Sat | Dec 3, 2016

Booyaka! for the famous, forgotten

Published:Saturday | April 25, 2015 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke

It would be somewhat of a stretch to call Booyaka! a series. Today's staging at the beachside Wickie Wackie venue near Bull Bay, St Andrew, is not the first time that it is being staged - the first outing was seven or eight years ago. Still, despite the time gap, there is a consistency in concept which marks Booyaka! as a unique event, the tag line for which is 'linking music and history'.

For while the standard procedure for a dance is to set up the sound system and play tunes to keep the audience rocking and buying liquor as long as possible for the night, in this case, there are two other elements, as the organisers pursue an objective of preserving the music of some of the famed - and even the forgotten - artistes who have passed away. For this second staging of Booyaka!, Ramone from International One sound system, popular Japanese selector Yuki, and Fire Links will lead a format that Bridgette Anderson describes as "paying tribute to all the greats who have gone before". Hosting duties will be done by Emprezz. And while a more mature audience which would have experienced the music of those greats in the flush of youth is naturally expected to turn out for Booyaka!, Anderson said, "We are encouraging young people to come, so they can get a history."

Accompanying visuals

That history will be presented not only in sound but also sight. Anderson said, "While the music is being played, there will be visuals to show the artiste whose music is being played." This will assist in the process of honouring the recording artistes, as Anderson said, "They (audience members) probably do not know some of the artistes who have gone on."

In addition, there will be a display of the artistes' still images, along with information on them, at Wickie Wackie during Booyaka! "As you enter the venue, you will see the Wall of Fame, where we mount pictures of the artistes and a synopsis of their career," Anderson said. "It will be right on the veranda of the building as you enter. So you can refresh yourself on knowledge of the artistes."

Further adding to the experience is a bonfire. After a 7 p.m. start, the dance is scheduled to end at 2 a.m.. So Anderson said, "We are encouraging persons to come out early and enjoy the time we have." Entry to Booyaka! is $1,000 and Anderson laughs as she says there is no VIP section. "Everybody will be a VIP," she said. Adding to the audience experience will be giveaways throughout the night. "There will be prizes being given away throughout the course of the evening. Usually when you honour, you do not have anything to remind you of what went on," said Anderson, noting that with the Booyaka! giveaways, some audience memories will take away something that will always remind them of the event.