15th May, 2017 (St. George’s, Grenada) – The second Pure Grenada Music Festival transpired last weekend from Friday May 5th to Sunday May 7th at the Port Louis Lawn owned by Port Louis Estates and based close to the internationally acclaimed Camper & Nicholsons Port Louis Marina. Under the support of the Government of Grenada and the Grenada Tourism Authority, the concept of the PGMF 2017 was actualized and unfolded right before our eyes.
The first of PGMF’s activities took place in December of last year with ‘Ready for the Stage’. Local bands were invited to audition for the chance to perform at the music festival. Of the auditioning bands, seven of our very own talented local bands were chosen to perform. These bands were Sabrina Francis, Sensation Band, Soul Deep, Lion Paw & D-Unit Band, A#keem, Loxton Mitchell & All Anointed and Quiet Fire.
Different to last year’s festival, PGMF 2017 took place for three (3) days at one (1) venue; the Port Louis Lawn. All successful local bands were able to perform at the festival due to the newly added stage within the festival village presented by and referred to as the Coca-Cola Village stage. This addition allowed for music to be played continuously throughout the evenings and also gave patrons the ability to move freely around the festival village while enjoying music at both locations to enjoy the wide selection of bar experiences including the Westerhall Rum Cellar, Carib Beer Garden, Sundance Entertainment Bar and the North South Wines Lounge. The Food & Beverage Operations Volunteer Devin Nelles said “It was an amazing experience working with a great team and we were able to showcase true Grenadian hospitality for all our festival goers and pulled off a successful event with a dynamic festival village experience”. The food selection was also a highlight. Thirteen local food vendors made sure there was something for everyone ranging from Jerk Chicken to Sushi.
Each night of the festival was appropriately themed based on the acts performing on the various nights. Friday May 5th was themed Roots & Culture featuring Queen Ifrica, Third World, Sabrina Francis and Sensation Band with Patrick Delves, presented by Westerhall Rums. Each band executed their performances effortlessly, with Queen Ifrica and Third World incorporating much of Grenada’s history into their performances. Sensation Band surprised patrons with the assistance of Steel Pulse’s Sidney Mills on the keyboards. “I’m excited to be back again this year. The rest of the band regrets not being able to here again, but they send their best wishes” said Mills as he interacted with the audience during their performance on the Coca-Cola Stage.
The PGMF Green Action Group, made up of 5 volunteers headed by Lynn Fletcher, Festival Co-ordinator, also made sure the festival was as green as it could possibly be. “We wanted to reduce the use of plastic and made sure we had recycling bins located around the venue to collect cans,
plastic and other garbage, which were emptied on a regular basis. We made sure the bars offered cups that could be kept and reused by the consumer which would also be a souvenir of the event. Also, all the food vendors had to use eco friendly packaging and no Styrofoam as we as an event and a lover of Grenada want Styrofoam banned in Grenada and also wanted to show that other products can work just as well. Although these products may cost a little extra now, the more we as a consumer pressure the big distributors in Grenada to stock more eco friendly packing, the price will eventually reduce when bought in bulk. Our focus was to encourage people to Reuse, Reduce and Reuse plastic. Sandals gave us material bags to give away as long as people signed the pledge to not use plastic bags. We also had samples of ways everyday items could be reused – corks for keyrings, plastic for earrings, plastic bags for handbags etc. The Green Art project this year was designed and made by Leyana Romain and her team of designers named Plastic Ocean. Festival-goers loved the display of ocean live made out of plastic bottles that had been collected and donated by many businesses in Grenada including Le Phare Bleu Hotel & Marina and La Source Sandals. The art piece will be donated to a school to be used as a green house. All the old tickets have been kept and will be given to an organization who will shred the paper and give it to the local bee keepers to use for smoking the bees (smoking the bees – smoke is blown over the bees to keep them calm when the bee keeper is inspecting the hive or collecting the honey).
Saturday May 6th was themed Love & Soul featuring Cody ChestnuTT, Malika Tirolien, Tarrus Riley, Dean Fraser and the Blak Soil Band, Lion Paw & D-Unit and A#keem, presented by FLOW. This evening was the most attended evening of the weekend. Festival goers were introduced to the soulful stylings of Tirolien and ChestnuTT for their first time in Grenada. They gave the festival the much missed jazz and soul component that people were craving for. A#keem and Lion Paw, both backed by the highly talented D-Unit band, drew patrons into the Coca-Cola Stage, with heart-felt passionate performances which turned the heads of many music enthusiasts. Tarrus Riley, Dean Fraser and the Blak Soil Band ended the night on a high note, with an electrifying performance of personal confessions of Riley. He sang, with and was sung to by the audience, who fed off of his every note until the very last song.
Sunday May 7th, was presented by Grenada Co-operative Bank Limited, the official bank of PGMF and was the culmination of the festival. Themed Pure Spice, it featured Ajamu and the Grenadian Gospel Chorale, Mr. Killa’s Fusionistic Evolution, Pan Wizards with Angelo Signore of Switzerland, Natasha Joseph of Trinidad and Jenny J, Loxton Mitchell & All Anointed and Quiet Fire. Pure Spice was a day that showcased all genres of music produced locally, boosting the talents of the Grenadian musicians and singers. Loxton Mitchell was a wonderful surprise to some festival goers; “I have not heard a male vocalist with such depth and passion for quite some time” said local blogger Rohanne Persaud of The Curly Tales. Quiet Fire performed effortlessly through the rain no less; drawing the crowd into the drizzles to enjoy the sweet tones of their fully instrumental band.
Ajamu and the Grenadian Gospel Chorale filled the atmosphere with harmonious tones. The Pan Wizards’ performance of “Ivory & Steel” featuring Swiss pianist Angelo Signore was a crowd pleaser, leaving the audience wanting more of the collaboration of steel pan and keyboard. Mr. Killa’s Fusionistic Evolution was the final performance of the night and the festival. “Mr. Killa’s Evolution Performance is by far in my top three performances for the entire three day event. He was flawless. He showed us his versatility and why he is one of our prized Ambassadors.” said Chris Edwards, local blogger.
The night and weekend ended with an immaculate display of fireworks, timed to classical music supported, arranged and put together by Spice Island Fireworks. It was truly an amazing sight and the perfect end to a perfect musical weekend.
The PGMF Steering Committee wishes to thank all Sponsors, Diamond Donors, Friends of the Festival, Patrons, Volunteers and Festival Co-ordinators for their contribution to this amazing weekend.
Netherlands Insurance, Amerij, Waggy T, St. George’s University, Grenada Breweries, Boss FM, Le Phare Bleu, Antillean Group, Glenelg, Bryden & Minors, Coca Cola Grenada Bottling Company, North South Wines, L.L. Rhamdanny