Warning: mysql_real_escape_string(): Access denied for user ''@'localhost' (using password: NO) in /home/niusteel/public_html/steelpanfestival.com/wp-content/plugins/easy-contact-forms/easy-contact-forms-database.php on line 152

Warning: mysql_real_escape_string(): A link to the server could not be established in /home/niusteel/public_html/steelpanfestival.com/wp-content/plugins/easy-contact-forms/easy-contact-forms-database.php on line 152
Guidelines and Rules

Guidelines and Rules


The festival’s purpose is to provide a positive, non-competitive, educational experience for steelpan ensembles. The festival will give ensembles an opportunity to perform outside their normal school setting, benefit from the comments of great clinicians, and experience professional level performances. The participants gain even more by attending any of the workshops at the festival. No director should disqualify their ensemble from participation in the festival because they feel it is not competitive enough! Everyone who attends is a winner and it is all about education!


The performance spaces for ensembles will be assigned on a first come, first-serve basis using internet-stamped reply times on the online applications.

A waiting list will be maintained and posted for groups that enroll after all the performance spaces are filled.

***Participating schools/organizations may bring more than one band, but may be asked to combine bands or withdraw additional bands if space prevents another school/organization from bringing a band.

The entire festival will be open to the public. Tickets will be available for sale at the door. Space is limited for the concert, so ensembles are encouraged to pre-order tickets for all non-performers. The registration price ($10) will only be honored at the time of registration. Regular pre-order tickets ($15) can be ordered online, or purchase tickets at the door ($25) on the day of the event. All performers and directors will be issued wristbands that provide access to concerts, clinics, and workshops at no additional cost. IMPORTANT: Bands are required to submit orders for tickets for the evening concert and festival t-shirts. Pre-order prices will not be honored on the day of the event and full price will be charged without exception. 

Great Lakes Steelpan Festival will not provide any instruments and cannot be held responsible for instruments throughout the festival. All bands are responsible for their own equipment at all times.

There are 2 performance sites for ensembles. Rooms will be assigned based upon ensemble size, and times will be assigned with consideration to travel plans of each group.


  1. Clinics—Each ensemble will get 30 minutes with a clinician followed by a 15-minute concert. It is highly recommended to prepare either 3 pieces or 15 minutes worth of music. This is recommended so that each ensemble will have sufficient time with the clinician to get quality feedback. A recording of every band’s clinic may be requested. This recording will be provided to the directors upon request and free of charge.
  2. Mass Band—Each participating band is invited to take part in our mass band activities taking place on Saturday morning. This will give each participant the experience of playing in a large band, and feel the overwhelming energy associated with being a part of a large steelband.
  3.  Concert—In order to expose students to professional level performances there will be an evening concert on Saturday night and feature the mass band, the guest artists, and Potts & Pans Steelband. The concert will be open to the public and space is limited so bands are encouraged to pre-order tickets for any parents planning on attending at the time of registration.
  4.   Workshops—Possible workshop topics include: **check the official forthcoming itinerary for info**
    * Purpose On Project with Kurry Seymour
    * Individuality with Gregory Boyd
    * Q/A Session with Potts & Pans Steelband
    * Groove Building with Khuent Rose
    Each workshop will be approximately 50 minutes long, will be open to the public and require a ticket be purchased. (Included in band registrations)
  5. Guest Arists/Clinicians—There will be multiple guest artists/clinicians involved in this festival and each one brings their own unique experiences and information to share with participants. Confirmed guest clinicians include:
    1. Gary Gibson
    2. Akinola Sennon
    3. Kurry Seymour
    4. Potts & Pans Steelband


Registration before January 1, 2017, is $450

Registration between January 1, 2017, and March 1, 2017, is $600

Registration after March 1, 2017, is $800

Bands that do not pay their entrance fees before January 1, 2017, will be moved to the waiting list and replaced by another band from our waiting list. Ensembles that withdraw after MARCH 1, 2017 will forfeit their entire entrance fee.

Complete and submit the online application at WWW.STEELPANFESTIVAL.COM to reserve your space today. Email questions to steelpanfestival@gmail.com

Matt Potts
The Steelpan Store
1039 Wanda Ln.
Woodstock, IL 60098
(815) 893-9PAN (9726)

The festival’s Facebook page can be found at www.facebook.com/steelpanfestival

We look forward to seeing you all at the Great Lakes Steelpan Festival on April 8, 2017, in Woodstock, IL!