Atlanta Caribbean Carnival 2016 The Review
Atlanta Caribbean Carnival 2016 The Review
Before I start this review, I’d just like to say I personally think having two Caribbean Carnivals on the same day in the same city, one downtown Atlanta and one in Decatur, is the most ridiculous set ah bullshit ever!! This shit must run real deep bu whatever infighting going on behind the scenes needs to end and these two entities need to come together. Carnival is about the culture and the people not the egos and pettiness of organizers. At this point it should no longer be confusing to out-of-town visitors, numbers don’t lie. But it’s clearly not a good look for the city or the Caribbean Community!!
But common sense ain’t really that common!!
One thing I have to say about Atlanta Carnival , the bands might be small…..
And this year the bands were really small downtown
But the vibes nice! Unlike a NYC labor day parade where you are keeping your head on a swivel for the next dumb ass starting fights or worst shooting up the place, again de vibes in downtown Atlanta just nice.
So after a delayed start, the parade for underway, I could not help but notice the crowds along the parade route were less than earlier years and on reaching the entry to the park, hardly any crowds of folks were lined up waiting in that punishing sun to get in the park. Along the road again for the parade was a muted all be it brisk progression through the ATL streets. Given the lack of crowds or numbers in the bands, the trucks moved at a steady clip, so much so, when they arrived at the park it came as a surprise to many with once again APD destroying the vibe barking orders at people to go thisaway / thataway.
The women on road didn’t disappoint, special shout out to the “Delicious Guyanese aka Petal” don’t know her like that but year to year she is a true delectable delight to the eye sockets with her waistline and bumpa twirling abilities. Another mention to the plethora of bajan women in the bimshireband, big and small long and tall, they did their thing. Moving one because of the short route, only one artist performed on the Truck, Edwin Yearwood did his thing dropped his crowd pleasing tunes, by the time Peter AKA 3 crowns Ram touched the mic, Police was on some lock it off nonsense.
Inside the park a noticeable smaller crowd were in attendance, after walking past the stage area to the food and other vendors, it was just just wide open spaces and a weirdly wet field, but it was early and again the sun was set to “I’ll kill you” so naturally things could only get better. After some chow and chill it was time to watch the artist on stage…… now here’s where I had to wonder…… ok ….. uhhh are these artist double booked or did the person in charge of artist slots forget who these people were. Now I’m no damn expert, I mean ok I’ve just been going to fetes for my entire rass life. How do you put Tallpree, Iwer George and Skinny-Fabulous on early? I mean ok Tallpree technically has not had a hit in a min, but when this man come on stage with a mention of “yah mad ah wuh” for some reason people go mad, especially the spice isle crew dem, he could technically stay onstage and say jab jab…. jab jab…… jab jab and de crowd will still pay attention. Iwer ah veteran in de business, I think it was downright disrespectful for the man to be on stage while people still ah digest food. Then you have Skinny Fabulous, truth be told I am not a big fan of his, I just see him as a failed reggae artist who made the switch to Soca, buss the place wid a maaaaad tune and been consistent ever since, full props to him, but again Skinny has a core following and to have him on early is kind of ridiculous, but like I said I don’t have inside info, I am just a spectator/visitor like everyone else in de audience.
Special mention to MC Wassy, he took over from that “questionable” “yardie” MC and in true insular outta NYC Trini form, did his best too big up Trinidad……. and de rest ah islands, his artist Michelle Montano who was not there and managed to wake up the crowd. But he was indeed high energy
Most forgettable performance of the event had to come from some barely known artist called Guche London or Gucci London, however his name is spelt, he was straight boring trash, he was introduced with a lot of hype but fell flat, he was almost as bad as Kenny Blessing, an artist who can sing, I’ll give him that but his stage performance should have been sponsored by Valspar Paints.
Most comedic event on the day in my eyes at least the Male Dance competition, which featured two people from Panama (this is not the Caribbean) one Trini, One Haitian and a full flame on small rag fanning his face Jamaican. He was greeting with a resounding cheer of “FISH FISH come off di bloodclat stage” and “Uptown him come from, he nah real Jamaican”. Truth be told I secretly developed some 6pack abs from laughing so damn hard at this gay spectacle, shim just stood there biting sher lip and fanning gently and with no surprise was the absolute first to get off stage.
Most improved performance has to go to Ricardo Drue, last year I dunno if his song wasn’t as popular or his stage performance was lacking but this year, he was a crowd general and wiping what little crowd he had to work with into a small frenzy.
Bullshit of the day, the engineer, now call me bias of course but when I wait all day to see my Bajan artist namely Peter Ram and Edwin Yearwood, who come to Atlanta Carnival to work not skylark, have the sound working properly please. I cannot have my island representatives appear to flop or under-perform because some jackass can’t turn two three knobs, I could sense the frustration from Ram after actually asking the engineer to fix the nonsense. But this was not the worst after honoring Burning Flames with an award for their years of musical excellence and service, it took them almost 35 mins to set up, this was problematic since it was after 9pm , show lock-down at 10pm. By the time they got to the 2nd verse of workey I was walking out the back heading to my car.
Now I am not here to bash the organizers of Atlanta Caribbean Carnival (downtown edition) , in any grand entity there’s always room for improvement, whether this was piss poor marketing and promotion or just general mismanagement something seriously needs to change. Being Impartial of course I had to take a look and see how the “other Atlanta Carnival” went, The one held in Decatur, that I mentioned earlier, after all I did see some members of Maddcolors in attendance late in the day. Now I mention maddcolors for the simple reason and not to sound like a groupie, but I have admired this band for years, I absolutely love how they have built the brand and even expanding into other cities, other carnivals, could not have been easy, I’m sure they took some L’s on the journey, but even in the days before I jumped with Bimshire Band, I would see dem on the road and be like these folks know what they’re doing. So today cheeeezus cloudsitter chryst, I’m looking at my facebook wall, see a thank you from the band to their masqueraders with an acknowledgement of a head count 900+.
Now I didn’t count all the people in all the bands on the road at the downtown Atlanta Carnival, but I don’t think collectively the bands had 900+ people.
Now that has to be a big problem for not only the people behind the downtown Carnival, but also for any type of collective bargaining on coming together to just have one huge Atlanta Carnival. If the bigger bands such as Inferno and Maddcolors stay in Decatur, clearly that will be the Carnival that sets the standard for Atlanta moving forward and the downtown event will fade into mediocrity and disappointment.
Come on people stop the shite and unite…. Do it for the people!!