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By: Ryan Bassil – Vice Noisey, U.K
Tmrw.Tday is a new festival in Jamaica, but with more focus on the vibes.
Fyre Festival and its tale of myriad problems has been recounted so often it’s practically already folklore. To briefly recap: the “once-in-a-lifetime” April 2017 event spectacularly collapsed as airlines grounded and cancelled flights, headline acts pulled out and luxury necessities resembled little more than emergency relief supplies. A dazzling shitshow of our time.
In retrospect, Fyre Festival was doomed to collapse head over arse into the balmy waters of the Exumas. But what if it went ahead? A new festival called, taking place in Jamaica a few weeks later, lightly mirrors what Ja Rule and his 25-year-old business partner could have achieved if their shit had been together. At least that’s how it comes across in the festival’s marketing, anyway.
Heat trails making their way across sun-kissed beaches, cool lagoons of blue water, the insignia of experiential dreams made real—these are the aesthetic details littered acrosstagram page (see what I mean below, with your human eyes). Like Camp Wildfire or Banksy’s Dismaland, is part of a new breed of festival aiming to inject some life into the dire, repetitive festival landscape.
Because it’s based in Jamaica, the line-up features the likes of Protoje and Toddla T (who is known for bringing Jamaican artists across the globe and onto his BBC Radio 1 show). And because the #trend is #hot #rightnow, there’s also a heavy focus on wellness. All that will come later, though. For now, all you need to know is the crew asked Noisey if we would like to attend, and it was I who responded with uncharacteristic speed and enthusiasm, and so it was I who spent a few days in the Caribbean. Come now, live vicariously through me.
What is Jamaica like then, you lucky person?
Prior to travelling to this beautiful country you, like me, may be naive and uncultured enough to believe it embodies the following things: the blooming sadness of Mavado’s “Delilah” and the many tear ducts it’s shattered; lush bounties of organically grown weed; the unparalleled positivity and colourful energy of “Summertime” by the now incarcerated Vybz Kartel; bottles of Ting and plastic cups of rum punch; Beenie Man, rastafari, Bob Marley; chicken and rice and peas—and it is all of these things. But those are also the sticker stereotypes peeling off its hood, with the structural components underneath running infinitely deeper.
The first thing you notice when flying into the Caribbean is the land; the swirls of mildly differing blue hues of the ocean merge by the shore like a marbleized portrait, topped with wisps of cloud leading to green mountains. Make no mistake about it: this land mass is nature on the prettiest of steroids. Despite the tropical storm kicking its way across the island when I arrive—bringing with it rain on rain beneath rain; shards of the stuff, toppling toward the ground and washing it anew—it’s easy to see whyhave chosen to host their festival here. It’s beautiful.
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