Stage set for music fest

Knox will reunite with his band The BrotherHood, bassist Kurt Peteren (left) and drummer Johnny Bola (centre) on December 5 at the Woodstock Uprising Music Festival. Picture: SUPPLIED

Get ready for some new music Fiji, says Inoke “Knox” Kalounisiga.

The frontman of the Knox Brotherhood band made the comment in the buildup to the Woodstock Uprising Music Festival at the Uprising Beach Resort, Pacific Harbour, on Saturday, December 5.

“My band is glad for the opportunity to do what we love and to do what we do best,” he said.

The gig at the Uprising Beach Resort will see the reunification of Knox with his original bassist Kurt Petersen and drummer Johnny Bola.

“Our style is influenced by funk, rock, reggae and blues.”

The Namasimasi native said the trio would be bringing their “A-game” to the stage and delivering something different without compromising the vibe and atmosphere that the festival is known for.

“We will be bringing some new music and also our interpretations of others’ songs and well-known sing-alongs.”

He said the Knox Brotherhood would be one of 14 acts on the day at a festival that promised to be a much-needed boost for bands, dance groups and deejay’s who will be performing.

“The global entertainment industry really suffered as a result of the lockdown periods around the world. “The COVID-19 restrictions were a huge blow to the industry and we in Fiji were not spared.

“There are artists and bands who are really struggling because they have no work.”

Knox said as the effects of COVID-19 swept through the country and jobs were lost, many people turned to their creativity to derive an income. People who had previously treated their talents as hobbies have turned to food, handmade jewellery, gardening and handicraft and overnight the cottage industry became the cottage economy.

Knox said the surge in creativity had also extended to the entertainment industry.

“COVID-19 has seen people harness their creative prowess to stabilise their lives and artists are using their own creativity to stay relevant.”

Knox Entertainment, owned and operated by Knox and his wife Ellana, is organising the event and will be working with the Ministry of Health to ensure adherence to COVID-19 restrictions and protocols.

“We are grateful to the ministry for giving us the all-clear to proceed with the festival.”

Although the circumstances are different, this is not the first time the organisers have partnered with the Ministry of Health.

“Last year’s festival coincided with the measles outbreak and the festival became a vaccination spot.

“This time around, we will be working with the ministry to temperature screen and hold people who register a high temperature.

“If they register a lower temperature on a second temperature scan, they will be allowed into the festival.” When asked about what was being done to ensure social distancing, Knox said only half of the venue capacity would be sold.

“We are only selling 900 tickets, which is about half of what is usually sold for the festival.

“We will have satellite bars throughout the venue because people tend to congregate at the bar, so this should mean a more spaced out crowd.

“Portable sanitising stations will be everywhere for hygiene and drinks will only be served in cans to discourage the sharing of drinks and taki.

“MCs will be keeping people informed and in check with regards to the new protocols that have to be followed.”

When asked about why it was so important for the festival to go ahead, Knox said music always got people through hard times.

“Music is an emotional pickup, there’s a song for every situation, feeling and emotion.

“It is important for the performers as this is how they earn their living but it’s a way for people to de-stress.

“These are stressful times and everyone needs a release.

“Music brings people together. It goes hand in hand with social gatherings.”

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