Sumfest Memories : Junior Taylor keeps the artistes satisfied
Junior Taylor has been Reggae Sumfest's backstage manager for the past 18 years.
That means he's responsible for providing refreshments for the festival's performers and ensuring that the VIP area is properly laid out and has adequate supply of various provisions.
Drinks, snacks, fruit platters, candies, scented candles and towels are some of the items he has to ensure are available at the behest of the performers.
He also facilitates the transportation team gaining access to and from the backstage area during performance time and sound checks.
Taylor is also responsible for arranging riders for the festival's performing acts.
He shared two of his greatest Reggae Sumfest memories with THE STAR. The first memory saw him having to stay awake for 24 hours, and in the other, he shared coconuts with some of the top international pop stars of the day.
The first incident saw the return of the iconic deejay Shabba Ranks to the Reggae Sumfest stage in 2012.
After handling his job on the first night, Taylor had to press on after showtime, until 9 a.m. the following day.
"The band that was backing Shabba [Ranks] was performing on Friday night, so it was the only time that they would be able to sound check," Taylor told THE STAR.
Adding to his exhaustion, Taylor's job of making sure Shabba and company were well taken of was impeded by rain.
Taylor's other standout memory is, however, far more pleasant. He recalls having coconut jelly with Destiny's Child after they finished their sound check in 2003.
The trio of Beyonce Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams traded in their individual dressing rooms for a space in a trailer.
"They chose to have jerk chicken, rice and peas with plantain ... . At the time, the group was on top of the charts. Beyonce had her duet with Sean Paul in the top 10. They were very embracing of our culture," Taylor said.