Sat | Jan 16, 2021

Ear-th Hour wants after- ‘Champs’ presence

Published:Friday | March 23, 2018 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke/Gleaner Writer
Blvk H3ro
Fantan Mojah
Organiser of the environmental care awareness event, Alex Morrissey.
Stephen Newland (left) and Omar Francis of Rootz Underground.
Dre Island
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Tonight, as it has for the past four years, the Earth Hour concert at the Ranny Williams Centre on Hope Road, St Andrew, coincides with the final day of Boys and Girls' Championships. On any night when there are events at the two venues, the lights of the National Stadium are visible from the higher levels of the audience seating at the Ranny Williams Centre and this is especially so during the Earth Hour concert at 8:30 p.m., when the lights are turned off and selected audience members light lanterns.

If organiser of the environmental care awareness event, Alex Morrissey, has his way, Earth Hour will have a presence at Champs sooner than later. Not that he hopes the stadium's lights will be turned off in the midst of the final-day track-and-field battle, but he hopes that safer environmental practices will have a platform at the well-attended event.

"I went back to Singapore (where he initially got the Earth Hour idea) this year, and I met with the Earth Hour team. They asked me to talk about challenges. They suggested that next year we do something at Champs," Morrissey said.

There is no clash between Champs and Earth Hour, the latter being a global initiative with a fixed date. It is a matter of seeking access to a large audience. Morrissey stated that Earth Hour attracts 4,000-5,000 persons annually, an audience size that fills the Ranny Williams Centre. When Champs is over, he said, there are those track-and-field fans who come over to the Earth Hour concert. Tonight, he expects the concert, a mix of acoustic performances and those accompanied by a band, to end at 11 p.m. Showtime is 6 p.m.

The billed performers are Rootz Underground, Dre Island, Fantan Mojah, Lila Ike, Ziah, and Blvk H3ro. There is the possibility of guest performers as well. Morrissey said that the performers are all donating their time. "They really love performing there. It is very intimate," he said, as often audience members will be physically very close to the performer.

The concert's sponsors are Wisynco, The Gleaner, BCIV, Esirom, Downsound Records, and the Jamaica Tourist Board.