Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Earth Hour Concert expected to pull huge crowd

Published:Sunday | March 13, 2016 | 3:00 AMShereita Grizzle
Patrons release lanterns in the air that lit up the night sky during last year's Earth Hour Concert at Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre.

The annual Earth Hour acoustic concert is set for Saturday, March 19, and according to organisers, this year's event, which is now in its fourth year, is expected to be bigger and better.

JamaicansMusic.com is tasked with planning and executing the event annually, and according to their chief operating officer, Biko Kennedy, the event has grown tremendously each year.

"We certainly can't complain," he said. "The concert has been doing well. Currently, the event has positioned itself as a must-attend event and many persons see it as a calendar event, and that's great."

To that end, Kennedy is expecting the crowd support inside the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre at the 2016 staging to be much bigger than previous ones.

"Last year, we had about 4,000 persons in attendance, and we're expecting to exceed that this year," he said.

The event, which was recently launched, boasts an impressive line-up for this year's staging. In addition to a few up-and-coming artistes like Sevana, d'Burnz and D'Yani, there will also be performances from Roots Underground, Nature, Katalys Crew, Black as Cole, and Mario Evon.

When asked whether artistes positively respond to the call to perform, Kennedy said that the response over the years from the entertainers has been overwhelming.

"Everyone is always ready to perform, we actually had to turn back a few persons," he explained. "They love the message and the energy behind the concert." He also said that in addition to the message behind the event, artistes are attracted because of the exposure they'll receive.

"What we normally do is showcase a lot of the up-and-coming artistes with the more known ones, and that helps to promote everyone internationally. Over the years, we've seen where virtually unrecognised acts are propelled to the forefront of the music scene because of the exposure they got here. They win over fans and build their following."

Music is not the only thing that will entertain patrons on the night. The event is expected to start at 6 p.m., but when the clock strikes 8:30 p.m., concert-goers will officially begin the observation of Earth Hour. Between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., the power inside the venue will be cut and patrons will witness the annual light show where close to 100 biodegradable lanterns will be released into the sky.

When the event is over, organisers are hoping that patrons will leave with the message that climate change is real and that it affects everyone globally.

"Climate change is real and is happening at a rapid pace," said Kennedy. "I think we oftentimes neglect the fact that this is a global ripple effect that is taking place. Every small change makes a difference, and of course, if the world is unified towards a common goal anything is possible."

Earth Hour is an annual 60-minute, symbolic period held across 7,000 cities and 150 countries and territories, where persons are asked to turn off all non-essential lights around their homes to help cut back on global toxic gas emissions. Another aim is to raise awareness about the effects of climate change on the environment.

Sponsors for the event include The Gleaner, Downsound Records, the Jamaica Public Service Company, the Jamaica Tourist Board, and LASCO.

entertainment@gleanerjm.com