The approach to Trinity-Bellwoods on Tuesday night evoked a brain reel of pop-culture iconography: Morpheus triumphantly addressing a sweaty, gyrating crowd of robocracy-epoch survivalists; Eric Cartman’s hippie drill on a crusade against jam-fests everywhere. Close enough to the Garrison Creek ravine near the park’s center, the imagery assumes a vaguely post-apocalyptic quality; considering the circle’s recent history, the dancing, percussive multitude brought together by Drummers In Exile must get the whole flight-of-humanity thing on some level.
Two years ago, a couple of elderly neighbours complained about all the fire poi and djembes to such an extent that police called shenanigans and cracked down. Forced out of their “natural habitat,” Drummers In Exile set themselves about some crafty fundraising and online organizing, determined to bounce back. With priorities of community respect—”Be respectful of residents that may live nearby by not drumming in too large a group, or too loud or too late at night,” reads the organization’s Facebook group—and ecological stewardship, Drummers In Exile won the necessary permits to return to the great outdoors. As of last night, every other Tuesday finds the congregation back at their Trinity-Bellwoods sanctuary, celebrating another summer free of their robot oppressors.
Drummers In Exile’s next circle will be at Cherry Beach Park on June 17.
All photos by Jon Robertson.