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by Kyle Galdeira. Editor

 

The Birthday Bash has been the most consistently successful local music concert series ever, selling out every year of its existence. Its popularity stems from its outrageous party atmosphere, surprise guests, and a huge line up of the hottest acts in local music. At the Shell, an open-air amphitheater adjacent to Kapiolani Park, most of the general admission seating is designated to the lawn area, so fans can enjoy the music under the stars seated on blankets, beach mats, or towels. However, as the concert went on, the capacity crowd of about 8,400 stood and turned the lawn into a giant dance floor.

“ It’s a great event to go to with friends and family, and to meet up with old acquaintances,” said KCCN on-air personality Ronnie Barba, an ’05 HPU graduate. “It was unbelievable. That’s all I can say. Without all the people listening to local music, we wouldn’t be having this concert.”
This is the fourth year that the concert was presented over two nights in order to accommodate ticket demands.There were different bills each night, so that each act had the opportunity to play longer sets and give fans more music.

Some of the featured performers included: Fiji, BruddahWaltah, Ho‘aikane,‘Ekolu, Koauka, B.E.T., One Groove, Kekai Boyz, Malino, Kapena, Natural Vibrations, Sean Na‘auao, Ho‘onua, The Brothers Cazimero,Keahiwai, Inoa‘ole, The Opihi Pickers, and Kamakaiwa.
These bands have helped pioneer the “Jawaiian” music genre, a contemporary mixture of reggae and Hawaiian styles and music patterns. When the concert was first held in 1990, it was billed as “Jawaiian Jams.”

“ When we started the Jawaiian Jams back in the ‘80s, we had no idea that this music would have such staying power,” said David Booth of Events International, the show’s promoter. “It’s rewarding to see that the Birthday Bash is bigger and better than ever at 15.”

“ It’s interesting that some of the audience members were barely born when we started with the Birthday Bash” added Mike Kelly, one of the Birthday Bash founders and general manager of Cox Broadcasting, KCCN’s parent company. “I guess this really makes us an institution when our event crosses into other generations.”

 

 

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