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Revisiting -- Steelband BANNED! No Pan on the Road in Leeds

Ban on steelbands in Leeds West Indian Carnival parade EXCLUSIVE

England, U.K. - Traditional Caribbean steelband music has been banned from the 44th Leeds West Indian Carnival parade.

The carnival committee of 13 members took the unanimous decision to have no live music in the parade itself at an emergency meeting this week.

Members said due to recent “unrest” in the Chapeltown area they felt they had no option but to make this year’s carnival “a bit calmer” with no steelbands playing on any of the floats.

Chairman Arthur France said: “We are not putting any steelbands on the road in the parade this year. It was a decision taken as we are being extra cautious following recent unrest. In light of violent events, and after careful consideration, we decide that we will not use any steelband on the road, which means no live music.

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It is terribly unfortunate and a retrograde step to ban the Steelbands from participating in the West Indian Carnival Parade in Leeds.

We often hear stories about the evolution of the Steelband and its association with the depressed areas of East Port-of-Spain.   I have no problem with that . It is a fact

But within 8-10 years your were having Steelbands energing from the  "Middle Class" of the Society , young men and boys who were resident  in Woodbrook, Newtown, Corbeau Town, Belmont ans St James,    Steelbands such as .     Dixieland, Starland, Tropitones, Silver Stars, Saigon,  were all Steelbands comprised of many "College Boys" and "White Boys"   and what about "Girl Pat "  Steelband ,  They were not young ladies  from any depressed area. Many of them were Public Servants and many were former students of Bishops High School for Girls .

Then what about the early supporters of Ellie Manette and the Invaders Steelband.    People like Beryl Mc Burnie, Sir. H.O.B.Wooding , Sir L.C.Hannays,  Andrew Carr, Harold Dupres, Lennox Pierre, Errol Hill, Albert Gomes,  Ronald Williams and Aubrey Adams just to name a few who were some of the early supporters of the Steelband Movement.

Most  Pan Players were not "Badjohns" or "Fighters"  but unfortunately many of the Steelband supporters and  followers were.   This gave the Steelband a "Bad Name",      Ian Lambie

Actually even among steelband followers it was a minority who caused any trouble


Valantine Young you of all persons should know that when a crime has been committed the participants receive punishment for it.
Pan is always used as the scapegoat for every potential unrest. When in fact it's usually the occasion for social gathering and celebration. In fact it was the banning of the drum by the British colonial powers in Trinidad which led to the birth of the steelpan as a cultural response to stifle the people. It's ironic that this instrument and the music is enjoyed by so many, yet the "powers" always want to keep it downtrodden. A real shame and pity...

that is very sad.......that people could feel that having a steel band on the road would invite riots.....it would do the complete opposite and the members decision has reinforced the ideology that being black was what fuelled the riots......they are obviously not that informed as the riots around the UK stemmed from all walks of society...who harboured a grudge......not one race, or any person of any one faith..what a bad decision.....especially from a West Indian......



This Carnival committee is making a terrible mistake by sacrificing the Pan by not allowing the Steelbands to participate in the Parade. Clearly the Steelbands were not part of the recent unrest. Why is the parade still taking place and not the Steelband music...it makes no sense.... The mentality and decision of this Carnival committee is at basic  ..pathetic
This is victimisation by association, they (white England) have decided to punish the Caribbean people by preventing their music and their rhythms. They have associated the riots and looting with the West Indian. How many football riots, where there were many deaths and injuries, but football remained the same. We must also remember that last year, there was no funding for the steelpan Panorama competitions.  It would be interesting to see if masqueraders would don costumes and parade without music for their white masters. Maybe "massa day" ain't done yet.

Hey Whoa, there Trev!  A lot (probably the majority) of those steel bands over there are mainly white folks.  Now that pan has conquered the entire world with its popularity as a musical genre, everybody plays.  And a lot of them play very well indeed! Even here in Canada at Carnival time, in almost every Canadian city nowadays and where most of the mass bands are composed of a mixture of every nationality you can think of, there are tons of white dancers and not just a few of us beating a pan too!  It's all about the love and the musicianship.

If the committee in Leeds are reading these comments  --and I believe they are-- maybe they will listen to wiser heads and reconsider...if not for this time, then the next.


If ever indeed the committee  in  Leeds is reading these comments,  there is no next time ,,,,here it is once again,,,if the D.J.is allowed to play music on the streets accompaning the float parade ,,then!!!!! the steelpan has the right to participate,,,  RIGHTS  FOR ONE,,,,,RIGHTS  FOR  ALL,,,,relevant to  Mr Arthur France belittling remarks about the steelpan ,,,making noise,,,rephrase your sentence,,,the days of ,,massa and missie and done and over with,,,STEELPAN  IS  A  GIFT  FROM  GOD   AND  CAN  NEVER  BE  TAKEN  AWAY ,,,,,,,   NO   STEELPAN  ,,,, NO  CARNAVAL,,,get your priorities right,,, a steelband taking part  at the end of the parade,,,for whom ????,are you people in Leeds in your right mind.as  the deceased  Reggae singer  Joseph Hill  said , BE  HONEST TO YOURSELF...allow the steelpan to take part  for the carnival...
Testosterone is on high alert in this discussion.  HAVE A HEART!  The steelband players are not the problem.  It is the numb nuts and the nit wits who would have been hell bent on using a joyous occassion to continue their bad behaviour.   Think of the decision as the lesser of two evils.  A minority created an unpleasant situation for the majority.   
Well said Cindy you are a very smart "woman" lol, by the way are you related to Gloria?

Hi Cecil,

I do not know Gloria.  I have to admit those MALES are acting like knuckle-grazing cavemen.  Can they not see this as a precautionary, temporary measure.  Had the riots not taken place when they did, things would have continued as usual.  Next year provided that nothing disastrous occurs, the steelbands will be back on the streets.  We should know by now that when incidents arise that affect society, the measures that are taken do not always sit well with us.  But there is no need to go over the edge.  Even though there were no steelbands on the street, the world is still spinning, and you and I are still alive.  Have a great day.  ***Cindy***


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