St Thomas has often been referred to as the forgotten parish, but on Saturday night into Sunday morning, the parish took centre stage as it hosted the inaugural Unruly Fest. Spearheaded by a son of the soil, the event brought out thousands of patrons even amid the unfavourable weather conditions.
Perhaps it was because patrons were expecting to be treated with the rare opportunity of seeing international artiste Drake in action, or it was the man of the moment himself – Popcaan. Whatever it was, Popcaan’s colleagues had nothing but praises for the man of the hour. They are hoping Unruly Fest will aid to revive the entertainment scene in the parish.
Speaking with The Gleaner after her performance, Tanya Stephens revealed that the show was the only local appearance she was making for 2018. She explained that she had the utmost respect for Popcaan, so she couldn’t miss the event. “Me love music, and me love a nice festival. This is so unspoilt and really beautiful. We tend to be too urban in our promoting of Jamaica, and Jamaica is not an urban island – Jamaica is a natural island, and we need fi start push that more because a dat most people love,” she said. She continued, “A lot of the good shows are dying out. I think we deserve the kind of world-class entertainment that we go to other countries and give, and I think that Popcaan actually achieved that tonight.”
She pointed out that all the parish now needs is some proper infrastructure that will facilitate the growth of the event. “People come from all 14 parishes fi da show here, and driving here my thoughts were centred around them giving us a highway so we can do more stuff like this on this side of the country. This affi keep every year, and dis a go be the baddest, biggest show inna the whole a Jamaica every year.”
Agent Sasco shared similar sentiments. “I have to say big-ups to Popcaan for what he’s doing in bringing this type of presentation to his hometown because actions speak louder than words every time. When you have a hometown champion like Popcaan representing the way he is, and putting on an event of this magnitude, things can only get better,” he said, predicting that the artiste’s move could very well cause others to turn their attention to St Thomas. “I don’t even wah talk yet, because yuh ever hear people talk bout the stone weh di builder refuse? Dem goodly find gold ova yah now if dem nuh find it already.”
Jahvinci, a former member of the Gaza camp that introduced Popcaan to the music scene, said it’s good that a ‘Gaza yute’ can be associated with something positive for a change. Like Stephens, he believes the event is on its way to becoming an annual thing. “This a history, man, and when yuh see a young yute rise above the whole heap a talking and the whole heap that’s said about him as a member of the Gaza – it’s a good look. U nuh see an international the man go. Fi bring a man like Drake – we respect and rate dat, nuh body never bring him yet,” he said. “Plus, a whole heap a yute get a chance fi put some money inna dem pocket. In a few days a Christmas, and fi know say a big show can bring out so much people and di likkle people dem get an opportunity fi make some money. If you look pan the crowd weh come out and dis a di first one, dis affi keep every year.”