The Volunteer Drummers from the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony

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Public Pandemonium Drumming Workshops Announced

Join us on 23th Jan 2016 or 06 Feb 2016 for a vibrant Pandemonium Drumming workshop day. Open to the public for the first time - book your tickets now!

London New Years Day Parade 2016

For the 4th year in a row, we performed at the London New Years Day Parade, this time as wizards to celebrate 30 Magical Years.

Pandemonium Drummers Online Shop

T-shirts, magic mugs, badges, outerwear and more, with a variety of motives related to the London 2012 Opening and Closing Ceremonies - shop.pandemoniumdrummers.co.uk.

The London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony

The Pandemonium Drummers were the 965 volunteer drummers who supported a dramatic soundtrack to the Pandemonium segment that saw one of the biggest live stage set changes in history.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Preview: Valentine's Day at the Brunel Museum

On Valentine's Day, 14 Feb 2016 at 1pm, we will fill the Grand Entrance Hall of the Brunel Tunnel with the sound of our buckets and bins to create an unforgettable experience as part of the SEE16 Arts Festival.

We will play a full set, of course including a re-enactment of our part of the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony, but also other pieces that we performed at events such as the London Youth Games or the London New Years Day Parade.

Specially for the SEE16 Festival, we have prepared something we have never done before - a premiere!

At this historic venue, we will of course also enlist the help of our Ceremony Performer friends the Working Men and Women, and you will get to meet Mr Brunel himself.


Please note, the first 10 minutes and the finale will be loud (within health and safety limits), and the venue has access restrictions, involving a small climb, a half height doorway and a temporary staircase (no high heels please).

The Brunel Tunnel and Museum

The world's first successful underwater tunnel was constructed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel and is today used for the East London Line of the London Overground between Rotherhithe and Wapping.

Originally used as a foot tunnel, grand entrance halls were located at either end, and these were built with new construction methods.

The Grand Entrance Hall at the Rotherhithe end forms part of the Brunel Museum, which does regular tours of the hall and is well worth a visit.

While a new entrance to the hall is currently under construction, visitors will still have to use the current Hobbit Hole entrance, which is only 90cm high and involves climbing over a wall - our concert will be one of the last opportunities to use the Hobbit Hole before the new entrance opens in March.

SEE16 Arts Festival

SEE16 is the first community arts festival by residents and businesses from the SE16 postcode area, which covers the Rotherhithe peninsula and surrounding areas.

The festival runs from 11th until 14th February 2016 and is organised by I Live in SE16.

Please see SEE16festival.org for details and join other events for a great weekend out in Rotherhithe!

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Join a Pandemonium Drumming Workshop!

Now open to the public: The Pandemonium Drumming Workshops!

For the first time ever, we announce two dates for public Pandemonium Drumming Workshops:
  • Sat, 23 January 2016, 11-16h
  • Sat, 06 February 2016, 11-16h
The venue is the Brigade Hall in South Harrow, London.


Join us for a fun-filled day where you learn how the Industrial Revolution segment of the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony was put together, and you will learn how to play the music on authentic bucket and bin drums, as we did in 2012.

The workshops are run by a team of volunteer drummers who took part in the ceremony and rehearsed for over 150 hours. They have masses of collective drumming, musical and mentoring experience - marching bands, kit drums, percussion, brass bands, samba, keyboards, guitar, vocals and dance as well as our Olympic bucket drums.

The workshop will end with a short performance!

You will be presented with a certificate and a small goody bag, too. And what's more, lunch, tea and coffee are also provided. At £17, the tickets are really good value - just bring your enthusiasm and leave energised and happy (and a bit exhausted)!

Magical Drumming at the London New Years Day Parade

30 Magical Years was the motto of the 2016 London New Years Day Parade, and we were invited back for the 4th year in a row.

We interpreted the motto by turning our drumsticks into magic rhythmic wands and dressing in wizard capes, topped off with our iconic lightbulb hats from the London 2012 Olympic Closing Ceremony.

Supported by our London 2012 volunteer friends, the Ceremonies Dancers, we paraded along Piccadilly via Trafalgar Square and Whitehall to Parliament Square, along with other spectacular floats from the London Boroughs and impressive performance groups from London and the United States.

At dedicated performance points, we lined up to play the Panda Samba, our own dedicated samba-style piece played on our bucket drums.

The parade presenters highlighted the power of our positive energy in their commentary.


