Jamaica Observer / It was billed as a peace concert for the troubled communities of Red Hills Road and Cassia Park in St Andrew. However, near anarchy ensued on stage as police moved in to closed down the One Blood Music Festival held at the Dunrobin playing field in the Corporate Area on Labour Day. The event, which was the brainchild of reggae artiste Junior Reid, was being used to soothe rising tensions in the communities in the area. In the past months there has been an upswing in the incidence of homicide and other criminal activity.

Wednesday’s incident was brought to a halt by the lawmen shortly after midnight in keeping with the stipulations of the Noise Abatement Act.

The organisers were allowed a few minute to wrap up the event and popular act Fantan Mojah was called on stage. He did well warming to the sparse audience which dotted the large green space. He delivered hits including Hungry and Stronger, he was joined on stage by Turbulence who dropped a few lines from Notorious, then Predator who gave the audience Nah Nuh Head.

At this stage the anarchy descended on the stage as a number of new and emerging acts jostled for their moment in the spotlight. One act leaped from the stage in order to prevent the microphone being taken from him as he was determined to have his say. Another microphone was unceremoniously yanked from a member of Fantan Mojah’s party who appealed for order. This is when the cops stepped in and pulled the plug.

Prior to this, proceedings moved at a slow pace. The majority of the performances came from emerging acts, many from the surrounding communities who were looking for an opportunity to “buss”.

The first flash of a solid set came from Nature, who was able to entertain with a few of his well-known tracks, including the popular and fitting World Peace. Carl Dawkins dropped his hits Satisfaction and Cry Me a River. Terry Ganzie also made his presence felt.

The night’s major act was conscious crooner Luciano, who, along with fellow artiste Mikey General, gave a strong showing. Luciano gave the audience a string of the songs he is known for.

Organiser of the event Junior Reid was noticeably absent, as were some of the other acts slated to take to the stage, including: Bounty Killer, Sizzla, Richie Spice, Louie Culture, and Little John.

The 54-year-old Reid was among a number of promising artistes who emerged from Waterhouse in the early 1980s. He had several hit songs during that decade including the anthem One Blood, his cry for unity in urban areas across the world. The second of the festival’s two nights was scheduled for the Balmagie Playing Field in Waterhouse last night.

— Richard Johnson

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