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Released on 27 July 2016 - Buy Now!
Produced by Felix Buxton from Basement Jaxx

About

Pandemonium Drummers - The Opening Ceremony Drummers

We are a group of volunteer amateur performers and operate as a constituted association with charitable aims, governed by a committee of currently ten members, who deal with all administrative issues.

As members of Making Music, we are fully insured and committed to advancing music making and supporting charitable causes.

The Pandemonium Drummers were originally put together by London 2012 Ceremonies for the Pandemonium segment of Danny Boyle's spectacular Olympic Opening Ceremony. All participants responded to a call for Volunteer Performers and went through a two-stage audition process, followed by an intense four-month 180-hour training programme.

Many of those who were offered the drummer role for the Olympic Opening Ceremony have never drummed or acted before, yet developed into confident, disciplined and passionate performers for the big night.

Shortly after the Opening Ceremony and on the back of extensive media coverage, the drummers were invited to perform at a variety of events, and the Pandemonium Drummers quickly developed a reputation as go-to group for Opening Ceremonies and enthusiastic cheer drumming.

Types of performance

The Pandemonium Drummers have performed in a variety of formats:
  • Large Scale Ceremonies: UEFA Champions League Final 2013 (Wembley Stadium), Yonex All England Open Badminton Championships 2014 (NIA Birmingham), FA Cup Final 2014 (Wembley Stadium), Football Conference Final 2014 (Wembley Stadium), Heineken Cup Final 2014 (Millennium Stadium Cardiff)
  • Festivals & Theatrical: Standon Calling, Henley Festival, Secret Cinema, Join In, Zombie Horror Camp Old Vic Tunnels, Pearlies Costermonger Festival
  • Charity Balls & Community Events: Mo Farah Foundation Charity Ball, Stephen Sutton Charity Ball, Polar Plunge
  • Parades: London New Years Day Parade, London St Patricks Day Parade, Chinese New Year London, Lord Mayor's Show
  • Cheer Drumming: London Marathon, Great Newham Run
  • Sport Events: Bath 2013 Special Olympics Bath, Special Olympics Regional Event Newcastle, London Youth Games
  • Historical Events: Brunel Museum for SEE16 Festival, Victorian Festival Portsmouth, Walk in Her Shoes London
  • Interactive: Pandemonium Drumming Workshops

London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony



Scene

A few minutes after the Bell rang, almost 1,000 drummers entered the field of play to support a dramatic soundtrack to the Pandemonium segment that saw one of the biggest live stage set changes in history, all within the space of 15 minutes. The scene ended with the five Olympic Rings on fire, cast from the iron and steel by the industrial workers.

Volunteers

All drummers on the field of play and on the Tor (the hill at the northern end of the Olympic Stadium) were volunteer performers with varying degrees of drumming experience. Some are professional drummers, but most had only little or no contact with drums before the Olympic Ceremony rehearsals.

The drummers had a dual role during the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony, and also acted as athletes' marshals during the Parade of Athletes.

We reappeared in the London 2012 Olympic Closing Ceremony as athletes' marshals in our now iconic blue lightbulb bowler hat costume.

Performances and Bookings

In our performances, we bring back the London 2012 spirit to audiences with our drumming and dancing, but we are highly flexible and can adapt to a variety of settings, contexts and occasions.

Our standard costumes are Industrial Revolution, Blue Lightbulb Bowler Hats, and Olympic colour T-Shirts, but we adjust to events as required. For the London New Years Day Parade 2016, we performed as wizards to match the Parade's motto "30 Magical Years".

Our performances are usually either procession-type drum-only displays, or stationary performances with or without backing track, from small-scale community events to large-scale stadium shows, with various levels of audience interaction.

We can provide our own directors and choreographers, all on a volunteer basis, to develop venue-specific shows, but are equally happy to work under the direction of established stage teams.

You can book us for your event, please get in touch via our contact page.

This Website

This website has been set up to provide some background information about the Pandemonium Drummers, or Segment 51, our technical label during rehearsals for the Olympic Opening Ceremony.

The Pandemonium Drummers and our activities are the initiatives of individual volunteers and not associated in any way with London 2012, the International Olympic Committee or its subsidies, aside from having performed as volunteers in the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony.

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