It’s arguably the greatest party in the Caribbean! The St. Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival officially got on the way last week Saturday with the mega launch at the Mindoo Phillip Park. For weeks leading up to the show the event was hyped via social media, television and radio; to say it was one of the most highly anticipated events would be an understatement. The advertised acts for the event had patrons scurrying to find tickets as they weren’t about to miss the “Queen of Bacchanal” Destra and for the first time on a St. Lucian stage Chronixx. The opening would also unify the island’s best musicians and entertainers on one stage.
With a habit of starting promptly patrons who had not received the memo and were casually making their way in were surprised to hear that at only 9:45pm they had already missed a significant part of the show. It wasn’t until after a few ladies heard the chords for Dupes’ “Dip Pon de Floor” the afro beat influenced hit single, did they urge the gate keeper to allow them in quicker.
There was still more to come as the living legend Invader took to the stage belting hits from past to present thrilling the audience both young and old. Papa as he is also called proved his whining prowess by giving a little jig with his dancer while performing the crowd favourite “Can’t Wine”. The Groovy monarch of St. Lucia, Arhtur was the next artiste charged with continuing the level of energy and excitement left by Invader and he didn’t disappoint. King Arthur ensured that not only were patrons thoroughly entertained he left them “Numb” with anticipation of who could be next.
The roof, if there was one, would have been blown off after the final act in the local segment was announced.” Pandemonium” singers Sedale and Wildfire exploded on stage to hands and flags up, as well as screams of delight and ecstasy. The two performers left patrons wanting more especially when the debuted the dance to his (Sedale) new single “Neighbour”. Their performance would end with all acts from the first half coming on stage singing Neighbour and signing off.
More was on the way and patrons didn’t have to wait too long to be entertained. Hollywood HP and Hyper D ensured that during the break the party would continue as they treated the audience to the latest dancehall, Soca and hip hop songs.
Chronixx was the first guest performer to be introduced and before the Prince of Peace would touch the stage with his calm, roars of approval could be heard throughout the field. His lyrical content which revolves around themes of anti-war, romantic declarations and resiliency was well received by the many fans that had “trod” through the many villages, towns and city just to hear his words. Some of them even bought custom made outfits to show their support for his movement as he sang hits such as “ Here Comes Trouble” , “Rastaman Wheel Out” and “Who Knows” among others.
For some that could have been the end, but not for the St. Lucia Jazz and Arts festival; when they launch the greatest party in the Caribbean, they do it in a big way. The biggest female Soca artiste for the past few years has been Destra and this year she gave her fans a plethora of hits which included “Ooh La La Lay”, “Come Back” with Machel Montano, “This Bam Bam is yours” and crowd favourite “Lucy.” All ofthese hit singles formed part of an unforgettable set where she also introduced us to her brother who just might have a very bright future in the Soca industry.
The opening of the St. Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival has set the stage and raised the bar for the other events to follow and with things culminating tomorrow afternoon we can only expect once again one of the most incredible experiences in the Caribbean.