Peach Splash 2014 (Caribbean Event Review)
By Aisha Oliver Staley, Bronson Blair, Marissa Williams
Sunday 6 July, 2014 was the perfect Atlanta summer day for an outdoor festival – for good vibes, good food and good entertainment. Peach Splash Festival 2014, held at the spacious Morris Brown Herndon Stadium, delivered it all.
I arrived at the venue around 7:15 that evening and even though the event started around noon, the crowd was just starting to thicken in anticipation of the evening’s entertainment. I was excited and looking forward to an evening rich with Caribbean and American culture, including performances by top soca artiste Machel Montano HD with Farmer Nappy and Patrice Roberts; hip hop star Sean Kingston; Pinchers for the sweet reggae and Assassin bringing the legendary dancehall vibes.
The flow through the gates to enter the venue was easy and security was very efficient. As you entered the venue, the smell of jerk, curry and stew was wafting through the cool evening breeze and folks lined up at the various vendors to sample the delicious food on sale. I made sure to get some jerk chicken with cabbage because while I am a Trini to the bone, jerk chicken is my true weakness. While I was sharing a jerk chicken platter with the hubby; we stopped by the coconut vendor. I must say that the coconut vendor was an especially nice touch, adding a true Caribbean flair – being able to enjoy coconut water straight from the nut was a total treat!
As we enjoyed our coconut water, the DJs spun reggae, dancehall, soca and hip hop classics. Some folks were sitting in their lawn chairs closer the stage or in the stands, while others were dancing to the tunes coming from the speakers. It was such a spacious venue that the kids had enough room to toss a football around and play tag in the cool evening without disturbing any other patrons. There were also police officers regularly moving through the venue, which created an added sense of safety.
The atmosphere was perfect and my belly was full. It was time for the performances to begin. GOOD VIBES!
First to the stage around 8:02pm, was Pinchers who delighted the crowd with his reggae tunes of old, including the infectious “Enemy Pon the Borderline”. The crowd sang along with Pinchers as his melodious vocals filled the venue and folks waved their arms in the air as they recognized some of his hits. Pinchers was followed by dancehall legend and crowd favorite Assassin, who energized the crowd with his dancehall hits, building the energy in the stadium for the next act.
After Assassin’s performance, DJ Danger Marcus kept the crowd revved up while the HD band set up. DJ Marcus played a variety of electronic dance, pop, hip hop, dancehall and soca favorites. The crowd sang along at the top of their voices to various songs, including Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”; the electronic dance favorite by Icona Pop – “I Love It”; Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”; and a medley of Michael Jackson’s biggest hits.
By the time Machel Montano (Double M) and his band took the stage it was around 10pm and the crowd was primed and ready for Mr. Fete. He did not disappoint (does he ever?); flanked with a well – choreographed team of dancers, Double M belted out hit after hit. From “De Vibes Cyar Done”, “Rum”, and “Float” to his latest road march hit “M.O.R” and many more – he whipped the crowd into a frenzy with everyone waving what seemed to be flags of every Caribbean nation painting the Atlanta night sky.
During his performance, Double M introduced the versatile Farmer Nappy who continued with high energy as he sang two of his biggest hits, including the massive “Big People Party”. Farmer Nappy was followed by Patrice Roberts who totally maintained the pace set by Machel and Nappy. Patrice charmed the crowd with her sensational vocals, delivering two of her most popular hits including “A Little Wine”, before passing the lead back to Double M to close out their set.
Sean Kingston took the stage and closed the festival out around 11:30pm, bringing his unique American (hip hop) flavor to the show. Though the crowd began to thin out at this point, Kingston still delivered a solid performance for less than ten minutes. As a special note, I appreciated that all of the artistes sent shout outs to several Caribbean countries and not just the country of their own origin. GOOD ENTERTAINMENT!
What a fantastic conclusion to my Fourth of July weekend – good food, good vibes and good entertainment!! The promoters (Love People Media, SMP Entertainment & Island Jams Entertainment) must be commended for an excellent job. I look forward to their next event, and most definitely look forward to Peach Splash Festival 2015. Hopefully, I will see you there!
Video Credits: Bronson Blair of Urban Crypt Media