The Bera Fest 2017 in Colombo on Nov. 26

Published : 9:01 am  November 13, 2017 | No comments so far |  |  (670) reads | 

Naadro celebrates the ensemble’s 10th anniversary with Sri Lanka’s first international drums festival 

The Viharamahadevi Open Air Theatre and the surrounding area in Colombo 7 is all set to take a festive mood on Sunday, November 26 echoing with the sounds of the largest percussion show when globally renowned percussion ensemble ‘Naadro’ presents ‘The Bera Fest 2017’ to coincide with its tuneful 10th anniverasary. 

 The day-long event which starts at 9 am will indeed be a memorable one for amateur percussionists, percussion enthusiasts and music lovers who will be treated to a drum circle, photo booth, recording studio, trade stalls, food stalls, chill out areas, drum workshops, exhibition stalls with drummers on stage.

They will be exposed to a mind-boggling variety of instruments and percussion styles and sounds from around the world with percussion workshops featuring world renowned artistes like Giovanni Hidalgo (US) – better known as the king of congos (a 3-times Grammy award winner), Pete Lockett (UK) another world renowned percussionist who is known for his pioneering efforts to blend western percussion melodies with those in Asia, Ravbandu Vidyapathi, Aruna Siriwardana,  Elephant Foot, Jananath Warakagoda and a special segment featuring drummers of leading bands in Sri Lanka. 

“Percussion lovers will be inspired by international masters in the world of percussion and it will also provide an ideal opportunity to hang-out with fellow percussionists and enthusiasts in one venue. The entire Viharamahadevi open air theatre area and its suburbs will take a truly festive mood. We have worked internationally and also particularly with world renowned artistes. My intention is to provide that international feel to our local percussion and music lovers, maintaining international standards.  I very much appreciate the commitment of my team members Gayan Manokumara, Nupathi Nilambara, Ranga Nuwantha, Uthpala Niroshan, Chathuranga, Nuwan Liyanage and Lahiru de Silva. Unity has been our hallmark and I think this is the best way we could celebrate our 10th anniversary,” said leader Rakitha Wickremaratne.

The day’s events will be open to the public free and it would be an ideal family outing too. But there will be a nominal ticket rate of Rs. 1000 for the main concert, with limited VIP tickets at Rs. 5,000. We are so grateful to the government especially Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Minister Sagala Rathnayake and others who gave us their fullest backing to make this dream come true. 

These are events that will highlight Sri Lanka in the global map and that is the need of the hour. Arts and culture has a huge role to play in enhancing our image globally,” said Rakitha.

A unique feature in Naadro is their deliberate effort to go beyond percussion instruments and incorporate anything and everything that can produce sounds. This may even include kitchen utensils or even vehicle spare parts 
at times.

The creative uniqueness of Naadro has indeed taken them places and their energetic skills have made them one of the most sought after percussion ensembles in the global scene too. 




Sunday’s event will feature the percussion bands of the three armed forces, the Police and selected schools too. In addition it will for the first time have three top sound engineers – Malinda Lowe, Pushpakumara Batangala and Vinod Melpitiya working on the same platform. Veteran music director Mahesh Denipitiya will direct the music orchestration in his unique style while singers like Chitral Somapala, Kasun Kalhara, Lahiru Perera, Bathiya and Santhush and Daddy will perform at the show singing their original drums-based songs they did with Naadro. Arun Dias Bandaranayake will anchor the show.

A large collection of percussion instruments in the possession of Naadro will be on display at the exhibition.
Text: Ramesh Uvais