GLEN WASHINGTON, CAUSION SHINE AT WADADLI MUSIC FEST IN ANTIGUA
The second staging of the Wadadli Music Festival which took place on April 26, 2008 in Falmouth , Antigua was a true display of the island’s diverse culture topped with the impressive performances of reggae stars Glen Washington and the island’s reggae ambassador, Causion. The free event, at the St. Paul ’s Rectory Grounds, was attended by a lively and enthusiastic audience of approximately four thousand.
Although free, patrons were asked to “bring a can and come” as the organizers – Fullwerks Productions – targeted The Amazing Grace Foundation and several other local charities to support with the collection of non-perishable food items. The audience responded well and by the end of the night, several barrels full of food were carted off for distribution.
The festival featured several local acts and commenced with the 35-member strong Sanctuary Choir performing a variety of classic reggae songs. The Falmouth Bible Study Niahbinghi Drummers chanted their way into the hearts of patrons, many of whom were impressed by the strong performance of the kids, aged 5 to 12 years who waved red, green and gold Rastafarian flags as they swayed in unison to their chants. Other acts following were Fire Ants Band, Knowledge, Jelani, Mac Truk and a Fashion Show featuring the Quinland Models. During the breaks, music was provided by Full Steam and their energetic DJs selecting a mix of soca and reggae hits keeping the vibes on a high level.
The Minister of Culture & Independence Celebrations, The Honorable Eleston Adams was in attendance and addressed the audience, stating his delight in the event being staged in St. Paul ’s, he promised future support. Minister of Tourism the Honorable Harold Lovell was also present and he too hinted at support to the organizers for next year’s festival.
At around 10:00 pm South Florida-based band Air Brakes increased the intensity with a scorching set of instrumentals paving the way for hometown son of international fame Causion. Emerging on a smoke-filled stage to the screams of the audience, Causion began belting songs from his Stella’s Kids album such as Red Red, Gwan So and Steppin. He mixed his set with a selection of Dennis Brown Classics and the Manhattans ballad There’s No Me Without You. The crowd could not get enough of Causion, and the ladies rushed the front of the stage to touch the reggae crooner and get copies of promotional photos.
An energetic and smooth Glen Washington capped the evening with a flawless performance of his hits and several covers of other popular reggae hits. Washington commented that he was happy to be in Antigua supporting the Wadadli Music Festival and commended Causion for the initiative. After gracing the stage for over an hour, Washington concluded his set telling the audience that he felt at home in Antigua .
The second staging of the Wadadli Music Festival has made an impressive mark with improved lighting, a bigger stage, tight stage management as well as better production quality. With anticipated government support and the continued support of Antigua ’s corporate community, the Wadadli Music Festival has the potential to be a major festival on the island’s event calendar.