The unofficial start to Crop Over kicked off last Saturday in the carpark of the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) with the first Hott 95.3FM Bajarama.
The family fun day which is a revamped replica of the cavalcades will be held at a different location across the island weekly. The all-day event will include a Bajan craft village and live entertainment from local artistes.
Last weekend, the constant showers and overcast skies did not deter soca lovers and residents as a small crowd gathered at the NCF West Terrace, St Michael headquarters. The dress code for the evening was white to support this year’s slogan, Party In Peace, which is a response to the alarming spike in crime. In keeping with the theme, the Open Ya Eyes Anti-Violence segment featured performances from Ricardo Reid whose piece Put Down De Guns struck a chord with the audience.
The show introduced newcomers Kamalu and Sade. Meanwhile, rising artiste Jus Smoove entertained with his 2018 single 90s Honda and his 2019 song Release It. Although Marvay did not tease his music for Crop Over 2019, his performance of familiar hits such as Know The Face, Survive The Weekend and Stars Align delighted the crowd. The young and the old disregarded the rain to belt out his songs with vigour. Holla Bak also had the crowd whining with tunes like Too Sweet, Sweet Like Ooh and Attitude.
The melodic sounds of sweet soca stepped up a notch when Hypasounds had some of the ladies going down to the ground with his performance of hits like Dip, Get Up and Move (Bubble) and Wine after Wine.
The show closed off after 10 p.m. with the energetic Peter Ram who sang the humorous picong Boat In De Road as well as All Ah We.
The show highlighted the talents of not only soca artistes but also showcased a dramatisation from Hazel Charles and instrumental renditions from pannist Hashim Durant and saxophonist Shakouri Thompson.
Minister of Culture, Creative Economy and Sports John King told Bajans Vibes that Bajarama will be promoting partying in peace until the June 1 Bajarama finale at Friendship Terrace, St Michael.
“We are going to be asking people to wear white all season and it is really to keep in people’s mind the importance of having a peaceful festival,” said the Minister of Culture.
He further expressed his hopes for a peaceful Crop Over season by urging persons to put down the guns and amicably solve their conflicts.
“There is no reason for anyone in this country… unless you are a member of the armed services to have a gun. We have always solved our problems in others ways and this behaviour is foreign to us. We cannot sit down and do nothing,” said the Minister, adding, “We really don’t fight violence with violence… but what we do is fight violence with peace.” (KK)