Musicians from Rocksteady Music School in Godalming, Surrey, travelled to Brussels last weekend to volunteer at a festival which brings together local communities and refugees through workshops, discussions and performances.
Organised by Singa Belgium and Refugee Aid Serbia, Routes Festival offers a chance for interaction and recreation for refugees who have often endured perilous journeys to reach Belgium.
The annual festival kicked off in Polykastro, Macedonia, on 12 August 2017 and visited Belgrade, Vienna, Berlin and Paris before the final date in Brussels on 16 September 2017.
The Rocksteady team performed songs and ran a series of workshops involving children from the local area and refugee children, who performed songs such as Can’t Stop the Feeling and Summer of ’69. Even though many of the refugee children could not speak French, the team was able to teach over 20 children to perform on keyboards, drums, electric guitar or vocals.
Mark Robinson, Founder of Rocksteady Music School, said:
‘Going to help at festivals like this is a core part of what Rocksteady is about. Routes Festival aims to help refugees integrate with their new communities and playing in bands is a great way to start building those bonds. We can give them the experience of playing music together, having fun and making people happy, which makes a real difference to children of all ages and backgrounds.’
Header photo: The Rocksteady group on stage