High expectations for second Unruly Fest

September 13, 2019
A view of the crowd at Unruly Fest 2018.
A view of the crowd at Unruly Fest 2018.

With pristine organisation and an all-star line-up including international rapper Drake, the inaugural staging of Popcaan's Unruly Fest wowed natives of St Thomas and beyond, and offered a sense of hope in reviving the live entertainment scene in the parish.

Touting a mantra to promote 'brand Jamaica', the event returns on December 21, and the unruly camp is going all the way up.

"Popcaan is extremely excited about the upcoming event. Not only is he making plans as an artiste, but he is also anxiously waiting to present another great production that will make St Thomas and Jamaica proud," event producer Carleene Samuels told THE WEEKEND STAR.

Among those electrifying the stage at Lyssons Beach last year were Popcaan's Portmore Empire mates, Jah Vinci and Doza Medicine, as well as Bounty Killer, Bugle, I-Wayne, Agent Sasco, Tanya Stephens and Cocoa Tea.

pleas for drake

Since Popcaan announced this year's concert date recently on social media, fans have been calling for Drake's return. Pleas have also been made for a bigger venue. Samuels said these details are currently being reviewed.

"We are contacting artistes, negotiations are under way, but we are not yet able to reveal the names of the performers just yet," she said. "One of the things we wanted from day one of deciding to stage Unruly Fest, was to always strive to organise a stellar production that would only get better each year. Last year was outstanding, so for this year you will have to just wait to see what we bring to the table. We can guarantee though that you will be impressed. We will be doing all things that will be the best moves for St Thomas."

The show joins other events like the Reggae Life Jamaica Music Festival and Makka Pro Surfing Competition which aim to secure a live entertainment presence in the parish.

The now defunct East Fest Jamaica show was once the premiere concert of St Thomas, and held its first staging at the turn of the new millennium, courtesy of the musical Morgan family. The show was last held in 2007 in Morant Bay.

With major concerts and festivals dwindling in numbers in Jamaica in recent years, could Unruly Fest join the ranks of a Reggae Sumfest or other premiere annual events?

"Reggae Sumfest is an outstanding event that promotes Jamaica's culture and lifestyle, Unruly Fest also has a similar mandate," said Samuels. "The promotion of brand Jamaica is our desire first and foremost. Of course, we are also seeking to help in the development of St Thomas as well. This is our second year and we will grow from strength to strength."

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