Uniting together for a musical cause.
A new festival is trying to bring the diverse communities of Queens together for a day of music. The inaugural ECIPS Music Festival will debut at Roy Wilkins Park on Aug. 20, showcasing a lineup of artists from varying genres and cultures. It will be the first time that the park — long considered a stronghold of Caribbean-centric events — will feature a multi-genre concert to including the once barred genre of hip-hop. The addition of it to the event will attract music fans that were never catered to the parks many concert, said organizers.
“It seems like Jamaican park because we have a lot of Jamaican festivals, but a lot of black Americans are so happy and anxiously awaiting this festival because this will be their first time we go into that park,” said Suzan Peart, who also organizes Reggae Splash.
She launched this festival to include genres such as Latin music, hip-hop, rhythm and blues, reggae, and soca music, adding that the lack of hip-hop music at these events left out a large portion of residents interested in participating in the festivals. But she also said she ran into hurdles due to stigmatization of the genre from incidents in the past.
“It took us time because I had obstacles with the park because they had issues several times with hip-hop shows and it was not allowed,” she said.
But after spending close to two years advocating with park officials and several meetings with the mayor’s office, Peart said an agreement was reached and she created ECIPS Music Festival.
The festival is the word spice spelled backwards, which was chosen as the title because of Peart’s profession as a chef, and it is also a word that signifies what she wants to bring to Queens.
“A lot of people know my brand with Reggae Splash, but with this festival I want to bring all flavors and all types of music,” she said.
And that is one of the main goals of the concert, said another organizer.
“The essence of the concert is even though they we’ve done this concert in a different format, we trying for a wider and broader population in terms of music across the board,” said Everod Vernon.
Artists expected to be there include Akon, Remy Ma, Alkaline, Freddie Jackson, Elephant Man, De La Ghetto, Denise Belfon, and Queen Ifrica to name a few.
Peart says the inclusion of a hip-hop with the appearance of the rapper Remy Ma and the De La Ghetto is a great time to to listen.
“We are targeting the Latin community in Corona and Astoria and even Manhattan because Latin music goers really go out for Latin artists and with De La Ghetto there the Latin community will want to to see him and join us,” said Peart.