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story / Tatiana Johnson

photos /  J.D. Tuminski of

The Catalpa Festival came in with a bang and left us soggy. But wait not in a bad way. Although the weather went from rain to stormy to sunshine, Randall’s Island this passed weekend was a mixture of fun, music, food and exercise.  Power Amp just happened to be the name of the Jeep brand’s experience but attendees would agree that was the overall feeling of the weekend.  The buildup to Sunday, which is what I was looking forward to the most was like an all day Christmas Eve when you’re ready to open the gifts but you have to wait until everyone arrives. That would be the best description on waiting to see ASAP Rocky and Snoop Dogg perform.  But before getting there one must rewind. The journey to Randall’s Island was quick and easy, once over the bridge, city life was non-existent and it was time to enter a world of peace, music, art and food.
Before my favorite acts performed there was plenty to do, Silent Disco was at the top of the list.  Just seeing people dancing without outsiders hearing the music was hilarious, so I was definitely participating.  Checking out The Taste of NY was next because there is nothing quite like the great taste of festival food, especially if with various choices.  Walking around I saw a lady with a shark head, a guy with a snake head dancing and it felt totally normal.  But what really caught my attention was the Jeep Power Amp obstacle course.  Next thing you know I’m in a Jeep going through mud, up a hill, down a slide and packing instrument cases. The traction is great for muddy areas, like we have for participants to try at our Power Amp Experience here,” says Experiential Marketing Manager, Jennifer Applebee.  It was definitely an experience to remember.  My favorite part was going uphill and staying on the hill without going backwards and then forward. “Yes, when you’re in hilly areas such as San Francisco it’s very much needed,” says, Jennifer Applebee. The team with the fastest time could win a meet and greet with Snoop Dogg, so once again Team Thuglife (my team) tried once more.
Then it was SHOWTIME!  On the Jeep stage to my right, Araab Muzik  was handling his MPC as if we were in the studio with him bouncing along.  The energy was out of this world. I had to take a rest and head over to get food, next Girl Talk gave us attendees the ultimate workout with their great mashes from Outkast’s Hey Ya’ll to George Michael’s Wake Me Up Before You Go. Next it was time for ASAP Rocky. I found myself in the front with the ULTIMATE ASAP Mob fans. They looked like the female version of them and knew word for word lyrics. I loved it!
But it was finally my time and I was two minutes late! I heard Snoop and Dr. Dre’s Next Episode playing in the far background while still at ASAP Rocky’s set. I took off running in the trenches of what was now mud that started to stick on my shoes, but that didn’t stop me. I finally made it to the front after that it was finally Christmas! Snoop performed my favorites, Doggy Dogg World, Ain’t No Fun and even brought out Daz and Kurupt and Lady of Rage! The best surprise of the night was bringing his Uncle Junebug that always dances and he danced the entire night. I brought my vinyl cover of The Doggystyle album to maybe get signed. It didn’t happen but the concert was just that great. The night ended with Snoop’s verse to his hit single with Wiz Khalifa, Young Wild and Free and myself smelling like I just had the best time at the Catalpa Festival!

Image Courtesy  of Jeep.


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