*Los Angeles – The 2nd Annual LA Soul Music Festival was a coming together of music enthusiasts who simply appreciate and enjoy live music in a relaxing atmosphere, with like-minded people, in its many forms.
The LA Soul Music Festival was a celebration of all things “SOUL” whether it was vocals, instrumentation, soloist or a full band, it didn’t matter, as long as the artists had the ability, and talent to inspire and connect with the audience.
The LA Soul Festival featured Grammy Awarded and Grammy nominated national and internationally known artists, that people were familiar with as well as some that the crowd and I haven’t heard of … YET! People travelled from near and far to partake in the festival, San Diego, Sacramento as well as Phoenix, Arizona was represented.
The 2nd Annual Los Angeles Soul Music Festival was supposed to be a 3-day live music event, Friday, July 14-Sunday, July 16, 2017, featuring established Platinum selling artists and rising stars, all on one stage. Just like a ball of thread, things started to unravel.
From what I gathered, the opening night was celebrated without any problems with outstanding performances by Major, Yuna, Sevyn Streeter, Ro James, August Alsina and K Michelle.
By day two, Saturday, the spool of thread started to unwind, unravel, if you will. The gates opened 30 minutes late, which wouldn’t have been a problem otherwise. The proverbial red flags started to appear. We waited and waited for the opening, BJ The Chicago Kid to perform. DJ Mal-ski kept the crowd entertained with a bumping soundtrack of old and new school R&B tunes, spiced up with a dash of Latin rhythms.
Backstage, Jane Eugene (British R&B band-Loose Ends), Robert Gee, vocalist and songwriter, and Michael Eric Dyson were kickin’ it, chillin’ with the Press Corps in the Press Lounge Area.
The show officially got underway with Kindred The Family Soul. This dynamic duo thrilled the crowd with a spirit filled set with the tunes “Shine Your Light,” “Alright,” “All My People,” and “Far Away.” Check out their latest CD Legacy of Love.
Avant, multi-platinum awarded R&B singer, songwriter, put on an excellent show that featured many of his hits “Separated,” “My First Love,” “Read Your Mind,” and “Special” from his latest CD VIII.
Slick Rick/Doug E. Fresh followed by Anthony Hamilton was on fire during their respective, crowd pleasing sets. Another obvious red flag appeared when Tyrese didn’t perform. Social media lit afterwards with people saying that they paid to see six artists, but only allowed to see four groups perform.
Day three, Sunday, July 16th, started off like any other day. I arrived to the festival site, waited in the Will call line like everyone else. I presented my Press Badge to proceed backstage to the Press Lounge area. Thirty minutes later, representatives from the festivals Public Relations Department delivered the news that the show was cancelled. I left without waiting for an explanation. The crowd and I were looking forward to enjoy the wonderful sounds as provided by Teedra Moses, Carl Thomas, After 7, Toni! Toni! Toni! Musiq Soul Child and Blackstreet.
As you are aware by now, Social Media blew up with people wondering why the final day was cancelled. Some people speculated as to why the final day was cancelled, while others requested a partial or full refund.
There was a brief news announcement on Channel 5 News that is posted on the Facebook page of LA Soul Music Festival, but no explanation as to why the festival was cancelled. The final threads of the LA Soul Music Festival will probably unwind in the courts between the promoters, artists, vendors and the enthusiastic fans that travelled near and far to attend the festival. Stay tuned!
Ricky Richardson is a Southern California based music reviewer, writer and photographer. Contact him via: [email protected]