Brahm’s Tams Drum Circle is a semi-informal gathering of drummers at Stanley Park’s Third Beach on sunny Tuesday evenings in the summer.
It’s a free event, takes place only on sunny days, and all are welcome.
DRUMMING CIRCLE WAS HAPPENING, BUT …
On March 19th, 2020, the organizers of the once-a-week Brahm’s Tams Drum Circle announced that the tradition of informally gathering to beat drums and celebrate life on Tuesday evenings would be taking a break. Until authorities once again permit gatherings of 50 or more people, due to attempts to control the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, the drumming circle was not going to be taking place.
The problem with “informal” events is that they can still informally happen, which is the case with Vancouver’s world-famous drumming circle. When we visited Third Beach in mid-July, 2020, the beach was packed with people! Dr. Bonnie Henry, the province’s top medical advisor, would not have been happy! It was not a good scene.
As much as we love Brahm’s Tams Drum Circle, we don’t currently recommend attending the event because of the risk of COVID-19. If you do still go this summer though, and if in the unlikely event drumming continues to happen, exercise a high degree of caution. Don’t forget to maintain proper physical distancing (which will likely mean you won’t be able to get within 100 feet or more to the drummers on a sunny evening). Watch, listen and enjoy from a distance! Also, wear a face mask!
The only way incredible free events like Brahm’s Tams Drum Circle will be able to happen in the future, like next year, is if we can beat this pandemic! Stay safe Vancouver! Together we can beat this!
Vancouver’s Brahm’s Tams Drum Circle
Stanley Park‘s Third Beach is a sight to see (and hear) on sunny evenings in the summer. That’s when dozens of drummers and thousands of drumming fans gather to listen to the beats of djembes and watch the sun set over English Bay.
When and Where
The drumming takes place on sunny Tuesday evenings in the warmer months of the year. Between May and September, if the forecast is for sunshine, then there will likely be drumming. If there’s a chance of rain, however, or no visible sunset expected, then the drumming is unlikely.
Brahm’s Tams Drum Circle usually starts up in May, but depending on the weather there can be sessions as early as March some years. June, July and August are always the best months to attend as they attract the biggest crowds. Sessions finish for the year with the arrival of Vancouver’s rainy season beginning sometime in September.
Sessions usually start in the late afternoon and are in full swing and at their busiest by sunset (which varies in time over the course of the summer).
What to Expect
If you find yourself walking along the Stanley Park Seawall near Third Beach on a sunny Tuesday in the late afternoon or evening, don’t be surprised to hear drumming. Lots of drumming!
A hundred or more people turn out for the drumming on slow days. Thousands turn out on busy sunny summer days.
On hot sunny Tuesday evenings in June, July and August, expect the sand at Third Beach to be jam-packed full of people. On busy days it’s impressive!
In the middle of the crowd will be a small group of musicians drumming away on their djembes (which are rope-tuned West African-style goblet drums played with one’s bare hands). With so many people it’s hard to see the drummers, but you know they’re there!
Also at the drumming events you can expect to see a police presence. Police are usually at the edges, huddled in groups, at either end of the seawall as you approach the drumming venue. They are there to make sure things don’t get out of hand. Sometimes there are even police on horseback, just wandering up and down the beach. It’s kind of a strange sight!
The Brahm’s Tams Drum Circle is a free event and most interesting to watch and listen to. People of all ages attend, although the crowd is predominantly young. Children attend, but not so many. It’s mostly young adults.
About Brahm’s and the Drum Circle
Tam-Tams is a free weekly gathering of drummers that jams at Mount Royal Park in Montreal, Quebec. Brahm Olszynko is a man who loved the Montreal drumming tradition and decided to bring it to the Lower Mainland.
The Vancouver drumming sessions began with three drums and four people over a dozen years ago. Today the Third Beach event attracts tens of thousands of people over the course of the summer. Actual drummers nowadays range from just a few up to several dozen. The crowd is made up mostly of the audience.
Brahm’s Tams Drum Circle is not a formal event and it’s not run by a non-profit society or other organization (at least not that we know of). It’s just an informal gathering of drumming enthusiasts that has become a fairly significant summer tradition. It’s free, it’s fun, and it happens when the weather is good.
When not at the beach drumming his djembe, Brahm Olszynko works as a mobile massage therapist in Vancouver.
Drum Circle Video
The following video was taken in the summer of 2018 on a sunny Tuesday evening just before sunset. The video gives you an idea of what the drumming event looks like, and the number of people attending.
Tips and Advice
Below are some tips and suggestions to help you make the most out of your Brahm’s Tams Drum Circle experience.
TIP #1: Check out the event if you can. Third Beach is a beautiful spot, the sunsets are amazing and the drumming adds to the experience. If you’re looking for “good vibes” then Brahm’s Tams Drum Circle is a great place to be.
TIP #2: While there, explore the area! Go for a walk or bike ride along the Seawall. Siwash Rock isn’t far away. The Teahouse is also a nice place for a snack, meal or beverage. Or take a picnic, your swim suit, sunscreen, a blanket and a book for some time on the beach.
TIP #3: If you have a djembe drum, take it! All are welcome to join in the drumming.
TIP #4: If you don’t like crowds, in the summer get there early, in the late afternoon, before it gets really busy. Or go at the start or end of the season, in May or September.
TIP #5: Don’t be surprised to get the occasional whiff of “weed” in the air!
TIP #6: Alcohol is not permitted in public areas (including at the beach in Stanley Park). While you’re walking in the area along the seawall you can tell who is on their way to the drum circle for the first time – the groups of young folk walking in the direction of the drumming with bags clearly marked “BC Liquor Store” on the outside. They obviously don’t know about the police officers waiting just around the corner!
For further details about the event see the Brahm’s Tams Drum Circle website.
If you want to follow the Brahm’s Tams Drum Circle, see more of their photos, join their group or see when the next session is taking place, then join their Facebook page.
For ideas about other things to do in the Lower Mainland, check out any of the following:
- Vancouver Summer Activities
- Vancouver on a Budget
- Lower Mainland Shows and Entertainment
- Vancouver’s Festivals & Events Calendar
- Vancouver’s June, July or August calendars
- Vancouver’s Best Beaches
- Lower Mainland Parks and Nature