Photos: Gombey Festival Held At Stadium

September 12, 2015

The Department of Community and Cultural Affairs hosted the annual Gombey Festival today [Sept 12], with the showcase of Bermuda’s premier folk dancers taking place at the W.E.R. Joell Tennis Stadium.

Governor George Fergusson, Acting Minister of Community, Culture and Sports Jeanne Atherden and others joined the crowd at the tennis stadium with Minister Atherden presenting participation certificates to the captains of each group at the start of the evening.

The Gombeys are a blend of many cultures – African, Caribbean and North American Native music. In Bermuda, Gombey dancing and music has been passed down through the ages from generation to generation and in many instances it is a family tradition.


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At each festival, the Department honours an individual who has cultivated and preserved the tradition of Gombey music and dance. This year’s recognition went to Mr. Allan Warner.

Through his lifetime, Mr. Warner has demonstrated a respect and love for his chosen cultural tradition. Mr. Warner has been a dedicated mentor to people willing to learn how to perfect the craft of costume making, dancing and drumming.

Mr Warner began drumming for Warner Gombeys at age 16. The Warner Gombeys, under the direct influence of Mr Warner with Captain Willis ‘Old Man’ Steede and Andrei ‘Mice’ Simons have taught traditional gombey dances depicting oppression, slavery and freedom to many young members of the group.

Gombey Festival Bermuda, September 12 2015-19

The Warner Gombeys under Mr Warner’s leadership have travelled to various islands and countries representing Bermuda in different events.

In 1995, he was the recipient of the Queen’s Certificate of Honour, ‘for keeping the Gombey tradition alive’ and was the first Gombey Captain to receive this honour. He is still performing and drumming today, mostly in hotels and on cruise ships under the Warner Gombeys.

In addition, the Festival also included performances by Gombey troupes —Warner’s, Place’s, H & H, Warwick, Gombey Evolution and Gombey Warriors.

Click to enlarge photos:

click here banner Gombeys 2 2

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Comments (3)

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  1. Opressed says:

    Probably the worst organised event I’ve ever had the displeasure of attending. Every person involved in the “organisation” of this debacle should be out of a job this morning. What should have been a great event was marred by the total lack of profeshionalism on the part of the organisers. Totally clueless comes to mind, but that’s be far too polite.

    • so next year you will help organize? if not offer CONSTRUCTIVE criticism to help improve the event.

    • So can you elaborate on your grip or are you just pissing in the wind.
      Enjoyed the progress of our African Heritage and just to think that the slave masters banned them back in the day.

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