River of music in London

Every summer, in London and many cities around  the world, visitors can indulge in free activities such as museum visits, art tours, concerts in the park and attending comedy nights.

One such free activity this summer in London was a series of music extravaganzas in London sponsored by the British Telecoms (BT).

BT had set up six stages along the River Thames on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd July, the weekend before the 2012 Games began.

Up to 500,000 music fans were expected to have taken advantage of the free shows over two days.  It was intended to offer music from around the world to tie in with the global games.

Citizen Journalists Malaysia (CJMY) attended the BT (British Telecoms) River of Music festival Oceania Stage at the Old Royal Naval College, not knowing what to expect.

Tickets were free but one had to pay £3 (RM 15) to register. The bands that were up on the stage for that day were: 9 Bach, Frank Yamma, Mamiath and the most popular group, the Wantok Musik Sing Sing.

The audience was enthralled and taken down memory lane by the music provided by Wantok Sing Sing who mixed the music of cultures 60,000 years old with choral singing and hip hop, solo bamboo flutist, acoustic guitars and ukuleles.

The crowd must have grown to about 3,000 strong by late afternoon.

In the densely forested highlands of Papua-New Guinea, a sing sing is a musical gathering where tribes and villages share their dance and song.

There was a variety of excellent acts to watch and listen to and the security was tight but polite.  Food stalls were aplenty and the 100+ temporary toilet facilities were more than adequate.

Many people danced, others sun bathed, licked ice creams, drank beer out of plastic bottles, still others did their yoga poses and families with children had their picnics on that hot, hot day.

The Wantok Music Sing Sing group. Sing Sing means a music festival in pidgin English.
Two of the violinists entertained the crowd.