Taiwan Fun Magazine, July 2004


The 2004 International Drum Festival

Written and translated by Iva Huang


     The central concept of the 2004 International Drum Festival is drumming as a way to communicate with nature. The event is sponsored by the Pai Shih Cultural & Educational Group, and backed by the central government's Tourism Bureau as part of the 2004 Visit Taiwan Year campaign.

     The festival--which this year runs from July 25 to August 14--started some years ago as a regional competition. It became an islandwide event, and is now an international festival.

     The 2004 International Drum Festival will include both community activities and professional performances. Among the former are the "Drumming Luo Han Modeling Contest," the "Drumming Luo Han Drawing Contest," and the "Drum-Shaped Lantern Design Contest." The latter presents "Drumming & Communicating With Nature," "Thundering Drumming," and, finally, the "Drum & Lantern Festival at The Eternal Castle."

     "Drumming & Communicating With Nature" will visit some of Taiwan's most magnificent scenic spots, including Tainan's Eternal Castle (July 25), Alishan (July 26), Sun Moon Lake (July 27), Taipei's Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall (July 28), Longdong in Taipei County (July 31), Hualien (August 1), and Kenting (August 4).
"Thundering Drumming" on August 7 will attempt to break a world record by having 2,088 drummers perform at the same time. Almost a hundred drum groups from all over the world will give three performances in a row. What with administrative staff and volunteers, this unprecedented event requires the work of more than 3,000 people. Local and foreign media will be there to witness it.

     Ten foreign groups--from the US, Korea, Japan, Turkey--will join Taiwan-based groups such as Taipei Chingu-Huo Kuang Lion Dance Troupe, Hung Sheng Lion Dance Theater, and Ten Drum Art Percussion.

     The "Drum & Lantern Festival at The Eternal Castle" (August 8 to 14) will utilize a thousand drum-shaped lanterns to light up this historic site. Handmade colorful lanterns will be hung along the surrounding river. The drum-lantern-illuminated red-carpet walk is sure to draw a crowd.

     A full range of memorabilia will be for sale, including a special wine, DVDs, a stamp package, T-shirts, and--of course--drums. For more information, go to http://www.ti-df.org.tw