The premier Unruly Fest shook up the Eastern end of the island with whispers of international rapper Drake being discussed as a headliner. Not much happens in the quiet parish of St. Thomas which is the birth place of the man behind the concept, Popcaan. He, in pushing the support of local crafts and businesses presented the public with a huge concert held in his home town with a line up of local greats spreading fomo pandemonium .

With the success of the inaugural 2018 staging in having Drake grace the stage and excitingly announcing the signing of Popcaan to OVO, those who suffered fomo flocked to catch a glimpse of the second staging. This winter concert is slowly becoming a highlight for parish neighbors the Kingstonians, but will it be a calendar event this 2020. Buzz began to circulate on the possibility of Drake returning along with rapper Da Baby which encouraged a larger turn out than last year.

“Tell every evil and demon, dem can’t stop me.” – Popcaan

With all the excitement from the last staging what will Popi do this year to wow the crowd? None other than fly over the crowd singing one of his classics – Dream, which held more significance than merely being his opener. He is sending a message that Unruly Fest is here to stay.

After that entrance guests found highlights in other moments.

patron remarks –

“The event itself was good. I liked the combination of older and younger acts. It created a sense of nostalgia. My highlight was seeing Richie Spice. HE reminds you that he is a legend through his performance. He was casually sliding through hits without overexerting himself. He sounded clear live, just as he does on tracks, that is without any background vocals.

I also enjoyed Cappleton, Lila Ike and it was great to see Sanchez but he performed too long. The Chromatic set was really good, it never felt like we were waiting around for band change between the major acts.

I am disappointed that a big international star didn’t come on the stage. Parts of the show felt like I was waiting around for a big star and they just never came. Especially based on the flier. It was interesting to see Popcaans entrance because it was unique, I appreciated it. I’ve never seen something like that at a show before. It was disappointing to see Chronic Laws fitness or lack thereof quickly play out in his performance.”

-says 2 kids in a trench coat

“Overall I was disappointed. I went out of fomo. I came all the way from Westmorland just to see the second staging in hopes to see the great acts, international and local, that I missed out on last year. I was disappointed because I went in hopes of seeing Drake and Da Baby and didn’t. Sanchez was good but he went on too long. Protoje was good, I liked Masicka ,Chronic Law was lack luster and Quada was good. Popcaan himself was pretty good. Overall the entertainment package was fine except …where were the international acts? Where were they? I waited. My ride was leaving at 4:00a.m but I stayed because I had to see these international acts that were promised to me. I waited and waited and there was none. I don’t really like crowds or stage shows but went despite of my reservations in hopes of seeing the international artist. What separated Unruly Fest from the other shows was the expectant international acts. “

-says leg and thigh

Unruly Fest had a spectacular premier leaving a large boot for other stagings to fill. A wonderfully organised event with a great line up doesn’t need the international acts to hold it’s heavy crown in being one of the most talked about stage shows but relies heavy on them to keep the crown from tilting. Casanova touched the stage but did not compare to that of Drake and Tory Lanez. Dancehall and Reggae fans will always enjoy Unruly Fest because of the line up. It has a perfect blend of the two genres along with performances from modern and historical greats. 2020 rumors are already spreading in trying to see if international acts will be present. If they aren’t announced as a part of the line up will guests still attend? Of course they will. As citizens of the music capital Jamaicans will flock to support homegrown.

videos by Sheldon Llewellyn of Shelly Shoots

photographs by C. Buelto of ALT Multimedia

patrons requested for their identity remain unknown

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