Since the inception of WeBeat St James Live in 2001, this year will be the first occasion on which the festival will be staged without its chairman, Earl Crosby, who passed away in August 2016.
“It is a strange feeling to be planning this year’s event without Earl,” said long-standing WeBeat committee member Angela Fox. “The festival’s success over the years was largely due to his untiring efforts, and resolute willingness to forge ahead, despite the many challenges he faced during that time. So we are doing this year’s activities in his honour, even though the problems are still there.”
Crosby, who had undergone serious health issues a few months before last year’s staging, had this to say at the opening: “Because of my health condition, members of the committee undertook all responsibility for producing this year’s event, and faced even greater challenges than in past years in getting sponsors to buy into this programme that has proven its worth for over 15 years.”
The WeBeat St James Live festival was developed to promote the community of St James which, due to its all-day, all-night activities, is dubbed the “city that never sleeps.” The festival provides a platform to showcase the talents of local artistes while highlighting the contribution of people who have been pivotal in the development of St James and, by extension, the wider community. A most apt phrase to describe this festival is ‘collective responsibility’ for within the perimeter of the rhythmic, are the social responsibilies of health, environment, and rewards.