Let's Go Dancin' virtuallySaturday, July 24, 2021
BY HOWARD CAMPBELL
At Independence time, Michael Barnett usually celebrates Jamaica's big day enjoying music from the 1960s and 1970s with friends. This year, he maintains that ritual with his virtual Let's Go Dancin' event.
First held in 2010, Let's Go Dancin' has packed venues in Kingston, Bull Bay, Atlanta, and New Jersey but because of the novel coronavirus, Barnett was unable to stage any gigs last year.
He returns on August 7 with an event that can be viewed on collectorskornernow.com. Though the virtual medium is new to him, Barnett sees it as a fitting spectrum to reach out to a wider audience.
“It affords us the opportunity to celebrate this special occasion with Jamaicans and friends of other nationalities here in Jamaica and around the world; so it's an international Jamaica Independence celebration,” he told the Jamaica Observer. “This is the very first time Let's Go Dancin' will be showcased in this fashion at this significant time; so it is also a tremendous milestone for the brand.”
The show, which starts at 9 pm, will be hosted by Louis Owens. Barnett and his colleagues from Kool 97 FM, Stokey Love and DJ Edson, will provide music, mainly classic reggae and rhythm and blues.
Because of the Jamaican Government's coronavirus restrictions, many live events have either been cancelled or postponed. That includes so-called 'vintage' shows like Rae Town at Sabina Park in central Kingston.
“The pandemic affects oldies events more than regular events, because patrons are much more cautious of all the accompanying effects of the virus. Whereas, you still find regular events taking place within the allowed curfew times; there is a complete lockdown of oldies events. However, now that the curfew times are somewhat more relaxed, you will see oldies events start happening again,” Barnett said.
A musicologist, Barnett is also founder of the successful Heineken Startime series that marshalled a rocksteady music revival during the 1990s.
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