A look at THE FIRST HANDPAN FESTIVALS & GATHERINGS – because not only the Handpans themselves have a history …


Many people (especially readers of this blog 😉 ) will be able to confirm that Handpans, their sounds and the way they are played can have the quality of a virus. And more and more people are falling victim to this virus. Worldwide. Hardly any other musical instrument offers this simplified, intuitive and pleasant approach to making music yourself as elegantly and harmoniously as Handpans and Hanghang. Perhaps there really is no other. For many people, these instruments are a gift that makes their lives sustainably more beautiful, more creative, calmer – simply somehow better. It is therefore only logical that as a Handpan enthusiast, as a Handpan player (no matter what ‘level’ you play at) you want to share the joy of these sounding UFOs with others – to exchange ideas with like-minded people and make music together.

The first Handpan Festivals and Gatherings were usually very small, intimate gatherings of Handpan and ‎Hang® players who wanted to meet to make music together and exchange ideas. These gatherings were often spontaneous and informal, and were often held in private gardens or small venues.

Today, numerous handpan festivals and gatherings take place around the world. These events offer a wide variety of music, workshops, handpan tuning and many other activities. They are a great way to get to know the Handpan Community and enjoy the music of these unique instruments. In addition, most of these events offer the opportunity to get in direct contact with the handpan makers. Knowing how these instruments are made helps to understand what you are actually holding in your hands and how to play them.

Here is a brief overview of the early history of handpan gatherings and festivals held around the world. However, only events that were founded by 2016 at the latest are listed here. This list is about the really early history of these special events. Since 2017/18, the idea and implementation of “Handpan Festivals” and “Handpan Gatherings” has been spreading rapidly and worldwide. It’s becoming difficult to keep track…. 😉
(By the way, PANIVERSE would be very grateful for any corrections, photos or additions to this topic)

Mai 2005 – “First International Hangplayers’ Meeting”
~ 200 Hang owners populate the PANArt grounds and exchange ideas.

click pics to enlarge

2006 – “HANG Weekend” UK (forerunner of the HANGOUT UK)
~ 15 participants, among them Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer from PANArt in Glastonbury

2009 – HANGOVER (UK) [still exists today]
is a for 39 people limited event held in the middle of the UK winter.

2012 -2013 – HANDPANGEA [no longer exists today]
50-70 friends gathered at Laughing Waters Center in Gerton, NC.

2013 – PANACEA, first french handpan festival, happened only one Time

2014 – ÉtÉ NOMADE Handpan Gathering [still exists today]

Sept. 2014 – 2019 – HANDPAN FESTIVAL France [no longer exists today]
~ 800 participants, later up to 5.000 people. Handpan event with the most visitors ever.

June 2014 – 2018 – HOUSA – USA [no longer exists today]
Video HOUSA: https://youtu.be/NJ17kmuuaqE?si=0QeOTYwCzNM6NfgG

January 2016 – 1st PANOZ (Australia) [still exists today]

Juli 2016 – 1st GRIASDI Handpan & Worldmusic FESTIVAL [still exists today]
~ 300 participants, later up to ~ 800

2016 – 1st PANTAM – Festival Israel [still exists today]

Sept. 2016 – 1st SINGADING (Spain) [still exists today]
50 people attended in 2016 and 2017. Around 120 since 2018

In the PANIVERSE Handpan Event Calendar on this Website you will find an overview of current Handpan Events taking place around the world. Choose one, go and enjoy. Especially if you are interested in Handpan, it is the best thing you can do. Have a wonderful Handpan Festival Summer 2024 Panheads !

PS: If you now want to delve deeper into the history of the handpan, then the “HANDPAN TIMELINE Project” is just the right place to browse: https://handpan-timeline.org/alltags


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