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29Aug/08

Carifesta X Gospel Mega Concert

It is widely speculated in some sections of society that Christians are not fun loving people; some even go to the extreme as to even say boring. But if one were to be present at the super concert held on Thursday August 28th at the National Stadium Providence those perceptions about the Christian community would have been shattered.

This historic concert was a spectacular display of talent which can be found within the Christian community. This concert was historic in the sense that this was the first time since the inaugural Carifesta held here in Guyana 36 years ago that the religious community has been invited to play a critical role in the festival. It was also the biggest gospel concert in Guyana to date as well as the biggest super concert to date that has been held at the National Stadium. The composition of those in attendance was also a sight to behold since it brought out the ethnic diversity in our Guyanese society as represented through the Christian community. Though there were persons of various ages present the majority present, at least for the evening segment, were young people.

The organizers sought to provide a spot in their program for various age groups. As a result of this persons with young children were encouraged to come out during the afternoon hours. The event started at 4pm with booths displaying fashionable yet modest pieces of clothing for the entire family. There were also booths set up by the various artiest slated to perform in the evening with their cd’s and dvd’s on sale. For the children there were rides erected outside the ground to keep them busy and having a fun time.

In the evening the program was packed with items from both local and regional gospel artiest. The MC of the event was shared by Pastor Marlon Hestic and Michella Adraham-Ali. The first of the evening’s performances included songs by persons representing the mining town of Linden and the nationally acclaimed Dominion dancers. The Minister of Culture Youth and Sport Dr. Frank Anthony addressed the crowd and expressed satisfaction at the large gathering and declared the event a landmark event in the history of Carifesta and as “the largest gospel concert in the history of Guyana”.

Following the address by the Minister the large crowd was presented with steel pan music from a combined church steel orchestra. Despite their best efforts, the sweet music of the steel pan could only be herd by those in the very front of the venue or on stage.

H.E. President Bharrat Jagdeo addressed the over 20,000 strong gathering and expressed delight at the energy emanating from the venue even jokingly stating “we have enough energy in this place to power Guyana for two years without GPL”. The president even quoted a passage of scripture from Psalm 133, much to the delight of the massive gathering.

After the president’s address it was time for the singers to take to the stage and get the crowd going. Local favorites such as Cherlyn Maloney and Sean Sobers from Linden started things off with songs that got the crowd going wild with excitement. There was also an interesting dramatic piece from the members of the Tuckville Assemblies of God Church. The aim of the skit was non discrimination despite the outward appearance of a individual.

The man from Jamaica took to the stage to the loud cheers of his fans. Yes Prodigal Son sang some of his best known reggae styled gospel music which the young people responded to with energetic flag waving and even jumping and screaming throughout his performance.

The energy remained with the crowd throughout the rest of the performances. An energized Eddie Neblette took to the stage to bring the curtains down on the performances for the evening with hits such as “wrong decision” and “love and unity”. Despite the fact that other local acts scheduled for the event did not get to perform because of time constraints, this concert will dwell in the minds of Guyanese as one of the biggest ever super concerts of this Carifesta.