i can’t speak to this year’s nwwrf, as i didn’t go…even though i had a free pass. i didn’t go because i swore after last year’s fest, i wouldn’t make the same mistake. last year the production/sound issues were pretty extreme and inexcusable. after x amount of years, it seemed so junior-varsity. it was the worst reggae festival experience i had ever had. all night friday the sound would COMPLETELY shut down -- no mics, no instruments, nothing but crickets. live wyah, duane stephenson and wailing souls all had to deal with this happening a number of times during all of their sets. it was just painfully bad; i felt so bad for the artists up there, trying to maintain a professional dignity up there, but really getting brutalized by the sound equipment failures.
so we all hoped things would change by saturday. saturday was worse yet. not one sound from DJs or artists was to happen until after 5pm…nothing all day long—just silence…at a festival. then when the music started, they still had all the local acts up there taking up precious time from the headliners; folks that were supposed to be playing at 1pm were starting things off—didn’t seem right. when i-taweh, batch, kulcha knox and luciano performed, it happened badly with them as well. it’s is just such an incredible vibes killer. it was pure amateur hour. i bailed about 1am, and was just so extremely disappointed. left quite early that morning after a bit of sleep.
this year sounds as if was even worse. i can’t explain how it stuns me that this year could have really been worse than last year, as last year was “the straw breaking the camel’s back” time for me personally. herb daly told me that queen makeda & empress showcase played a set at 5:30pm on saturday, but then there was no more music until almost 1am. artists were there but hadn’t been paid (this is what I’ve heard, so it’s second hand) so they refused the stage. if this is true, i'm sure it's a back-breaker for nwwrf, as JA is a small island and word will surely get around. just a major debacle and like last year, junior-varsity effort all the way. i have a couple friends who are very involved in this fest, but i have yet to commit much real support aside from advertising the fest on our radio show and some DJing a few years here & there. it is an event that seems to get worse every year. regardless of the fact that it’s held in my backyard, i’m out.