The 21st Haitian Compas Festival landed on the perfect day, May 18, a Saturday and it’s a weekend day with awesome South Florida weather. Here’s a review of the Haitian Compas Festival by Rodly “Oz’mosis” Madeus of HMIBuzz.
This past Saturday, May 18th, 2019, I attended the 21st Annual Haitian Compas Festival, at Mana Wynwood Convention Center, Miami, Florida, the same venue the event was held last year. As I’m always excited to be around art, being at the Wynwood Art District for the HCF, I thought would be worthwhile and it was. I knew I would get the opportunity to walk around and admire some beautiful graffiti and murals before the Fest starts, so I made sure I went early enough to get a good parking area and do my tour. My art appreciation was at an all-time high by the time I decided to go in the Fest; it was 5:11 PM — beautiful rainless South Florida vibe.
Driving to the HCF, I was streaming Father Of Asahd — DJ Khaled’s new album. I was inspired, motivated and ready for some Compas music and watch some good performances. I have had to opportunity to attend the festival at least 8 times throughout the years, starting in 2004, the year I performed. Because of my experience with the event and who I am naturally, I usually take my critical eyes and ears with me every time I attend the festival. Hence, I always end up walking away feeling disappointed with the same question: Is That The Best We Can Do? This year, I kept my expectations very low because I didn’t want to feel disappointed once again. I made peace with myself that I would be less judgmental, give everyone a chance, and enjoy the show.
To me, the HCF is still the biggest and the most popular event we have in the Haitian Music Industry (HMI). The event may have had its share of lows over the years; however, it has had more highs according to people close to the organization. Doing something of this magnitude for 21 consecutive years is tremendous no matter how you put it. Some things just can’t be quantified. We should all appreciate the fact that we have an event as such in the city of Miami that promotes our Haitian culture.
I must give props to the organization for being consistent in many ways for so many years. Yes, there were some things I thought could have been better. The question of whether or not some of the people who are in key positions are good enough at what they’re hired to do for the organization still traveled my mind. However, I think the organization as a whole is still doing a good job. I do think though it needs to spend a significant amount of time brainstorming how to re-brand the event moving forward and making a tremendous effort to appeal to the young generation of Haitian Americans.
Still, It’s not clear whether or not the festival is a Haitian Flag Day celebration event or simply an event to present the “Best Compas Playlist” every year around that time. I could not put my finger on what exactly the theme of the day was other than different acts got on stage and do what they normally do. Time really begs for some fresh ideas.
Rodly “Oz’mosis” Madeus
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