Earth Hour Organisers Look To Expand
It was the final night of the ISSA Boys and Girls Track and Field Championships on Saturday, but that did not stop patrons from turning up in their numbers at the annual Earth Hour Concert, held at the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre.
The event had a scheduled start time of 6 p.m. and by 7:30, the venue was filled to capacity. Still, patrons kept streaming in, and when there were no more seats available, they either sat on the lawns in front of the stage or stood on the outside, just so they could be a part of the action.
The Gleaner Online's Terri-Karelle Reid and Roots Underground lead singer, Stephen Newland took on the night's hosting duties and did well to keep the crowd entertained. The duo had a natural synergy that was well-received by the audience who laughed at their jokes and participated in their impromptu competitions in between acts and band changes.
Ras I and the Redemption band, Katalyst Crew and Charmaine Lemonious, were some of the night's earlier acts. Staying true to the event's core message, each performer delivered thrilling sets, preaching the message of climate change with each song selection. While those who came before her were great, the audience particularly enjoyed Lemonious' set. Her silky smooth vocals mesmerised the audience who responded with loud cheers and screams. Her original single, City Life, resonated as it spoke about the effect climate change could have on the earth and human existence if it wasn't addressed with urgency.
After Lemonious' set, came the highly anticipated Earth Hour. From 8:30 - 9:30 p.m., lights inside the venue were turned off, creating a relaxed and intimate environment. Patrons were tasked with the challenge of lighting the biodegradable lanterns provided by the organisers and though it took some time before the lanterns were inflated enough to float off into the night sky, when they did, it was a beautiful sight. Also beautiful to witness were the multi-coloured light sticks provided by sponsors, The Jamaica Public Service.
The next act, Black As Cole, came on as the lanterns floated off into the night sky and took the show to a whole new level. The all-female group thrilled the audience with their impeccable vocal talent as they opted to perform their songs acapella.
They vowed to be different and as the performance progressed, they did just that. Their harmonies were on point and they had the crowd glued to their every note, literally. Each time the group hit a note or showed off the power of their voices, they sent the audience screaming in adoration. They left the stage to loud cheers.
Roots Underground, Brady O'Connor and Mario Evon, were among the night's other performers.
Biko Kennedy, chief operating officer of JamaicansMusic.com, the entity tasked with planning and executing the annual event, told The Gleaner, that he was happy with the turnout on Saturday night.
"We had roughly 4500 persons in attendance which marks our biggest turnout to date," he said, explaining that based on the turnout, his team is already looking to expand for 2017.
"Right now we're thinking of ways to make it even bigger and better for next year, our fifth staging. The vision is to eventually have simultaneous Earth Hour events across the island. Next year we want to limit our performances to five major acts, maybe even a Marley."