Attending the WRF: FAQs
Where is the World Rhythm Festival held?
The WRF is at Seattle Center, the cultural and community heart of Seattle, and home of the Space Needle. Click here for directions to Seattle Center.
What buildings are WRF events held in?
How do I get into the workshops I want to attend? Is pre-registration required?
Nope – just show up! All workshops and events are open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Most workshops hold between 60 and 100 people (some fewer, some as many as 200). Most do fill up, so arrive early for good seats at your favorites. That said, there are usually eight workshops to choose from at any given time in the day.
Does it cost anything to get into the WRF?
All events at the WRF are open to the public free of charge. We want to make this wonderful variety of world music accessible to as many people as possible to discover and evolve their rhythmic interests.
That said, we do request and encourage you to support the Festival and our wonderful teaching and performing artists by buying WRF merchandise, and “I Support the Artists” buttons. Please show your appreciation for the music and learning these generous musicians bring to you!
More than 100 workshops & performances, all free? How can that be?
From its beginning, the World Rhythm Festival has been organized by volunteers as a grassroots effort, driven by our love of world music, drumming and dance. Central to our miraculously low budget is our sponsorship by Seattle Center, which provides over $50,000 worth of space for free because our event is free and open to the public.
We do have expenses, however, and we need your support to keep bringing the Festival back year after year. Vendor fees, merchandise sales, and SWPS memberships cover equipment rental, sound & technical labor, printing costs, and the like.
Should I bring my drum? Do I need certain drums for certain classes?
Yes! Bring a drum that you like to play, and is easy to carry. You can use any drum in any class. For instance, it’s fine to bring a djembe to a conga class.
Can I buy a drum there?
Yes! The International Marketplace offers the best selection of drums of all kinds and price points that you’ll find anywhere in the Northwest. Please support our vendors!
Do you have drums to rent?
Yes. We have a limited number of Remo djembes and tubanos for rent at $5 per day. Our drum rental and drum check services are operated by Village Volunteers, a non-profit which runs community development projects in Kenya, India, Ghana, and Nepal.
Can I check my drum if I don’t want to carry it around?
Yes. Drum Check is available in the 3rd floor lobby, at the top of the Center House stairs.
Where can I eat?
The Food Court in the Center House offers convenient food of many styles. There are also many restaurants within walking distance of Seattle Center, particularly on Roy Street to the north, and Queen Anne Avenue to the west. See www.nwsource.com for restaurant listings in the area. Metropolitan Market, across Mercer Street to the northwest, has a good deli section.
What else should I bring?
The Festival is a bustling, volunteer-operated affair involving lots of activities, and people moving in and out of rooms and hallways carrying drums and backpacks. So, as in life, bringing a good sense of humor and spirit of community will serve you well!
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