Kaya Fest 2017
By Hyacynthia Leonce
The words to Bob Marley’s Kaya song (Got to have Kaya now, for the rain is falling) rang true on Saturday, April 22, at Bayfront Park Amphitheater. The day was overcast with bouts of rain throughout the day and Kaya smoke in the air, made the song come alive to Kaya Fest attendees.
Stephen Marley who spare headed this event along with his brothers wants the public to know the healing properties of Kaya aka herb/weed/marijuana. Kaya Fest commenced around April 20, which is National Weed Day and also Stephen’s birthday.
Kaya Fest attendees had a marvelous time smoking freely without the fear of being arrested. This day was not only for free smoking but the day’s theme of “Education Before Recreation” was highly promoted. Throughout the event information was given out about the benefits of Cannabis, from healing properties to even a car! As a non-smoker I wondered what the benefit of second hand smoke is!
The highlight of the day was the lineup of artist. Bunji Garlin, a soca artist from Trinidad, gave a strong performance. Wyclef Jean’s, from Haiti and a former member the Fugees group, delivered an excellent performance! With one of his well-known songs, Someone Please Call 911. Wyclef showed his versatility as a musician, performer, and multilinguistic singer. The man is crazy! Wyclef jumped from the stage into the audience and the crowd went wild! He ran from one end of the theater to the other putting on an awesome show! Not only did he put on a grand performance but also incorporated some politics into his act. He was magnificent!
The headliners, the Marley brothers were astounding! They first gave the younger Marley’s a chance to shine, and then the rest of the brothers took center stage. Lisa from South Miami said “I love the unity between the brothers when they sang together the opening song.” The opening song was, Kaya, which was sang by Ziggy, Stephen, Ky-Mani, Julian, and Damian Marley. The performance was splendid!
Cephus from South Miami said “I loved how the music and song was delivered without delay, they sang with soul!” Mark from Miami Gardens stated “This is my first Kaya Fest, the performers and audience was very respectful throughout the event, everyone was there to enjoy the good music and entertainment.”
Ziggy Marley, a personal favorite was astounding! His performance showed why he has several Grammy’s. He sang a few favorites including Stir it Up and his original song Love Is My Religion.
An avid attendee conveyed “The Marley brothers’ performance was very unselfish, I love how they promoted the new uprising generation. I loved their individual shine. It was epic!”
This was an experience to remember! How often do you get to have history, fun, and information all in one?