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Show bigger and better in its second year

by Sheria Brathwaite
7 min read

Summa Fest 2023 hit the mark.

The organisers of the event promised a bigger and better show than last year and they are reporting that by all accounts, they pulled it off.

Communications officer for Dream Team Entertainment Wendy Burke said the promoters were pleased with the attendance, how the crowd responded to the artist lineup and the live bands, and the level of cooperation from the Barbados Police Service. 

However, there were minor issues with the show’s running time and the event ran one hour and 15 minutes longer than scheduled.

Although showtime was advertised at 8 p.m., things started to heat up several hours later with the first performer gracing the stage at 11:53 p.m.

The only Barbadian artist headlining the event, Brutal Crankstar, started off his set with Walkie Talkie, one of his first songs to blow up on airwaves. He continued with another hit, Light and Power, and the featured artist on the track, Oka joined him on stage to deliver an energetic performance.

Rick Ross was a crowd favourite.

The first Jamaican dancehall artist to perform was up-and-coming star 450 who wooed the crowd with his fresh DJ style and lyrics.

Shane O was another crowd pleaser and Tanya Stephens, the only female performer of the night, did not disappoint, showing the ‘new school’ artists how to lockdown the stage with classics such as Yuh Nuh Ready Fi Dis Yet and It’s A Pity.    

When ‘the Boss’ himself, Rick Ross graced the stage at 2:41 a.m., the crowd went wild. His set took the event to another level as he sang a catalogue of top-chart music. 

Tanya Stephens represented for the ladies.

New artist Malie Donn also gave a noteworthy performance and Aidonia, known for his electric stage presence, was nothing short of dynamic with the band Ruff Kutt backing him.

Due to time constraints, Masicka, who closed the show, was only able to perform for a few minutes.

“The show had tight security and it was incident-free. We’re happy about that. We had a very big showing in terms of our VIP section. We’re happy about that. The general numbers were great but, you know, we always want better, but all in all, the Dream Team is satisfied with the level of show. We wanted to do a grander show this year than we did last year and we managed that,” Burke said.

Thousands attended Summa Fest 2023.

“The three live bands were a hit with the audience; we’ve not had live music in Barbados for some time. So, Dream Team being able to bring that for Summa Fest 2023 was a plus.” 

Burke acknowledged, though, that all did not go according to plan.

“We ended up running just a little bit behind schedule. However, we made up for it in terms of the performances and so on. Some artists were willing to comply and lessen their on-stage time. The reason that we started a little behind is no fault of Dream Team or the event because we were more than ready to begin. However, a lot of people decided that for them, this was an 11 o’clock show and really and truly to ensure that we did not disadvantage any patrons, we had to alter and stagger the timings of our various performances,” she explained. 

The ladies went crazy for 450.

“I want to say many thanks to the Barbados Police Service. They gave us an allowance in terms of going over our timing and we are eternally grateful for that because it means that our audience got to see the entire lineup that we had.”

Burke said the organisers will review the night’s operations to improve on next year’s show.

Brutal Crank Star was the first performer on stage.

“We will do a postmortem and checks and balances [to see how we can] tighten things up. We have to check with all the teams that were on board to find out what were the shortfalls. But understand that the Dream Team is one that aims to ensure that year on year, there’s always an improvement in the mix and that there’s always a greater mix in terms of the entertainment and the level of entertainment that we are bringing to our audience.”

Burke said that while there was only one Barbadian performer, there were 12 local DJs. She said there was a possibility other local artists could be part of the event in the future.

Malie Donn in full swing.

“So going forward, we will look at who else is up-and-coming on the local scene to be sure that they can grab an audience because it’s not about getting an artist and just putting them on the stage for the sake of putting them on the stage. They have to be blended into the mix which Dream Team has. So if they fit the mix, sure, we’ll be more than happy to take on other locals,” she said. 

This was the second year for Summa Fest.


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