You can book for Panorama here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/notting-hill-carnival-ltd-tickets-65170611052
The only way to really experience a Panorama is to attend but for those who have never had the pleasure then here’s what to expect:
Listening to live music is always a wonderful treat for anyone senses, the sound, atmosphere, environment, vibe and spiritual energy of the instrument, or the person who plays it appeals to our creative admiration.
Making your way towards Panorama is a build up all by itself. Like a football match, you will spot a lot of supporters of the bands going towards the direction of the competition walking along the road or pavement in small groups having leisurely conversations, children of all ages accompanied by their parents, aunties, uncles, cousins, friends, there is a real sense of community spirit.
As you near the road the competition is held on, you will undoubtedly hear a steel band orchestra in the distance practicing before going on stage. Its an open air practice and you quickly realise that you can join the crowd surrounding the band, and be within a few feet of the players as they are not just the bands supporters but also the general public who have attended. You can listen to all the bands practice before they take to the stage for their final performance for free. This is a great way to listen to the music more than once, and also lends opportunity to enjoy a few beers and a chicken roti, lamb pattie or curry goat and rice as you are surrounded by the smells of the Caribbean, which become irresistible to the senses.
Listening to a full 70 plus individuals, playing together as one steel pan orchestra can be overwhelming for the senses when first experienced. The sound of a steel pan is very unique, the sound of a steel pan orchestra is unforgettable. You can physically feel the energy from the orchestra working its way into your feet, when you suddenly realise your moving them to steady melodic rhythm and your body quickly follows.
Accompanied with the visual of a steel pan orchestra playing a piece of music live adds to the captivation and your unable to move and think, so you just listen and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of others around you who are doing the same. There is a real sense of community feeling as the musical performances spark conversations within the crowd and the excitement of identifying a winner keeps you on edge which further builds your bond to the event, the bands and its players.
Credit: Kevin Joseph
Croydon Steel Orchestra http://www.croydonsteelorchestra.co.uk/
Pan Nation https://www.pan-nation.co.uk/
Phase One http://www.phaseonesteelband.org.uk/