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Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, July 5, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesJ'OUVERT HAS STAYING POWER, DESPITE DELAYS

J'OUVERT HAS STAYING POWER, DESPITE DELAYS

It was 21st Century technology that saved the day for V.I. Carnival J'Ouvert Y2K.
Thousands of revelers — some having spent the night "pre-j'ouvert" partying — are ready to fill Veterans Drive along the Waterfront at the appointed step-off hour of 4 a.m.
They will wait more than three hours for the start of the romping musical tramp from the Fort Christian parking lot to Sub Base. Positive Image is cranking up the bass by 6 a.m. but by the time the bands line up on the road, it's after 7. And then the immensely popular Jam Band finds itself with a crippled generator.
No power, no sound. No energy for electric guitar and keyboard. No electricity to drive the massive speakers mounted on the truck.
No J'Ouvert, says band leader Nick Friday. "We fixed up our truck from yesterday. . . When we came up, some of our amps were missing, and they took the idle switch from the generator, so we weren't able to play this morning. It's best we stop," he says.
The truck pulls out of the route and onto a bus stop while rival Imaginations Brass rolls by, fans dancing and waving behind them.
Imagi starts the tramp with this year's hit "Not a Man Move."
A few feet away, Jam Band devotees stand sullenly by.
Just when it appears the tramp, having started late, will end early, a Jam Band member whips out a cellular phone and makes an impassioned plea. About 15 minutes later, a pickup truck rolls up the service road past the Hard Rock Cafe with a new generator.
The crowd goes wild. The technicians go to work. A group of revelers sits patiently plopped on the road. Friday and his band members pass out cold drinks to a crowd waiting by the truck.
A few minutes later the band is on the road.
The band leader thanks his boisterous, if sometimes violent, fans for their patience and peacefulness while repairs were being made.
Then they all dance away under the risen sun.
While most of the revelers called it a morning around 10:30, some were still wining and waving towels around their favorite music makers by Addelita Cancryn Junior High School at a quarter to noon. Police later reported two "incidents" — the arrest around 6 a.m. in Emancipation Garden of a 17-year-old found to be carrying a gun and some marijuana, and a stabbing around 9 a.m. on Veterans Drive near the V.I. Lottery offices.
In a way, J'Ouvert has come to be the first of three big parades that constitute the "Last Lap" of the V.I. Carnival season. But while the Children's and Adults Parades are primarily spectator events, the planned-for-predawn tramp led by popular dance bands on flatbed trucks has been the people's parade where everyone can let it all hang out. 'Twas so in the 20th Century, and seems so still in the 21st.

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It was 21st Century technology that saved the day for V.I. Carnival J'Ouvert Y2K.
Thousands of revelers -- some having spent the night "pre-j'ouvert" partying -- are ready to fill Veterans Drive along the Waterfront at the appointed step-off hour of 4 a.m.
They will wait more than three hours for the start of the romping musical tramp from the Fort Christian parking lot to Sub Base. Positive Image is cranking up the bass by 6 a.m. but by the time the bands line up on the road, it's after 7. And then the immensely popular Jam Band finds itself with a crippled generator.
No power, no sound. No energy for electric guitar and keyboard. No electricity to drive the massive speakers mounted on the truck.
No J'Ouvert, says band leader Nick Friday. "We fixed up our truck from yesterday. . . When we came up, some of our amps were missing, and they took the idle switch from the generator, so we weren't able to play this morning. It's best we stop," he says.
The truck pulls out of the route and onto a bus stop while rival Imaginations Brass rolls by, fans dancing and waving behind them.
Imagi starts the tramp with this year's hit "Not a Man Move."
A few feet away, Jam Band devotees stand sullenly by.
Just when it appears the tramp, having started late, will end early, a Jam Band member whips out a cellular phone and makes an impassioned plea. About 15 minutes later, a pickup truck rolls up the service road past the Hard Rock Cafe with a new generator.
The crowd goes wild. The technicians go to work. A group of revelers sits patiently plopped on the road. Friday and his band members pass out cold drinks to a crowd waiting by the truck.
A few minutes later the band is on the road.
The band leader thanks his boisterous, if sometimes violent, fans for their patience and peacefulness while repairs were being made.
Then they all dance away under the risen sun.
While most of the revelers called it a morning around 10:30, some were still wining and waving towels around their favorite music makers by Addelita Cancryn Junior High School at a quarter to noon. Police later reported two "incidents" -- the arrest around 6 a.m. in Emancipation Garden of a 17-year-old found to be carrying a gun and some marijuana, and a stabbing around 9 a.m. on Veterans Drive near the V.I. Lottery offices.
In a way, J'Ouvert has come to be the first of three big parades that constitute the "Last Lap" of the V.I. Carnival season. But while the Children's and Adults Parades are primarily spectator events, the planned-for-predawn tramp led by popular dance bands on flatbed trucks has been the people's parade where everyone can let it all hang out. 'Twas so in the 20th Century, and seems so still in the 21st.