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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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Hi Cindy,

the downside to this however is the question.....are DJ's allowed to perform in the parade...because if they are then it would be a contradiction, because the DJ music as we all know is a lot of noise in comparison to Steelband acoustic music.

On another issue please feel free to get back in touch with us (Salah's Steelpan Academy)


Brother Salah,

We  have seen and experienced the negative impact that most DJ music has had on our youths.

We know too,that because of the ' family ' like nature of the Steel Orchestras { encompassing all age groups, gender, religions, ethnic origin, and different abilities }, it focuses on the the human spiritualism. Hence, the upkeep of moral values and principles are the main objectives of the Steel Orchestras. Certainly, we do not expect those who imposed and continue to impose a separation between the ' economy and morals ', to truly understand that the Steel Pan is all about ' social unity ' and community development.

To allow the D J bands to perform and not the Steel Orchestras, is indeed discriminatory and hypocritical to say the least.

The Pan will never die!


Bro Stafford

Well said Bro Stafford...if there is no Pan ,,there should be no DJ

My brother, it seems like we have forgotten a recurring fact of history. That is, powerful people never have to prove anything to anyone. And by extension, powerful people never apoogise to powerless people for actions they take to remain in power. We would have taken a giant step forward when we face this reality. Powerful people never teach powerless people how to take their power from them.


However, the Steelpan Fraternity must stand firm, and become fully aware that "culture take precedence over the martial".

Cindy  the guys are just angry over all the incidents involving steelbands this year, lets see we had short pay in Trinidad, no pay in Toronto and a ban in England, did some say this the Year of the Pan? they are surely taking a beating this year. 

I like that

. Long time we used to say "Ah go beat yuh like a steel drum". maybe ther're taking "beating the steel drum"literally!

Cecil goodmorning,

I hope the weather is glorious where you are.  It is raining here and it is very dark.  I am going back to my bed.  I will have to cancel my long-distance walk today.

If I had a dram of common sense, I would have kept my lips zipped, and not upset the POOR DARLINGS.

This is a male thing - I should not get involved.  Would they feel better if I sent them some band-aids and an apology?   I am going back to minding my own business.  I like my head where it is.  Have a blessed day. ***Cindy***

Cindy, I've taken an informal survey of all members of WST, and the overwhelming conclusion is "Cindy Cummings deserves to be heard!!".

So, please keep the lips unzipped :)


This is my final response to this.  I have taken a good look at the discussions and in the final analysis this is what I have discovered:  the respondees are right ~ have all the answers ~ know what is best.  Leeds, wrong.  They had no business banning anything.  Me, I am wrong ~ I dared to hold a different point of view.  I should have concurred with the righteous right.  Have you ever know a "dictator" to go along with anyone?  Have a blessed day.  TOPIC closed.  I have the building. ***Cindy***

Glenroy I second that motion.


Hi Queen Cindy, greetings and salutations from the brotherhood of Knuckle-Grazing Neanderthals of the Testoterone Kingdom.  Both you and Miss Gloria are missing the point by the widest of margins.  Irregardless of how this issue will be twisted and turned, the bottom line is that a SINGLE GROUP has been singled out, presented as THE PROBLEM SECTOR and penalized.  This my friend is the very essence of prejudice.  Had the powers-that-be said that in the atmosphere of recent civil un-rest that they are cancelling all Carnival proceedings for this year, anyone with a half of a brain would have understood and accept that.  Unfortunately, that was not done.

 Today, anyone who associate the Steel Pan with violence is undoubtedly doing Pan a great injustice. There is no political force that is greater than the power of the Steel Pan. The unique musical sounds which emanates from the Steel Pan, the physical expressions of the 'panists', and the non-discrimination of age, gender, social status, ethnic origin or disability within the Steel Pan Movement, have indeed resulted in the highest quality of 'social unity' which all civilized societies strive for.

 It is a proven fact, that a great majority of the youth who are involved in a Steel Orchestra or Steel Band,  are not associated with ' youth deviance' and exhibit a higher concentration level than their peers. This is because of the 'Power of the Pan'. Even religious organizations of various denominations, in an effort retain the youth in the church, have turned to the Steel Pan, and are realizing success.

The Steel Pan should not, and must not be associated with any form or forms of violence. It is GOD's gift to man, for the purpose of creating and maintaining "social unity".

 I am of the opinion that the decision of the Leeds Carnival Committee to ban the traditional Caribbean music from the 44th Leeds West Indian carnival Parade, is base on its lack of knowledge of the Steel Pan and its very rich history. Hence the decision is clearly discriminating and borders on ignorance.

Solidarity Forever!   Power to the Pan!  Free up the Pan!  There can be no Carnival without Steel Bands!



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