Moment of truth for ‘biggest music festival’

After weeks of heady talk and bold assertions that the biggest music festival ever is about to hit Guyana, the moment is finally here. It is only a matter of hours before the promoters of the Guyana Music Festival (GMF) prove whether they are just talk or this is ‘the show’ that will leave everyone talking.

There has been no shortage of talk since the Jamaican imports that are headlining the show were announced. Much have been said about the relatively new kid on the block, Collie Buddz, who will no doubt grab massive support when he belts out his marijuana endorsing tune, “Come Around”.

And there is Alaine, Jamaica’s newest sensation and the lone female in the line-up. Thanks to the new Hits and Jams television station her music has gotten so much promotion she is already a certified hit.

But the real conversation has only been about one man, ‘Gargamel’ Buju Banton who has not lived down the homophobic lyrics of his early career. Letters have appeared in the local press calling for his appearance to be cancelled while others have spoken out against such a move. Even the singer’s publicist sought to defend him in Stabroek News saying those lyrics were from a time long past in his music career.

As he takes the stage at the National Stadium later tonight, Buju will be conscious of the eyes on him and the ears keenly tuned in though he will certainly entertain at the high level he is expected to. His modern reggae music which has identified him with Jamaican music legend Bob Marley will probably be his avenue for maximum appeal.

Still, his dancehall music which he has revived and is promoting on a new album is likely to provide Buju fans with the energizing kind of entertainment they are interested in and have been looking forward to.

Two of the artistes, Kiprich and Mr. Easy arrived in Guyana on Wednesday night while the remaining performers filed in on Thursday and Friday.

Speaking with The Scene on Thursday, Mr. Easy made it clear he will not be taking it easy tonight since his personality on stage differs a whole lot from the man that people approach on the street.

“Guyanese can expect 100 percent from me when I get on that stage because that is how Mr. Easy does it. I have new tracks to feed the public and judging from how the crowd reacted the first time I was here a few months ago, I am expecting big things”.

Kiprich, who said he always lives up to his stage name, “Drama King” promised to keep things ‘locked’ at the festival. He said Guyanese need not worry since his performance alone will generate enough energy to last for the entire night. According to him, his performance will be so high on energy some people might not be able to keep up. As he put it, “Guyana better look out”.

Since the imported Trinidad stage and lighting touched down in Guyana earlier this week tickets have reportedly being selling like hot cakes, VIP tickets that is.

The reasonably priced tickets are also selling but it would appear that many Guyanese are interested in front row seats, free drinks, finger foods and convenient parking even if it means shelling out US$100 per ticket.

The promoters are adamant that the show will start at 8 pm no matter how many persons are at the stadium and they have maintained that transportation to and from the venue will be provided. Patrons with their tickets merely have to produce it at the Ashmin’s Store on High Street and will be transported there.

There have been concerns as to how persons are getting back down since the numbers being transported at any given time to the event would be rather small compared to that of those coming down when the show is over. The promoters have not yet addressed this but the general feeling is that if the people get you up there, the least you could do is get home on your own.

The promoters threw a VIP party at the New Courtyard last evening to get things rolling and today the hype is expected to go into overdrive. (ianaseales@yahoo.com)

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