Life was certainly on at Glowfest 2017
Port of Spain, Trinidad, June 21, 2017
For the very first time in Tobago, three major gospel headliners from the USA were appearing on the same stage in one night and for all three Americans, it was their first time to the beautiful island.
Gospel artistes Travis Greene, Jonathan Nelson and Jonathan Mc Reynolds performed before a packed Shaw Park Complex recently. Over 2,500 patrons were singing along to the songs as the artistes gave soulful and energetic performances to a crowd that did not mind standing for hours as they waved, jumped, danced and enjoyed the ministry of these three American gospel acts and local artistes.
Over the last few years, bmobile has been particularly instrumental in the staging of this event, which has now become a Tobago staple. At the 8th staging of Glowfest, patrons had the opportunity to win bmobile bags, chairs and umbrellas, just in time for the country’s rainy season and July/August events. “Glowfest is one of two major gospel shows on the island, which take place every year. We really enjoy being a part of this experience. It tends to attract hundreds of visitors from Trinidad, which is important for our tourism industry and is always well supported by the youth, which is very important for bmobile and our youth development mandate,” said Onica Blackman, Enterprise Marketing and Communications Manager, TSTT, Tobago Operations. Patrons also had the opportunity to win a Huawei Y 5 by posting a selfie #lifeison, via social media.
Managing Director of Glow International, Kern Cowan, was ecstatic that the concert came off successfully this time, as it had to be postponed in 2016 due to Hurricane Matthew. “Postponement would have been a heart breaking ordeal. It was rough,” said Cowan. Now after the seven month wait and an incident free concert, where artistes and patrons energized the atmosphere, an exhausted Cowan added, “The atmosphere was really nice. Very worship intense, co-operative audience. Passion is what really keeps me going. I like to see people’s lives being touched. The objective of the concert is two-fold, (1) it is aimed at exposing local talent into international arenas, connecting them with international agencies and management, and (2) we really aim to touch lives and give persons something meaningful to connect with.” Local acts included Forward the Band from Tobago, Gates Praise from the First Church of the Open Bible in San Fernando, Jedidiah, Blessed Messenger and Positive.
We caught up with Mc Reynolds and Nelson after their amazing performances to hear what they had to say about their first time Tobago experience. “It was incredible. The energy, the joy you guys have is amazing. It makes me just wanna sing everything,” said the Chicago born and raised Mc Reynolds. The 27-year-old who writes his own songs, said his inspiration comes from his own life, his own prayers and conversations with friends, “God has given me a gift to turn conversations into music.”
While Mc Reynolds is especially popular amongst the youth, Nelson who was born in Baltimore but lives in Miami, Florida leans more towards a mature audience appeal. “It was absolutely incredible. I think this is by far my favourite island. There were no seats on the floor and for at least 2 hours everybody stood and participated. I can’t wait to come again,” said Nelson.
Well it wasn’t only the gospel artistes who enjoyed this experience. Patron J’leise Baker-St Cyr shared on her Glowfest experience, “Glowfest 2017 was nothing short of epic. It was so fulfilling to attend and walk away feeling so revitalized and rejuvenated. The presence of God was all around and being poured into me.” Sadie-Monique Harry shared similar sentiments, “It’s obvious that Glowfest 2017 was a well planned and well executed event. The attendance proved that there is a growing desire for Gospel Music and an atmosphere where Christians can gather outside of ‘church’ to have a good time. My personal favourite for the night was Blessed Messenger but I also enjoyed the entire show.”