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Portsmouth Encontro and Notting Hill Carnival 2023

Updated: Feb 26

Written by Kath Morris - Batala Manchester Treasurer


The biggest annual global Batala Mundo event not to be missed, playing those samba reggae beats with your Batala family in the most amazing places.


You may be thinking I don’t know if I’m ready for something this big. You may

be considering it but have many questions and things that you would love to

know before making the decision to go along. This post will hopefully address

some of these worries and answer a lot of your questions making it an easy

decision to attend encontro next time.



Unmissable things to see and do

There are so many reasons to attend Mundo events and these are just a few of

those, the reasons to do them and the feelings and experiences they give.


Batala Mundo Rehearsals

One of the best things about the Batala Mundo events is the chance to

rehearse with the world wide Batala Mundo family.



The buzz and excitement of a Mundo rehearsal along with the wealth of

experience and knowledge from around the world makes these events

something not to be missed. The incredible, sound of a mass of drummers all

sharing in the same love and enjoyment brings an overwhelming feeling of

family and brings an amazing learning experience that can’t be found

anywhere else.



Victorious festival and the historic dockyard in Portsmouth

The two main performances of 2023 Encontro in Portsmouth were at The

Historic Dockyard in Portsmouth and at Victorious Festival. Both incredible

events to be a part of.



The performance at the dockyard was a glorious day in a beautiful and history

filled setting. It can be a nerve wracking experience performing at your first

Mundo gig but it leaves you with a huge adrenaline rush and a huge feeling of

achievement afterwards too. You almost can’t prepare yourself for the sound

and atmosphere created by 200 drummers.


Secondly parading along the sea front of Portsmouth and into Victorious

festival and then performing there was one of the best experiences. The

crowds that gather to watch and listen all add to the excitement and it’s such

an amazing feeling to watch people smiling and dancing along to the beats

and busting their moves along with you.


Emotions can run high and singing the traditional song "Ashansu" as a rainbow appeared in the sky alongside what becomes a huge Batala family brought a happy lump to my throat and happy tears to my eyes. Festival fun was also had, watching other acts, enjoying the festival vibes and atmosphere and sharing a fun filled day.



Notting Hill Carnival

This is one of three main Batala Mundo events and one that you should not

miss out on!



The day is started by the band gathering together at the meeting point. This

year(2023) joined by cameras and sound men who listened to us chatting and

watched the small band demos that happened pre parade. These demos

helped to capture the newly created songs and are still used for teaching and

learning purposes now. Then comes the big event. The main Notting Hill

Parade.


Nothing could prepare me for the absolutely mind blowing experience

I had. The crowds there to watch were something that previously I had only

ever seen on tv before and honestly were the best source of fuel for keeping

that buzz and energy going right to the end. A key moment was stopping to

perform the newly created song Buzio for the cameras and judges and the

sense of pride, achievement and pure joy of being a part of that is something I

will never forget - 2023 winners of the section in the Notting Hill Carnival

Parade Batala Mundo!


The image above is an amazing shot of the founder and creator of it all Giba Gonvalves with the parade behind him. Smiles on show. This event was finished off with a super energetic side road gig which drew in more crowds and just added to the fantastic carnival atmosphere that can be found all around Notting Hill. Being a part of such a prestigious and well renowned carnival has been one of the most incredible experiences of my life.



Practical advice

A few practical things to mention about Mundo events.


Stay at the Batala Accommodation

If accommodation is provided or recommended by Batala for the event then I

would recommend to anyone to use this! A few reasons for this follow.



Staying at the Batala accommodation allows you the chance to bond and

spend time together with your own band mates but also to meet and get to

know other batala members from around the world and to become a part of

what is a huge and welcome Batala Mundo Family. It also makes it so much

easier to find others, know what is going on and remember all you need to

know. Just like all of the amazing socials and parties that are a part of these

events.



What to pack!

As a first timer I think it would be useful to know what you need to pack


Firstly, you are not going to need anything too fancy at all. Most of what you

will need is seen in the picture above. Plenty of batala t shirts or vests along

with leggings, shorts or other sports wear is recommended. You will also need

a costume that you will have bought or been provided with before you go. The

only other things you may need to pack will be a fancy dress or party outfit,

which you will be told about before you go too! Otherwise you will be

rehearsing, partying or sleeping so not much else other than toiletry essentials

are necessary.



What do do before you go

A few hints or tips on things to do before you go.


Go to as many rehearsals as you can before hand and practice and revise as

much of the material as possible before you go. This will give you the best

chance of enjoying it and allowing yourself to learn even more new material

whilst soaking up the experience and quality of playing around you.

Also have a go at parading with your drum. It feels very different at these

bigger and longer parades and events and it will make you able to relax more

and enjoy the atmosphere.



MOST OF ALL GO TO THE EVENT. Take it all in, soak up the atmosphere and

experience, learn from it and tell everyone else about it and how amazing it is.




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