While the explosive fireworks on New Year’s Eve brought fun and excitement to the Kingston Waterfront, it was not so for one of Jamaica’s veteran musicians.
There was nothing sweet about the treatment of Bongo Herman, who felt he was unfairly treated at his first performance at Fireworks on the Waterfront.
His dilemma began when MC, Miss Kitty, erroneously announced the group URIM7 as the next performer instead of the iconic musician.
Then when he was to perform, Bongo Herman lamented, “the selector was not on stage”. And when the selector arrived, “the sound was cut off. And then Miss Kitty come on stage and cut me performance. All now I don’t do five minutes on stage.”
“I have been here from 6 p.m. I am a professional artist. I ah come from the days of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and all ah dem from out of Trench Town. I am a musician. I tour everywhere, is only the moon that I have not gone to,” he told The Gleaner.
“Before on stage, in a night like this, I planned out my show and get that sort of treatment. It’s not right. That’s why Bob Marley sing a song sey, ‘Music going teach them one lesson’ and day by day ah see it fulfill,” he continued in voicing his anger.
The musical veteran has not ruled out performing at future concerts, but one thing he is certain of, he will not be working with this crop of organizers again.
In response to the matter, the UDC emailed the following response:
“The Urban Development Corporation is grateful for the tremendous support received from the Jamaican public at this year’s staging of Fireworks on the Waterfront. We saw a record crowd stretching all along the Ocean Boulevard being entertained by a strong lineup of artists. We are also thankful that Bongo Herman was able to share his artistic performance with us. We acknowledge that there was a slight logistical slip which led to another group being named before Bongo’s performance, but we quickly corrected this. Unfortunately, the accompanying recorded music was not submitted in time to augment Bongo’s performance, hence the subsequent challenges. Nevertheless Bongo’s performance was completed within the slot given. We do apologize for any inconvenience caused and extend best wishes for 2017 to all who contributed or participated in the 2016 event.”