LNYDP 2016

Monday, 28 September 2015

Ambush at the Pearly Harvest Festival

The Pearly Harvest Festival in the beautiful Guildhall Courtyard has become a fixture in our annual calendar, and we were invited again by the Pearly Kings and Queens of London for a re-enactment of the Pandemonium sequence of the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony, with the help of the Working Men and Women.

This time, other London 2012 Ceremonies Volunteers and Games Makers decided to join in and flashmobbed our performance, and the result was a happy dance in weird and wonderful costumes, before they let us resume our performance.

Thanks to all participating London 2012 Volunteers, who simply cannot get enough (neither can we)!

See below for a video of the performance, the flash mob starts around 8:50.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Three Years Ago: The London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony

On 27th July 2012, we entered the world stage to create the sound of 965 bucket drums in Danny Boyle's breathtaking masterpiece: The London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony.

The Ceremony was hailed internationally as a glorious success, won several awards, and burned itself into the memories of a generation.

For us, it was the culmination of one of the most intense periods in our lives, and none of us would have imagined to be drumming on the original Olympic buckets and bins three years later.

The Pandemonium Drummers today

Our group's members are still the original Olympic Opening Ceremony Drummers, drumming on the original buckets and bins, and wearing the original costumes, although we have added instruments, costumes, and rhythms since.

We appeared in several other Opening Ceremonies for local, national and international events, we played at a number of festivals, functions and cultural events, and we supported several charities as well as sport events, including some related to the Olympic Games, such as the Special Olympics and the London Youth Games.

We won two awards, were mentioned in the Cabinet Office's London 2012 Legacy Report, and lately, we tested the water for new activity streams by offering drumming workshops.

Have a look yourself, the two photo-slide videos below compile impressions from our gigs:

Happy Anniversaries

2013

Two years ago, we reminisced about the big day in three blog posts:
We also returned to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for a performance close to the Olympic Stadium:


2014

Last year, we returned to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park again for a performance even closer to the Olympic Stadium - we were performing at the Great British Carnival!

2015

This year, the obvious location to go to was of course the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park: we drummed for the runners of the Great Newham Run on their way to the finish line inside the Olympic Stadium, and we took this opportunity to revisit 'our birthplace', the now revamped Olympic Stadium on the first day of its temporary opening!



Happy anniversary to us, our drummers, and all of our fellow Ceremonies Volunteer Performers, Games Makers, and Olympic & post-Olympic friends & supporters!

Celebrate by watching this five-minute sequence of our segment, Pandemonium:
The IOC's official Pandemonium summary video
Or better still, watch the whole ceremony!
The Complete London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Vote for the Pandemonium Drummers

Please vote for us!

The Rugby Football Union has asked fans to record a rendition of the English rugby classic Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.

Of course, we responded to this call - many of our drummers will be volunteering at next year's Rugby World Cup, and last year, we performed at the Opening Ceremony of the last ever Heineken Cup Final in Cardiff.

Watch our contribution below, and don't forget to vote to help us to rise up the leaderboards to increase our chances to feature in an official RFU video!

View our submission and look out for the 'Vote' button on the right hand side
(Facebook account required)

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Pandemonium Drumming Workshops

As a new initiative to keep the London 2012 legacy alive, we trialled Pandemonium Drumming Workshops between February and April 2015, and a video documentary has now been released.

Initially open only to London 2012 volunteers such as Games Makers and Ceremonies Volunteers, our three workshops sold out quickly and were a great success!

A new milestone: our own workshop

A dedicated team of 13 Pandemonium Drummers developed and implemented the concept for a full day workshop to give participants a taster of how we were trained to perform in the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony.

Participants were introduced to the basics of rhythm keeping through a series of exercises and drills involving clapping, stepping, moving, and actual drumming on our famous plastic and metal buckets - our maintenance shop master Dan created additional bucket drums specially for these workshops.

The day ended with a performance to a shortened version of the actual London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony soundtrack And I Will Kiss.

The feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive, and people had the impression that the workshops were run very professionally and with plenty of passion.

Feel the Passion: a video documentary

A spontaneous 12-minute video documentary has been produced to give people an insight into the workshop day, and to display the ongoing transformational enthusiasm of the London 2012 volunteers - an impressive legacy of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.


The Future

The Pandemonium Drummers Workshop Team is currently busy planning the future of the workshops; these are resource-intensive to run and rely wholly on the volunteering spirit of the team.

While no further dates have been released yet, keep an eye on this website for further announcements.

Feel free to contact us if you are interested in a workshop for your organisation, or in a performance for your event.