What makes the World Rhythm Festival so special?
It's the WRF's grassroots history and volunteer character that makes it one of the the most unique and vibrant Rhythm Festivals in the world. This is a festival produced by drummers and dancers for drummers and dancers, for the love of the music. The Festival production staff is entirely volunteer, and the "Rhythm Community" feel is a big part of what attracts our Artists and participants.
Many Artists request to come back year after year, at their own expense. From Celebration of Youth Day and the Opening Ceremony to the Closing Drum Circle & Procession, you'll have a unique opportunity to share your musical spirit and traditions in a cross-cultural environment full of knowledgeable participants. Artists that rep for industry companies will find an enthusiastic and affluent audience. The Festival has attracted internationally known artists representing many vastly different cultures.
Who has appeared at past Festivals?
Every year, the WRF features many of the Northwest's best world musicians, dancers, and workshop instructors. We have also been fortunate to feature national and international Artists each year. See the "Artists" page for a full listing from the most recent year.
How long are workshops and performances? What is the typical workshop format?
Workshops are typically 1 hour long. Daytime performances are 25 - 50 minutes.
The format is PARTICIPATORY! -- another thing that makes the WRF so special. Your workshop participants will bring drums and be ready to play what you teach. Or they'll be in their dance clothes, ready to work up a sweat. Because participants are choosing from among 7 concurrent workshops covering many drum and dance styles at any given time, you'll see a wide range of drums in your workshop. But all participants are eager to learn about your style and traditions, and incorporate them into their rhythmic sensibility.
How are artists are chosen?
Workshop and performance Artists are selected according to these guiding principles:
* Diversity in the overall Festival lineup: Produce the most exciting mix of styles and cultures possible with the limited resources we have
* Introduce artists new to the WRF every year
* Feature up-and-coming artists or groups, as well as musical veterans
* Local and regional artists fill most of the bill, with national and international artists providing added highlights to the lineup
The artists we invite back to the Festival support the Rhythm Community feel of the WRF. They often participate in the Festival when not performing or teaching, such as by assisting other artists and taking others' workshops.
Is there compensation to artists?
SWPS operates through donations of time and money from its volunteers and supporters. From its early days SWPS and the WRF has been a grassroots phenomenon, blessed by the dedication and talent of our rhythm community.
Due to our limited funding we generally are not able to pay artists for workshops and performances, nor for travel expenses. In some cases, we can assist with lodging expenses. We can NOT pay for large touring companies.
That said, we are more than happy to consider applications from those who have their own sponsorship, or who will be in town for the weekend and would like to be part of the Festival.
(If you would be coming from out of town, please tell us about your sponsorship resources and/or needs in the comments box on your application.)
Offering your services as a workshop leader and/or performer is an important and valued way to help strengthen appreciation and knowledge of rhythm traditions in North America. In addition to the satisfaction of being an essential part of the WRF, you will benefit from the professional exposure it provides. As the world's largest free rhythm festival, thousands of drum and dance enthusiasts from the region, nation, and world now regularly attend this event.