The Gungo Walk Alternative Music & Arts Festival is an event which creates a space for Folk, Alternative, and experimental sounds from Jamaica, the Caribbean and the International scene to showcase their talents alongside Jamaica’s mainstream music; Dancehall and Reggae. It is held at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. The other activities that run throughout the day are: attractions for children, art, dance, photography, poetry, film features and workshops. The day ends with the main musical showcase “Armchair Rebelution”. I don’t have a review for you because I was a part of the volunteer team this year, so I was all over the place working but I will give you a little insight on the festival nonetheless.
The main sponsor this year was Popeyes Jamaica, hence the Orange t-shirts, with the Popeyes logo on one side and the Gungo Walk logo on the other. In being fashionable we cut them and styled them in a manner that we liked. We were assigned to different areas of the festival, I was assigned to Yoga and my parri for the day, Anise, was assigned to Dance; which were in the same building, the School of Dance. The festival was scheduled to start at 10 am but it started off late, in true Jamaican fashion.
I was stuck at my post by Dance School for a good while but when I got the chance I ventured to the main area and took a look. The main area had two stages for music acts, placed at two different corners of the area, and a smaller, third stage for the Poets. Here the different performers would perform consecutively on each stage, as one ended the other would begin. There were tents with the different artisan venders, food venders, and more, set up. There was clothes, jewelry, and Gungo Walk merchandise on sale. An artist had his booth where he sketched a headshot of you for a fee, as well as a Herbal Life booth where one could do facials, and learn how to as well.
There were many food options to choose from, from the everyday Jamaican meals of Jerk Chicken or Ackee & Saltfish with Breadfruit or soup, to junk food such as Popeyes or hot dogs or popcorn, and vegetarian options as well such as Benji’s Yatties or Veggie Meals on Wheels or Café What’s On. The children’s play area had the special treat of cotton candy.
The day went smoothly I participated in a Yoga session, I watched Arabesk’s dance show, and I saw a lot of the musical acts, I missed the film workshop though. To end the day was the ‘Armchair Rebelution’ concert, this was held in the Vera Moody Concert Hall. The show was starred by Michael Sean Harris, who started off the night doing covers of his favourite songs in tribute to the respective artistes. I had to leave shortly after he began; and that was my Gungo Walk 2016.