About Us

Tribe of Doris brings together artists and audiences to share a fireside, creating spaces for all people to share, learn and be joyful. Our globally-inspired gatherings celebrate music, dance, creativity and wellbeing, giving way to your sense of wonder and leading you back to your roots. The Doris community shares a passion for the power of coming together with our brothers and sisters from around the world. We host a yearly festival in Leicestershire, as well as other events and activities throughout the UK and beyond.

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Our Story

Tribe of Doris was born on the wave of djembe drumming and dance that came to the UK in the late ’80s. It was sparked by a chance encounter at a small festival between Mussa Suma, Baba Adesose Wallace, Ayo Dele Scot, Jahman Aggrey and Deasy Bamford. They sang, danced, and drummed around a huge fire all night long. By dawn, the idea of Doris had begun to kindle. The idea was simple: to create a gathering with drumming and culture at the heart. Not on a stage to be witnessed, but living and breathing in and amongst the people. Mirroring ways in which African communities have expressed their cultures for millennia. Gathering drummers, dancers and like-minded souls, Deasy Bamford and Siobhan Kierans founded the first Doris drum convention, held at Almondsbury Scout Camp in the early 90s with 75 participants. The rain was torrential but it could not dampen the spirit that was being reborn. Melodies and rhythms from all around the world coming together, driven by the energy of the people.

 

As time passed, artists from all over heard about the tribe and wanted to come and teach; to be a part of this unique and special place. The intercultural summer school moved from Shepton Mallet to the Blackdown Hills in Devon but continued developing its core, working with new and varied artists and deepening creative connections. In 2015, after a 4-year break, it returned to Stanford Hall in the heart of England, energised by a new management team who knew they could not let something so special fade away.

 

Doris has always and continues to be a labour of love. A meeting of minds, given life by the diverse and unique people that make up our community. There are so many people that have played a role in Doris’ longevity. Too many to name in this small space, but with the help of many seen and unseen hands, we spread our magic. Our determination grows as we strive to open our community up to all of those who want to celebrate the differences that enrich us and the similarities that bind us together.

 
Samantha 
May
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Marketing Executive

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Meet The Team

Smiling Young Woman

Hello, I am Maria, lover of the sun, the sea and colourful things. Since leaving the Caribbean sun, festivals have been my sanctuary in the UK. Tribe of Doris has had a special place in my life since I first attended as a little one with my grandmother. After a break in 2019 I am back at the helm, leading the organisation as Creative Director. I am passionate about inclusivity and cultural arts development. It's been a real pleasure working with this smashing team in the last few months.

Creative Director

Maria O.

Smiling Young Woman

Greetings! I go by many names; Effie,Joe,Jojo, rainbow, many colours, Josephine, I answer to all. Having been moshing for years at Doris, I am super excited to be joining the team programming and looking after our amazing artists and stall holders. Play hard, stay safe and look after each other ... Ubuntu

Programming

Joe Bennet

Smiling Young Woman

Hi, I’m Nina, I joined the team as the administrator last year and it’s been the most delightful journey so far! I am here and happy to help with any admin queries you may have. I’m a singer, an all-round music lover, and I specialise in Polish folk singing. So be warned, I may randomly serenade you on-site! It’s my first Doris festival and I cannot wait to experience “the Doris magic” I hear people talk about so fondly! 

Administrator

Nina Potiszil

Smiling Young Woman

Hello! I’m Katie, a Doris baby living the dream on the management team. Currently living in the middle of nowhere in the Lake District, plunging into freezing water every day, and counting down the days until the 4th August. Come to me with any Doris query, great or small - I can usually be found in the HQ area, or at or at circles@tribeofdoris.co.uk pre-event.

Accommodation

Katie Dodsworth

Smiling Young Woman

Namaste, I joined the Doris tribe after landing back to the UK in 2012 (with my son) when it first came to beautiful Stanford Hall. My Doris journey began with me being invited to share the “Gayatri Mantra” — I instantly fell in love with the spirit of Doris & quickly became part of the core team; developing community groups, supporting programming & partnership building. I also work with Bristol Refugee Festival and co-manage the diverse artists network (DAN) - inclusivity & cultural representation is on top of my agenda!

Community Outreach

Vandna Mehta

Smiling Young Woman

Hey, I'm Zach. I've been lovin' and livin' the Doris life since the late 90s. Doris for me is like Christmas, my favourite time of the year where I'm surrounded by my Doris family. On-site, if I'm not in the sauna you can find me either around one of the fires or working away on something. Always on hand to help out around the festival so let me know if you need something carried, built or botched.

Site Crew

Zach Palmer