Hotlanta, three days, two nights and one word B-A-N-A-N-A-S! What am I talking about; the hottest musicfest for years to come. VIBE Magazine in conjunction with ATL Mayor Shirley Franklin teamed up to “bring the style and flair of VIBE Magazine to life”.
From June 10th-12th ATL was overtaken by some of the nation’s hottest talent! While the weather was a little on the gloomy side the people who attended the Expos were all smiles. There were two nights to enjoy the sounds of T.I., Big Boi, Amerie, Lyfe and many others.
During the day there was plenty to do with outdoor concerts featuring PSC, Stat Quo, Crime Mob and others as well as conventions sponsored by Burger King.
Ticket prices for the nightly concert ranged from $36 to $101 while the price for the actual convention was $20 for both nights. The nightly concerts were held at the famed Georgia Dome and all daily events at the Georgia World Congress Center.
The GWCC proved to be one of the busiest places in ATL on June 11th as individuals rushed in and out between outdoor concerts and open conventions. V-Style Salon and Beauty Zone sponsored a fashion show featuring Destini Clothing as well as treated attendees with free manicures, pedicures, and massages. For those individuals that love to read there was a small book fair where authors such as Editor-In-Chief of VIBE, Mimi Valdes, Reverend Al Sharpton, and Ayana Byrd autographed their books. There were opportunities to peep celebrity rides as well as a chance to meet and greet celebs such as the infamous Luke Skywalker and American Idol hopeful LaToya London.
Seminars included topics such as; Is street lit the only game in town for people of color in the book industry and an open ASCAP forum discussion. Other seminars gave information on how to get in and stay in the entertainment business. Panelists included such individuals as Chuck D, Chaka Zulu, Mimi Valdes and more.
As six o’clock quickly approached; patrons scurried over to the Georgia Dome in anticipation of the night’s big concert. Outside the Dome were ticket scalpers anxiously trying to unload tickets to a sold out concert at the whopping price of $75 per ticket. All the while one lonely man dressed in jeans and a button-up holds up a homemade cardboard sign reading, “I need tickets”. Inside the Dome a packed audience waiting for the night’s host, Free, of 106 & Park.
Throughout the night Free appears on stage in different outfits all designed by stylist, Dream. When asked to comment on the show, Free simply responds, “the best 5 years of my life. It’s all AJ’s doing”. A little into the show there’s a guest appearance from none other than the D-I-D-D-Y, it’s P Diddy back for a second night. He just couldn’t get enough. Not only is he back he’s got guests, boy group B-5.
The night progressed with a 60th birthday tribute to the late Bob Marley performed by musical offspring Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley and Stephen Marley. Welcome to the islands man! That’s the scene set by the group as they ripped the stage full of energy.
Who’s up next? Faith Evans as she performs some of her greatest hits. After Faith graced the stage with her beauty; the man himself T.I. along with P.S.C. and the crowd goes wild. Camera shots catch audience members bouncing and trying to through themselves over guard rails. During the performance T.I. comes in close contact with the audience and gets his T-shirt ripped off. And who exactly is P.S.C.? According to T.I., “PSC is a family. Some of them are label executives, managers, but there are five of us that rap all together”.
The night’s still young and Saturday night’s headliner, Lauryn Hill, has yet to hit the stage with her 26 piece band. There have been spottings of her band members and the anticipation is growing.
As the night goes on there are performances from Lil Scrappy, Big Boi, and of course that “nigga named Luda, alert, alert!” As he takes the stage he has plenty of surprises up his sleeve. Of course he has members of DTP with him and who rips the stage? Repping for the ladies it’s Shawna, a female Twista along with Young Jeez.
How does the night end? A show stopper! None other than former Refugee camp member Lauryn. One word, breathtaking! Laced with her assembled band she is definitely a headliner. Performing hits from Miseducation of Lauryn Hill as well as one of the greatest albums made, The Score. If you’ve ever had an opportunity to she her concert than you know what you’ve missed, if not your lose.
Now, it’s time for all Gospel lovers to prepare for the Gospel review on Sunday. Special guests include, Fred Hammond and Ms. Yolanda Adams.
Along with the Gospel review there are also more seminars at the GWCC for people to enjoy. In all the 1st Annual VIBE MusicFest was a SUCCESS! The concerts were sold out and the conventions were both educational and entertaining. So will there be a 2nd annual musicfest? I would say, “Hell yeah!” It’s probably in the making now. If you didn’t make this one then you need to plan on making the next one. Please trust and believe the weekend was off the chain!