Roy Wilkins Park in Queens was the venue for this
year's Jerk, Roots and Yam Festival. Sunday July 16th was a hot
day with temperature well over 80 degrees.
Those patrons who arrived early for the 11 a.m. opening, were seated
under the few shade trees, getting as much cover
from the sun as possible. The perimeter of the park was lined with
tents, most of them with yellow tops indicating the jerk, roots, yam
Many were in the park to enjoy the atmosphere.
Some only came for the food, many for the promise of varied jerk
Many of the stalls had the traditional serving of
curried and brown stewed meat with the token offering of jerk
chicken. I think the jerk theme would have been better served if
all the offerings were jerked. The escovitch or roast fish and
corn was well represented. Of course roast yam was available even
though the wait time was too long. If the meat wasn't your style then
the fruit stall with the blenders running was where you could get a bag
of guinep, some other fruit, or a fruit smoothie.
I don't know if it was the Krosses. Kudos to
Girlie and crew, the performance was well received. Catch the full
play in Brooklyn and Queens.
If you only came for the musical part of the show,
after standing in that boiling sun for so long, I know you left the park
after 9 p.m. wondering why this was happening again. Here it was,
a show that was advertised to have artist such as Gyptian, Tonto Metro
and Devonte and Eric Donaldson and many more, was unable to fulfill its
part by presenting these artists.
Of the scheduled performers, only Kisha Martin, Flava,
Girlie, Ray, Goodman and Brown (stayed too long), Black Shadow (the only
Calypso performer) and Ken Boothe were able to make it on stage.
Time was up and we were all asked to leave the park within fifteen
minutes of the nine o'clock ending.
What went wrong? I am still trying to find out.
I know there was some concerns about delayed flights but in my opinion,
the performers should have been in town before the day of the
There were many artists that were in the venue all day
and they did not get a chance to perform. Why wasn't the show
started at an earlier time, giving those artist present, a chance to do
what they came to do?
Who was in charge of the time? That seem to be a
big part of the show's failure. We had all the time in the world
and still people had to hear, "we are running out of time so you have to
cut your performance short."
If we are to be taken seriously, we have
to come correct. Will the paying public get an apology for what
should have been an all around enjoyable day?
To the parties responsible for this
festival, this is your notice to learn from whatever went wrong this
year so that the show can come correct for the next year.
Mi deh yah now!
Some of the happenings in front of and
behind the stage.
(Click on image for larger view)