with friends and family are special memorial moments.

A drum circle is a unique fun activity for your special event and an unforgettable experience.

Do you need to organise extra lighting?

Participants need to be able to see the Drum Circle Facilitator signals and direction clearly, so plenty of lighting is required.

Bonfires are a wonderful night time vibe for events. They also can produce intense heat that can damage the drums and percussion instruments and can be distracting and stressful for participants due to the heat.

If the Drum Circle Facilitator has agreed to do the activity outdoors then a roof, canopy or cover for drums and percussion instruments would likely be required in case of rain. On hot days it would be appropriate to provide shade and water on hot days for facilitators and participants. Discuss the details with them beforehand.

If you choose a bonfire it’s important to light it well in advance before the facilitator’s arrival – maybe two hours before hand so the heat isn’t as intense. Or have the drum circle area well away from the fire.

#5: Will food and beverages be served at your event?

I love cake, if you are planning for a kids party, consider what time you would like the drum circle. Preferably before children have had any sugary substances such as cakes, soft drinks and lollies which can increase hyperactivity.

Percussion instruments can be very costly to the Drum Circle Facilitator and have sometimes taken quite a few years to achieve the kind of high quality drums and world percussion instruments in their drum circle kit. To ensure that no instruments are damaged, food and beverages must be kept away from the instruments. Otherwise repairs or replacements required following wilful or accidental damage will end up costing you extra money.

#6: Are you intending to run a multiple drumming workshops for the day?

If you have more then one drumming workshop planned spread out during your event, then a change room would most likely be required. It allows the Facilitator to re-charge, re-fuel the body and a chance to change clothes in a private setting – Drum Circle Facilitators work can get sweaty at times and a change of clothes can be a lovely relief.

Want more information about drum circles or drumming workshops for events, parties and festivals?

To book a drum circle or a drumming workshop for you next party or event please contact us.

By | 2018-03-20T21:07:52+00:00 January 8th, 2012|Drum Circle Facilitation Tips|7 Comments

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7 Comments

  1. Soh Geok Kee from Singapore January 12, 2012 at 1:30 am

    Your write-up is so clear and so useful.Thank you. Should you come to Singapore, email me and I can bring you to Drum circles happening here!

    • rhythm January 12, 2012 at 7:51 am

      Thank you Soh Geok Kee for your feedback. Cheers Peta

  2. Rishi Vlote January 12, 2012 at 5:13 am

    Thanks a heap for this, Peta. Great!!! Beautifully done. I know I should have done this myself a long time ago, so I will print this out and use for reference for my next events!

    • rhythm January 12, 2012 at 7:48 am

      Thanks Rishi, glad that I can be of help to another DCF.
      Cheers Peta

      • Rishi Vlote January 12, 2012 at 8:27 am

        And in case you visit Italy (Milan) you are welcome to our DrumCircles of course 🙂

  3. Diana January 13, 2012 at 1:04 am

    Thank you for this great write up! I usually do small groups, but the couple of times I’ve done larger groups, this would have been very useful to give to the organizers in advance!

    • rhythm January 13, 2012 at 8:20 am

      Thanks Diana, great that the post can be a source for DCF, thank you for your feedback.
      Cheers Peta

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