Open Letter to New Bedford Feast: Let DJs Play, Too
To the good people of the Portuguese Feast Entertainment Committee:
With the 106th Feast of the Blessed Sacrament getting closer, the SouthCoast is amping up for the full entertainment announcement. Last week, you announced that Get The Led Out, a Led Zeppelin tribute band, will be this year's headliner at the August celebration.
Over the years, we've seen local bands, one-hit wonders from the '90s, folkloric dancers and more, but have yet to have a DJ play for the crowd as a solo act.
I, like many, have put in requests in the past, but I got the sense that we (DJs of the SouthCoast) just aren't seen as beneficial.
I'm here to prove to you that hiring DJs would be worth your while.
It's been a dream of mine ever since I received my very first mixer to perform on the big stage. I've DJ'd many incredible gigs over the past 10 years, but nothing will ever compare to looking out at a sea of 10,000-plus people.
Back in 2018, I emceed the 102nd Madeira Feast. It was not only a phenomenal life experience, but I saw firsthand the amount of hard work of everyone behind the scenes.
It was quite impressive, to say the least.
On Wednesday, March 30, I reached out to Feast President Rick Fernandes to present the idea and was told he would take the idea to his entertainment committee. The seed has been planted, but I feel as though it might not be convincing enough.
Throughout the entire SouthCoast, I'm good friends with numerous DJs, like myself, who do an incredible job. Their skill sets alone are worth supporting them on the weekends and I love the diversity they all have to offer. In a melting pot of a city, New Bedford knows that the DJs are the sparks who ignite the night.
I'm not saying that the DJ act should be allowed to play whatever they want, but perhaps keep it to the format of the feast: Portuguese music and, most importantly, Portuguese dance music.
Once that Madeira wine starts flowing, the crowd will love the energy from a DJ.
Perhaps what could work better, instead of playing an hour-long set, would be to have a DJ perform between acts during setup. Fill the air with music and give the people what they want. Have you ever heard of "DJ & a Drummer"? New Bedford's very own DJ GP and Drummer Josh Goncalves deliver a highly entertaining set like no other. Seriously, if you haven't checked it out yet- you just might want to.
Of course, this might complicate things for stage crews trying to prepare the stage, for the next act, but it's an option for sure.
Back when Bryan Wilson performed in 2018 was the very first time I witnessed a modern change in the 100-plus years of the feast. Sure, he was more of a pop singer, but he was still Portuguese and sang original Portuguese songs. He had a DJ (pictured above), but his DJ was there solely to support Wilson's backup vocals and music tracks. It was different. It was good. Perhaps "different" was what the feast needs nowadays.
My only request is that you, the feast entertainment committee, consider having a DJ every once in a while, even if it's not on the main stage. The stage in the upper corner would be a perfect place for people to hang out and dance freely. Just a suggestion.
There's a new generation in attendance, so keep that in mind. I'm all about tradition, but this could be a very good addition to the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament this year and for many years to come.
Especially since next year will be the 107th feast and that has Fun 107 written all over it!
In the meantime, I'll see you at the feast.
Sincerely and fingers crossed,
One of Your Future Feast DJs,