Idris Hester leads a drum circle with verbal instructions and energized body language.Drum circles are becoming increasingly popular. They offer social outlets, while at the same time, supporting a worthwhile hobby. The emphasis on individual drum circles can vary, from ethnic events, like those that focus on samba music, to therapeutic groups for stress relief, to community drum circles, the main function of which is to create a sense of community.
One of the most popular forms of drum circle is the neo-pagan group. At spiritual festivals, the drum circle is used as a part of several ceremonies. The drummers play in order to create a magical experience, particularly at night, while singers and dancers perform around a bonfire. Summer and winter solstice celebrations are some of the biggest opportunities for drum circles, as the pagans believe that they are "drumming up the sun."
The community circle is a favorite for the drummer looking for a non-religious drumming opportunity. It is a casual experience, usually with a group of friends that can be used for celebration or recreation. They typically take place in parks or conference rooms. These events are also used as team building activities for corporations.
Major Drum Circle Events Across America
The Central Florida Drum Circle is a social drum circle that focuses on the connections between people regardless of age or race. It is one of the biggest drum circles, with 537 members who meet up to play and build relationships with each other through the magic of music. All types of instruments are welcome from djembe to conga and cowbell to cajon drum.
The Atlanta Drum Circle Meet-Up Group is home to almost 450 drummers and is one of the biggest drum circles in the South. The group emphasizes the therapeutic aspects of drumming, by reducing stress and encouraging mediation while playing. This group is great for those interested in gaining culture while indulging in a fun hobby.
Austin, Texas is home to another of the largest drum circles in the world. The Active Fun/Peace Loving Hippies is built to provide community and a place to speak the group member's beliefs. Furthermore, the Active Fun/Peace Loving Hippies have more than 400 hundred members dedicated to hand drumming.
Arizona's largest monthly circle, the Burning Bush Drum Circle has more than 375 hand drummers involved. Local business sponsor the event, where drummers, tambourine players, belly dancers and bagpipers get together to play music and dance, while fire eaters perform. The two year old group is hosted in Phoenix, Arizona every month.
The New York City Meet-Up Group is comprised of 375 hand drummers. The group uses percussive techniques and ethnic rhythms from the Middle East, the Mediterranean and the East. Additionally, the group does innovative synthesis with poetry reading and story telling, accompanied by the hand drums.
The Knoxville Area Pagans' Meet-Up is a Tennessee-based group known for spiritual drum circle. Though they practice pagan religion, the group practices and performances are open to anyone in the area with an open mind. The Knoxville Area Pagans' Meet Up has over three hundred members, who are encouraged to share their religion while making new friends, as well as music.