Wednesday Wind Down w/ Authentic Caribbean||107.5/97.5 (Caribbean Event Review)
(View more pictures in video at end of article)
When our Caribbean family comes together to celebrate us as a people and region, it is always a beautiful thing to witness. And this is exactly what was evident on Wednesday June 17th at the annual Bi-Centennial Park Wednesday Wind Down Concert Series. In a the spirit of celebrating Caribbean American Heritage Month, there was a display of every color flag, every distinct accent, every age, every size, and every unique culture all appreciating each other as one unit and one entity. Although not the first Caribbean themed Wednesday Wind Down (it was previously hosted by WRFG 89.3FM), this event was definitely amongst the most memorable. And the Authentic Caribbean crew definitely made their presence known as one of the heavy weight voices of the Caribbean community in Atlanta.
Bi-Centennial park was the perfect centralized location for a mid-week after work hang out. Despite the sweltering heat, folks came out in their numbers to support. There was ample parking in surrounding lots, covered stands for those who wanted to run from the heat, enough lawn space for those who wanted to embrace the sun and enough dancing room for those who wanted to shake their waist or whatever else (after all it was a Caribbean event). My impression was one of a well-organized event. Security was ever present at the main entrance for those who pre-purchased tickets, a well -defined entrance for vendors and media and a kiosk for those who wanted to purchase tickets on the day of. All in all, a smooth and professional finish.
I can say with utmost confidence and pride that we Caribbean people represented hard. We laughed at the newly introduced $5 cover charge, packed the house, and showed the city of Atlanta that we are a definite force to reckon with. In addition to the regular Atlanta after work crowd, there were also flags from almost every Caribbean island represented…Leeward Islands, Windward Islands, Smaller Islands, Larger Islands…just everywhere. This sense of connectedness gave the large crowd an unusual sense of intimacy, as if we all had that hidden secret bond that no one else around us could really understand. Everyone seemed to be there simply to enjoy a relaxed afternoon after work, dance to some good music and chill out with good people with some good vibes together as one Caribbean family-nothing more; nothing less.
I walked in around 5:30pm to the sounds of Jah Lion mashing up the turn tables and getting the crowd amped and excited for the evening. There was a long line up of Caribbean artistes eager to take the stage and the crowd was ready to go! The first act that I saw was the Blood Diamonds who got the crowd dancing to its reggae tune covers. After each act, members of the Authentic Caribbean crew (Including Chubb Rock, Redd Dreadd, Jah Lion, Glen Simmonds and Dee Dee Parker) came on stage to engage the crowd. We saw one flexible yogi try to contend for free tickets to the upcoming Marcia Griffiths show-though she could not sing she sure as hell could flex her legs in very interesting positions. All in good fun someone else was called to the stage to belt out a Marcia Griffith classic which was the segway into the Carnival dancers act featuring an effervescent and very friendly Moko Jumbie (man on stilts). There was a surprise act by veteran entertainer Lil Viscious followed by another veteran, Jack Raddix, who closed out the show. The highlight of the afternoon for me, was the back in times reggae and soca session that took us all by surprise, but had everyone off their seats dancing and singing along to the sweet music beats. If there was one area I could pin point for improvement in upcoming years it would be the diversity of the entertainment line- up. With the vast array of Caribbean talent from many different islands right here in Atlanta, this concert series can be a launching pad to showcase more of them to the city. And as this event continues to grow I am sure the line-up will as well. Next year, we in there for sure!!.
Tune in to the Authentic Caribbean crew each and every Saturday from 7-9PM on 107.5 FM and 97.5FM.
Video Courtesy: Brian Houchen