For months now, organizers of the festival had predicted that the appearance of Fantasia on the 15th edition of the annual event would attract thousands of fans and restore some popularity and support, which if judged by recent years, especially 2010, seemed to have waned, resulting in poor crowd attendance.
The decision to book Fantasia, the Commodores and Jah Cure on the same night, along with the jazz group East Meets West, played out just as organizers had planned, because it attracted the biggest crowd for the 2011 festival, surpassing that of the Friday night before, when a massive crowd was on hand for the strong and impressive line -up of reggae and dancehall artistes, including Cocoa Tea, Demarco, Gypsian, Yellow Man and others.
Earlier in the day, (Saturday 25th June), Fantasia’s manager told the media at a morning press briefing, that his artiste intended to rest for most of the day because she was preparing herself to deliver a performance like no other, and one that patrons to the festival would remember for years to come. It was promise kept.
It is said that Fantasia feeds off of her audience, and that is exactly what was done by this American singing sensation.
Minutes before She was due to make her appearance on stage, many in the audience wondered if Fantasia would be able to better the performance of the Commodores, who 30 minutes before, had turned the Warner Park Stadium “upside down”, with a powerful 90 minute display of on stage brilliance.
Not since DMX in the 1990s, has the usually docile Kittitian/Nevisian audience been so boisterous, while at the same time managing to balance those animated actions with periods of obedience, surrendering often to the demands, commands and directions of the former American Idol winner, as she spewed out tune after tune.
Dressed in a very short black outfit with silver accessories, that she eventually got rid of, Fantasia knelt to ground of the stage, reached out to her uncontrollable and obviously fanatic fans, who, despite the best efforts of the security, packed the restricted media area in front of the stage, singing every word of the songs and desperately stretching for a momentary touch from their idol.
Well, it was the lucky night for one such fan, Charlie Miller, who himself is a former Runner-up in the ZIZ Radio Kittitian Superstars singing contest, organized by popular DJ St. Clair “Chico” Guishard. Realizing that Charlie was singing the lyrics of all the songs and dancing to every beat, even when the music had stopped, Fantasia invited the young man on stage to sing and dance with her, much to the delight of the crowd. As faith would have it though, Fantasia was indeed fulfilling a dream of Charlie’s; to meet her and tell her how much he admires her work. Anyone viewing Charlie’s Facebook account leading up to the start of the St. Kitts Music Festival, would have noticed his status that read, “It’s All About Fantasia”, obviously expressing his love for this rising international superstar from Georgia, USA.
Just when you thought it could get no better, Fantasia decided to leave the stage, walk through all security protective areas, and headed straight into the Tsunami of fans who immediately grabbed her, hugged her, and screamed like victims in the latest episode of an Alfred Hitchcock horror movie.
As she completed her stint on stage and despite being escorted at the time by scores of body guards, a 16 year old fanatical fan of Fantasia’s, jumped the security barriers, headed at high speed to the star, jumping onto her, screaming, “Fantasia I love you, I love you”.
Up to an hour after that episode, the on- site medical team was still trying to calm the young female fan from the depths of her hysteria. She continued asking as she cried, “Where is fantasia. I want to see her before she leaves. Please take me to her”.
Fantasia however, was not at risk in any way and remained somewhat calmed as her security whisked her to the safety of her “holding suite” at the stadium.
One of the objectives of Fantasia’s performance was to connect directly with her audience…her loyal fans; and she ensured that this was accomplished. Her only request to the organizers of the festival was that she be invited back to perform in the near future.
Given the business savvy posture of the planners, it should not be too long before we witness FANTASIA MESMERIZES PART 2.