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Iba Mahr happy with music festival

By Richard Johnson
Observer senior reporter

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Organiser of the Sound Di Alarm music festival, Iba Mahr has responded to comments regarding the lengthy delays which threatened the start of the New Year's Eve show at the Dinthill Technical High School in Linstead, St Catherine.

He explained to the Jamaica Observer that the situation, which resulted in the show finally getting started at near 1:00 am, was due to a delay in setting up the sound equipment.

“The more than a little technical difficulty was due to the timing in the set up for the sound equipment. Normally, we would get the equipment on site from at least the day before and have a sound check. This year we could not get the equipment until the day of the event... that was totally out of our control. It was very risky and we saw the result,” he said.

Despite this, Iba Mahr is pleased with the third staging of the event which raises money for the Linstead Public Hospital.

“I am so grateful that the people came out this year. This is year three and we are seeing a real growth in the popularity and the number of patrons at the festival. We also saw more artistes being willing and able to touch the stage for us, even artistes who were not advertised came through and and performed for us....really grateful. It was a little shaky at the start, but we are pleased with the way it turned out,” he said.

This year's event saw a dramatic increase in the patronage and Iba Mahr attributes this to the general growth in the popularity of the festival.

“People are now seeing that the show is becoming an annual event, something they can look forward to for their New Year's Eve. Over the past three years, the word has been spreading and so, instead of going to another event such as the waterfront in Kingston, they can just come to this event in the community and hol' a vibe. Plus, this year the marketing and promotion of Sound Di Alarm was ideal so all these went into making the event the success it was.”

“The addition of Popcaan to the line-up also increased the appeal of the show. It broadened the base of the people who would come, taking in a younger audience. However, we have not strayed from the core principle of the show, which is a reggae music event, but by adding an artiste like a Popcaan we were able to tap into another market. That is something we will have to look into going forward,” he said.

Going forward, Iba Mahr noted that this year's event was also a learning tool for the future.

“We see the glitches, and we know what we need to fine-tune for next year. We have set a standard and we need to give our audience nothing but the best... they deserve it,” he added.