Rasjohnmon's  Report from the Yard for August 9th

Reggae SumFest


After calling it a day about 4AM, we told Louise at our villa we would be ready for breakfast about 10:30 am. Tim, Jose and Greg made it but the table was cleared before I got out there. Louise greeted me with fresh fruit and Blue Mountain coffee. After breakfast I took a chair by the pool to meditate and collect my thoughts a bit before heading off to Catherine Hall Entertainment Center.

The Disney/MGM audio crew, Ric Weatherbee, Tim Wilson and Don Worsham, had finally gotten their 32 track digital recording system set-up, wired in and tested about 2:30 am. Video gear would be going into place this afternoon. There was still a lot to do before show time at 8 PM.

At about 1:30 PM, as we headed over the site to get to work, very dark clouds were quickly filling the sky and occasional rumbles of thunder threatened a massive storm. I wondered a little about the miles of power and equipment wiring strung all over the site, hung from trees, on fences, in ditches, snakes of cable were everywhere. Two massive speaker towers each were filled with 40 speakers, half of which were Cerwin Vega bottom end units. Summerfest Productions was not doing anything halfway here. Each system being put in place for these shows must be set up, tested and working by somewhere close to the planned showtime. The camera crew was definitely getting nervous - it was 4 o'clock and all the camera cables and video tape were still held up in customs at the airport. Finally, after a call to Walter, one of the show's Producers, everything magically cleared customs and a police escort was assigned to get the truck to the site. So, with the exception of the boom camera which was coming in tomorrow, we had everything needed for the audio and video production.

I spent much of the rest of the afternoon with Ed Kritzler, writer, Reggae fan and now head of Jampro, and independent segment of (xxgarbledxxwordxx) industries. We soon discovered why we met and uncovered many interesting possibilities for the future. Ed is building a directory of motion picture and music industry contacts to be put up on the Internet. After a great conversation about Cyberspace future, we agreed that we would have to work together so. There will be more about this at our site in the coming weeks.

People started to line up at the gates between 6-7 PM and it was now almost 8 PM. It was actually looking like all would be ready for an 8:30 or 9 PM start. As the first people began coming in, the only difficulty was that none of the trenches holding all of the wiring in the crowd area were filled in yet. Four guys with shovels were looking at the probably 120 feet of two foot wide trench saying how are we supposed to do all this with the crowd already coming in!

While the trench guys were still long way from done, the Fab 5 began pumping out the show's opening set as thousands of balloons were released from behind the stage. Reggae Sumfest '95 had officially started its massive four day line up.

With the likes of Dobby Dobson, Hopeton Lewis, Scotty, Derrick Morgan and the Clarendonians on the bill, it is hard to pick a highlight. But my picks are Scotty in the first half of the show and then the killer trio of acts, Ken Boothe, Leroy Sibbles and the Heptones and John Holt, who closed the show. Very few of the 6 -7 thousand people had left and while some slept on blankets or beach chairs, most were on their feet skanking and clapping hands as the first rays of sun began to come up behind the stage. It was wonderful - a full moon just dropping below the horizon behind us, the starts bright above us and the sun coming up to the smooth harmonies and pulsating rhythms of the Heptones. The joy and unity of Reggae Sumfest permeated the air. All I could say was thank you Jah for putting this adventure on my path.

Come back soon to Reggae for future updates and to log on to Cyberspace where we will give you a front row seat for the show.

transmitted from the site 8/10/95 @ 19:17