New venue, slow start for East
On Friday night, hype seekers trekked south, more specifically to the South Camp Road venue, Sabina Park, to see what the organisers of East had in store for the 'This is Dancehall' themed staging at the new venue.
However, when many patrons arrived at 12 a.m., little over two hours after the advertised start time and the hour that the event would normally be expected to be in full flight, the disc jockeys were attempting to warm up with a few R&B slow jams and latest hits.
Despite the slow start, the organisers were satisfied with the support received from loyal and first time East patrons.
"We are happy with the turnout and that the patrons were very receptive of the new venue," Alessandro Boyd said.
Boyd, one of the event's promoters, told The STAR this past staging was a prelude to the summer execution which will be called East Pon Di Gaza edition and will suitably be held in Portmore.
Although full details of the concept were not revealed, the promoter assured it will be a representation of true dancehall culture and feature top-tier disc jockeys known for churning out some of dancehall's energetic and addictive tracks as was accomplished this time around.
Popular selector Badda Bling was successful in changing the attention of the critical section of patrons that spent the earlier part of the night inspecting East's selected playground which brought with it a slightly different ambiance in comparison to its previous venues, Nannyville Community Centre and the National Stadium parking lot.
With its postponement from March 30 to April 5, a few persons also shared concern about security. One patron who preferred to be left unnamed said: "After reading reports about another event being postponed because of advisories of violence in the area from the Jamaica Constabulary Force, I was honestly wondering what would come of East."
The patron continued: "But I believe the promoters did their best to make us (early birds) and those late to arrive feel safe with the high level of security and even by going around the Sabina parking lot to check if we were okay. Although Badda Bling and Bishop Escobar must be commended for turning up the party volume a notch by sticking to the theme with their sets, the event was rather anti-climactic in comparison to previous stagings."
At the sound of the 2008 Daybreak Riddim with Mavado's Nuh Bleach Wid Cream and Vybz Kartel's Broad Daylight, both male and female patrons knew it was time for a hardcore dancehall party which persisted for the most part until past 4 a.m. dismissal. Dancehall newcomer Ace Gawd also added to the highlights with a surprise performance of the trending MarkX and Axio and a few of his 2019 tracks that several patrons, having left too early, missed.