Posted by Jess on Monday, April 19 - 10.06am

MarchFourth Marching Band: Join the Revolution

There were sequins, there was lace, there were fishnet tights, there were cowbells.

Imagine a school marching band mixed with a generous helping of Moulin Rouge, with a splatter of Pirates of the Caribbean and a dash of Rocky Horror Show, and you’ll have a vague idea of the sheer energy generated by the MarchFourth Marching Band. I have never experienced anything like this before; it was an overwhelming combination of musical talent and circus-style entertainment, with a Sgt. Pepper edge that drew an impressive crowd. Whistler tends to embrace the alternative and this musical spectacle’s infectious bohemian style certainly fit the bill.

The band marched through the village streets, and as if following the pied piper we all joined in on the action. When the troupe finally took to the stage, the light faded and the rain set in, though the crowd hardly seemed to notice. Complete with dancers and sabre swords, men with rockin’ moustaches on stilts, and the most agile hula-hoop girl I have ever seen, it was hard to know where to look at any given time. Simultaneously, a never ending beat of drums merged with anthem tunes that challenged you not to bob your head, let alone break out into full on public dancing.

The lights of the stage bounced off saxophones, trumpets and trombones in the hands of eclectically dressed artists. “It’s one of those Queen protectors,” someone shouted over the Samba/Afro-Beat/Gypsy Brass/Rock/Jazz sounds. I could only hazard a guess that he was talking about the guy who was dressed as a Palace Guard.

I found myself chanting with the crowd as the two stilt men came through the throng with a massive cowbell that would have made any Swiss proud. In true Whistler style this too was soon crowd surfing in the distance followed by one of the stilt men barley keeping his moustache in check.

This was definitely a night to remember: completely over the top, a little Clockwork Orange, and downright sexy. Where can I sign up for next year? -Dee Raffo

MarchFourth Marching Band, or M4 for short, comes all the way from sunny Portland, Oregon. You can find them online at

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