Antigua Sailing Week | Reggae in the Park

As you may or may not know this week was our annual sailing week celebrations. Usually, I’m not on island during the time of these events, but luckily I was here this time around and had transportation. These events are mainly held in English Harbour which is about 30-40 minutes from my home. They are also more geared towards boat racing and partying on the beach, except for this one event which is a concert type party titled Reggae in the Park.

As usual it was happening in Nelson’s Dockyard on Tuesday night, and this was their 9th installment of the show. Previously they’ve had performances by Luciano, Damian Marley, Shaggy and other star reggae artists. For this year’s show the main headliner was Tarrus Riley; DJ Private Ryan and DJ Puffy also had designated sets. The show was US$50 for the general section and US$55 for VIP/The lookout. Their was an early bird special of US$35 for the general section. To me the prices were a bit excessive just for performances, because you still had to purchase drinks whether you were in general or VIP.

The show was set to start at 7:00p.m. but I didn’t arrive till a little after 8:00p.m; to my surprise there wasn’t much traffic, I guess everyone else was either early or not interested. However, after getting something to eat from the stalls outside we went into the venue to find a spot for the night. I’m definitely not a fan of crowds but this one was definitely easier to walk through than others I’ve been in. When we got the front The Strays were performing. I’m not sure exactly who they are but I remembered them from the benefit concert a couple of months ago. It was a nice, mellow vibe.

The Strays at Reggae in the Park

They performed for maybe about an hour then it was time to get the party started as DJ Private Ryan graced the stage. While he was giving us hits after hits, from oldies to current reggae tunes his hype man (is that what you call it?) Assassin Singh got the crowd going. They performed for an hour, some of which I went to get drinks. Finally it was time for the main act.

Tarrus Riley (Mr singy singy)  ft Blak Soil band

Tarrus Riley 1

By opening with ‘Gimme Likkle One Drop’ you knew you were in for treat that night. Even though Mr. Riley has performed in Antigua before this was my first time seeing him live. He seemed like a real down to earth person, and was even cracking jokes on stage. What I liked the most about this set was the fact that most of the band members had their own performances with/without Tarrus.

It all started with Mr. Dean Fraser (who I didn’t know till after the concert). Apparently, he’s a legendary saxophonist and I can definitely see why. When I tell you he was so good, he was DAMN GOOD.

Other band members, who I believed he called “The Trinity” had solo performances, where they showed us their different vocal ranges on a variety of songs. I was impressed by them; amazing voices and instrument players, Tarrus didn’t need extra individuals for backup vocals. This band has extremely talented individuals, I’m actually mad I don’t have any musical talents.

He performed so many songs to include Simple Blessings, Just the way You Are, Sorry is a Sorry word, Human Nature, Lion Paw, Far Away and also my personal favorites Good Girl Gone Bad, Getty Getty no wantee , Stay with You, Never Leave I,  and Protect the People. The entire set was high energy with popular songs and even a tribute to his father.

Just when you thought he was about to wrap up he dropped more hits; performing for a little over an hour. He finally ended the night with ‘Don’t Come Back’.

reggae in the park, Antigua, antigua sailing week, tarsus Riley

Next up to close off the night was Dj Puffy, the 2016 Red Bull Thre3Style World Champion from Barbados. He was both hype man and DJ, interacting with the crowd fiercely  and lots of energy hence I didn’t get to capture any images *lol, he was all over the place*. He also had a dancehall segment which was definitely worth it.

Overall the show was very good and I definitely enjoyed myself. My music genre of choice is usually Soca, but something about that night got me.

Do you enjoy Reggae Music?
What’s your favorite Tarrus Riley song?


- Aaliyah

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