Happenings

Published on July 3rd, 2017 | by Jerry Doby

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Video Recap: St. Kitts Music Festival 2017

From the moment we began our descent over the lush landscapes that makeup the independent island of St. Kitts, it was apparent, that this was to be no ordinary trip. Looking out the window of my American Airlines conveyance, my eyes were greeted with some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve enjoyed in quite some time. Crystal blue water, mountain caps which reach into the clouds, appearing like a welcoming wave from a friend, and the greenery…a tree hugger’s heaven!!!

Photo: Jerry Doby / The Hype Magazine

A short scenic walk from the tarmac into the customs’ house gave me time to drop about 1,000 pounds of stress, as the perfectly situated airport is surrounded by a microcosm of the piece of visual paradise that is St. Kitts. Inbound customs processing was a breeze; the agents and staff were courteous, helpful and professional. I must forewarn you that when you are outbound through St. Kitts. Customs have ALL of your liquids placed in a 1qt see through plastic bag or you’ll have to discard those items. They are gracious enough to provide you a bag however, you’ll have to get out of line and take a short walk to an office to get one…then get back in line. Just an fyi…

After clearing customs and making my way out of the terminal, I stepped onto the sidewalk and was greeted with a musical voice saying, “You must be Jerry” which was my introduction to the Ministry of Tourism handler assigned to the media for this trip. It was also my introduction to our hard working and ever smiling driver, LeMatts Taxi…that’s how he actually asked to be remembered! LeMatts was a joy to listen to as he pointed out important tidbits on the history and development of the country. Jennifer, the magnificent Jennifer was also a fount of information and her ability to make things happen on a moments notice was awe-inspiring.

Due to travel routing requirements, I arrived ON the day of the press reception, I had about a 30-minute window to check in to my luxurious room at the St. Kitts Marriott, which offered me a fantastic view of the ocean and pool from the spacious balcony of the room. I did my freshen up thing and made my way down to the expansive main floor and caught up with Jennifer and LeMatts for the scenic ride to the press event. My arrival at the press party that boasted government dignitaries as well as music festival sponsors was enhanced by the serene landscape as well as the fact that the party had started! Yeah, I was late but hey, you would be too if you’d spent five hours in the middle seat…overstand me?!

This was the event at which I met our Media Manager Cathy Preece of Adams Unlimited, and it was like meeting a long lost friend! Cathy immediately took charge of me and ensured I was good…so introductions all around, cocktail in hand, I was escorted to the Minister of Tourism Mr. Lindsay Grant with whom I immediately connected and we got to work! Minister Grant and I stepped off to a quiet(er) spot on the brand new super yacht marina for a spur of the moment brief chat live for The Hype Magazine audience! Many of our viewers had not heard of St. Kitts and the introduction to the island an independent country since 1983 by the Minister has been well received.

The St. Kitts Music Festival’s opening day press conference lit the fuse to a three day event that was a shot heard around the world as an international audience partied and live streamed their personal looks at the multi-layered music lineup. World-class mega-stars like Shabba Ranks, Goo Goo Dolls, Third World, Movado and more, melded their sounds with those of regional stars for a perfectly crafted musical experience. The initial daily morning press conference proved to be quite special as Minister Grant addressed the press in attendance as well as the live television and radio feeds going out across the full spectrum of international news and entertainment outlets. The Music Festival Chairman Mr. Val Henry, masterfully moderated the press conference and it appears his signature is to cleverly engage with the celebrity panelists about one of their songs and get them to give a sample performance during the press conference. The results were amazing each evening of the festival as the entertainers let festival goers know they were in town to perform and traveling the city to participate in forums, workshops and motivational activities with the community. Here’s a personal peek at my day one experience…it hits on a few different things and I’m not a video editor but I connected with St. Kitts as a whole as soon as I touched down…The party starts at 1:36 check it out!

The Musical Adventure began with a Caribbean driven showcase with a lineup that encompassed a collection of sounds which have made their presence mandatory in a diverse set of genres. Day One – Thursday The magic that began at the morning press conference to open the magnificent St. Kitts Music Festival, continued to the stage as the throng of thousands was treated to various heavy hitters from the Caribbean music scene. On THIS night especially, we heard all the sounds and accents that play such a huge role in music across the globe…especially Hip-Hop.

Day 2 – Friday On day 2 of the festival, regional heavy hitters shared the stage with the first round of international mega-stars like Third World, Shabba Ranks, Goo Goo Dolls…what?! I told you from the beginning, this was a world-class music festival…not my fault you missed it! Definitely get on board for next year’s festival! Find out more via their official website http://www.stkittsmusicfestival.net

Day 3 – Saturday Oh yes! The ladies were represented on Saturday night beginning with the young dynamo Briannagh D, V. Bozeman, K. Michelle and the magnificent Shannah. Credence Clearwater Revisited blessed the stage, I found out I’ve heard at LEAST 16 songs they’ve written or performed and just didn’t know they were behind the joint. I have to thank my music writer colleague Darren Paltrowitz for a great commentary on the guys, his knowledge of music is quite incredible and made the night extra special for me.

The overall experience of the St. Kitts Music Festival as a professional was one of pure delight. Events began on time and were well staffed. The venue, Warner Park Stadium was pristine, even with thousands of festival attendees, vendors, etc., marching around on the turf, it never lost its lustre. Encamped around the expansive perimeter of the stadium, vendors provided a culinary experience the simply beats anything I’ve experienced at a festival…even their fast food is gourmet!!! So that’s a reminder of what you heard in the first video…St. Kitts Restaurant Week begins mid July and is touted as another exceptional experience not to be missed! My rating of the festival experience is 5/5 for lineup, production, venue and the extremely professional staff and crew. More than just music, St. Kitts Music Festival is the perfect meeting ground for those who want to experience the best of everything God put on the earth…simple and plain! SaveSave SaveSave SaveSaveSaveSave

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About the Author

Editor-in-Chief of The Hype Magazine, and internationally published arts & entertainment journalist. Member of the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture as well as the United States Press Corps.


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