Theft of a Van uncovers the power of Samba community!

Sambistas are a loving, yet very strong and powerful community. They are not only united by music but also mutual respect and care. Sambistas are like an arm attached to one body. If a small finger is hurt, the whole arm feels the pain. When a fellow is in need, these people go to heights of humanity to help and reach out. Where many different examples of such activities exist, one big example is what the world saw 2 years ago in Paderborn Germany, when one of the biggest German batucada groups Querschläger was banned from playing in the infamous Liboridade for being too loud, while the group had been playing for 19 years!

The decision was of course unjust and totally unfair. To protest against the decision, Sambistas and Samba Schools from all over the world sent Querschläger a small video to show their love and support. The story was covered by local news paper and city administration was forced to take back it’s decision.

Something similar has occurred this year in July 2019 where Sambistas from all over the world gathered to help their fellow Scottish Samba school “The Edinburgh Samba School (TESS)”, whose Van was stolen containing most of their instruments.

The news broke out on July 3rd when TESS posted about the incident on their facebook page.

Morning friends of TESS, some sad news from us today as our beloved van (a white ford transit ST10 XJA) has gone missing yesterday which has most of our drums in it

TESS via Facebook

Within hours the news spread all across the samba community and Sambistas started to reach out to help them in whatever ways they could.

Speaking to Samba Diary, Dave from TESS explained that a weekend before the theft they had a Gala Day gig in Broxburn and the Van was supposed to carry all the instruments to the rehearsal the following Friday.

The theft occurred just a week before the International Samba Festival, Coburg, where TESS was scheduled to play for the first time. Having lost most of their instruments, it was hard to assume if they were going to be able to play in Coburg. However, Sambistas joined together and offered their help to make sure they play in Coburg. While some offered to lend instruments, others offered to sell with very cheap rates.

Read about the International Samba Festival Coburg

Later, TESS created a fund raiser to help them recover their loss and within days they managed to raise 86% of the needed 3,500 £ with the help of over 116 supporters. Although there has been no sign of the vehicle yet, some of the instruments have been found damaged in Midlothian.

With great generosity of the Samba Community and support of Europcar, The Edinburgh Samba School’s crew of 15 Sambistas made their way to Coburg successfully. 

We greatly appreciate all the generous contributions to our Just Giving page, including donations from our fellow sambistas Morro 16, Bloco 3K, Katumba, Wellington Batucada, and a whole host of TESS family members, past and present. We’re thankful to those that offered and those whom we borrowed drums from. Thanks again to Europcar, without whom we wouldn’t have gotten those drums to Coburg.

The Edinburgh School of Samba

Support TESS on this page!

Photo Credits:
The Edinburgh Samba School
Cover photo by Doug Sommers

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