This year Handpan Day will be bigger than ever

Handpan Day is coming again on Wednesday, October 13th. In 2021, in addition to independently organized celebrations, handpan enthusiasts will be able to join a free 24-hour online festival on Facebook.

The global annual holiday was initiated in 2019 by Lauri Wuolio and is a celebration of the handpan culture and artform. Its purpose is to inspire and bring joy to the worldwide handpan scene, which consists of thousands of handpan enthusiasts, players, and instrument builders around the world. People are asked to join the celebration for example by playing handpans together, organizing listening parties or concerts, releasing new music, or posting handpan related content on social media. 

This year the handpan music label Future Rust will create the first-ever Handpan Day Online Festival. The event will be free and streamed via Facebook featuring 24 hours of handpan performances, workshops, interviews, and more. The Festival will see performances from artists like David Kuckhermann, Dan Mulqueen, Kumea Sound, and Connor Shafran. The full lineup will be revealed at the beginning of the week.

Coinciding with this Future Rust will be celebrating the release of the highly anticipated Future Rust: Vol. 3 handpan compilation album. As with previous compilations, the album will be available to purchase at a name-your-price-point through Bandcamp. All of the album sales during the festival will be donated to Handpan Community United to help support in the fight to defend the handpan artform.

What is Handpan Day?

Handpan Day is an annual global celebration of the handpan instrument and the culture that has grown around it over the last two decades. It is a commemoration of the artistic, technical and cultural growth of this young instrument, its roots, and the myriad of experiences it has created for those connected to it. For a massive number of people, handpan has been an endless source of joy, hope, friendships, identity and belonging.

Handpan, or cupola, is a melodic percussion instrument that emerged in the beginning of the millennium. Its roots are in the steelpans of Trinidad and the Indian ghatam (which is why it is also called pantam). It is an ever evolving instrument as makers continue to push the bounds of physics to create new musical possibilities for the player.

During the last two decades a global community and culture has grown around the instrument by means of regular gatherings, festivals and workshops. In 2021 many public events are still being canceled, which is why we have even more reason to celebrate Handpan Day this year and to seek connection in all ways we can!

Join the celebration by posting your favorite handpan memory on social media with the hashtag #handpanday. You can also follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

And finally, if you’d like to support the handpan culture, consider donating to the crowdfunding campaign organized by Handpan Community United to protect the future of these instruments and our creative expression. You can read more about the campaign and its background here.