The World Music Contest - internationally recognised as the most significant festival for wind and brass instruments - opened in the southern province of Limburg in the Netherlands on Saturday evening.
To mark the opening ceremony, a kettledrum - the symbol of the competition - was delivered by helicopter to the Roda JC Stadium in Kerkrade, one of the venues of the festival.
The World Music Contest is held once every four years, with up to 20,000 participants from all over the globe. The programme ranges from marching and show band contests to top-level concert competitions. Andre Rieu, the Dutch violinist and conductor of international renown, enjoyed his first big success at the World Music Contest in 1993. The Limburg music festival will be held until 2 August.
Photo of a kettledrum by Scott Ableman (flickr)