Jessie J Takes Over Black Sea Arena
From Elton John to Christina Aguillera, Check in Georgia has brought a lot of stars to the stage of the Black Sea Arena in the past three years since it opened. The venue opened the 2019 season with a successful Black Eyed Peas’ concert on June 16 this year, meaning on August 6, Jessie J had a lot of pressure to keep up the audience’s expectations. However, with her astounding voice, fantastic band, and high level of organizational management from the staff of the Black Sea Arena, Jessie J’s show gave a new meaning to the combination of words ‘tremendous success’.
The gates opened at around 18:00, but devoted fans of the British Pop star had been gathering around the Black Sea Arena hours prior, some had even spent the night there to grab the chance to see their favorite performer up close from the Golden Ring. When the doors opened, they poured into the Ring, many of them humming Jessie J’s hits, from ‘Queen’ to ‘Domino.’
Jessie J appeared on the main stage a little later than scheduled, opening the show with a 2015 single ‘Masterpiece’, meriting endless rounds of applause from the cheering audience. After a couple of songs, the performer saluted the audience and explained her choice of outfit and hairstyle – so different to her look at her Amsterdam show just a few days before the one in Shekvetili.
“I decided to dress up as myself from 2010, because that’s where it all started, and I’ve never been to Georgia. So to make up for it, I decided to take you all nine years back and sing the songs that I think you might want to hear,” said the British singer-songwriter over loud screams from the audience.
Jessie J did not forget to mention her gratitude for the sold-out show, admitting that the love she gets from people never ceases to amaze her and that fame has never becomes normal for her. The pop star united the audience, engaging them all with her hilarious self-depreciating humor. The latter combined with her own words: “You came to see me, I came to see you.” She asked the audience not to record her performance of ‘Domino,’ just so she could see everyone’s faces and the blissful moment could be caught and enjoyed by all – making the public feel that Jessie J, the incredibly talented famous pop star, was just a regular person, equal to them. This integrity shone from the star’s personality throughout the two-hour show in many ways – adding a song to her playlist at the fans’ request, conversing with the audience and taking videos with their phones, reading a fan’s letter on stage, warming up the listeners by having them sing along to an improvised ‘Jessie J and Georgia’ bit – all these and much more made the Shekvetili show unique for Georgian and foreign music lovers.
The winner of the 2011 BRIT Awards expressed her desire to come back to Georgia and as her Instagram post post-concert reads: “…THE ENERGY WAS MAD!!! My 1st show in Georgia and it was SOLD OUT! YOU WERE SO LOUD AND FULL OF LOVE. Thank you, thank you…”. The singer also posted a photo on her page that shows her having a blast on Shekvetili beach.
When asked about Jessie J’s thoughts and satisfaction with the concert, Executive Director of Black Sea Arena, Tato Kharchilava, told the press: “I haven’t talked to her yet, but I don’t think we need any further confirmation – seeing her face and emotions on the stage spoke well of her satisfaction and happiness about today’s show.”
An excited fan, 20-year-old Katerina, shared her impressions with GEORGIA TODAY: “I’ve been to quite a few shows, but this one is particularly memorable for me. Because I’m such a huge fan. She’s such a modest person and an amazing performer – delivering 100% in every show. I can’t describe the feeling with words: it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
While the Black Sea Arena cleaned up after the show and started preparation for Thirty Seconds to Mars’ arrival on August 13, the music lovers left slowly, some of them admitting that they hadn’t known much about Jessie J before this concert but were completely in love with her from there on in.
Source: www.georgiatoday.ge; By Nini Dakhundaridze
Photo source: https://sputnik-georgia.com/culture/20190507/245151330/Jessie-J-saqartveloshi-koncerts-gamartavs.html
Easy summer destinations for Tbilisi travellers
Summer is the busiest period in terms of tourism. Here are 4 places a foreign visitor should see in Georgia, Tbilisi to experience city’s modern and traditional mix.
Sameba or Holy Trinity Cathedral
So called Dry Bridge and everyday exhibition there reflects Georgia’s past and present. There one can see antique items dating back to centuries that will definitely attract attention. One can find there old items like a copper vase or an old dagger, or paintings reflecting contemporary Tbilisi views. If one is interested in collecting antique items, Dry Bridge is a great destination.
MoMA or Museum of Modern Art
Georgia on their minds: why tourists are flocking to the Black Sea
The city of Batumi on Georgia’s Black Sea coast is bracing for a tourism boom after winning the 2019 title of “Europe’s Leading Emerging Tourism Destination” at the prestigious World Travel Awards.
In recent years, the region has attracted significant investment. And the results are clearly visible.
The summer season has just begun but already tourist figures are breaking records. Dozens of new hotels have appeared along the coast and the number of international visitors in Batumi has almost doubled since the beginning of this year.
It’s also gaining a reputation as a centre of youth culture.
Joseph, a young street-artist, believes his city has much more to offer.
He’s confident that soon Batumi will be a focal point for creative youth and compete on an equal footing with the capital, Tbilisi.
“You can see how the city has changed on a cultural level – cinema, theatre, music, poetry, architecture, art etc,” he told Focus. “Batumi is in a constant state of development and we are able to create new trends in the cultural life of the city.”
In Georgia new cultural trends are closely intertwined with the country’s rich traditions and history.
It’s no surprise that Georgian polyphonic singing was recognised as Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.
Add to this the region’s beautiful and diverse landscapes and you get a fuller picture of Adjara and its tourism potential.
You can head straight from the beach to the mountains and picturesque valleys. It’s all possible in Adjara, thanks to its unique ecosystem.
Tornike Rijvadze, Chairman of the Government of Adjara, told Focus: “Ecotourism is actually one of the greatest opportunities we’ve got here. Our agencies work very hard to find new directions. We expect to have quite a successful season this year.”
The region is also famous for its wine. According to archaeologists, winemaking in Georgia can be traced back thousands of years.
Local winemaker Rostom Beridze, said there are almost 500 types of grape varieties in Georgia and about 50 of them grow in Adjara.
“Such diversity gives us an advantage in creating wines that are very different from what you can find elsewhere,” he said.
Beridze added: “It’s impossible to talk about wine and not be in a positive mood. We are very proud of our winemaking heritage.”
tbilisi, possibly the coolest city in the world
When it comes to Tbilisi it’s safe to say the secret’s out. The capital of Georgia has been charming worldwide travellers with its alternative arts scene, world-class clubs and unforgettable cuisine for a while now – and it’s undoubtedly becoming one of the trendiest cities in Europe.
It’s a city of two halves; the Old Town is cluttered with antique stores selling Soviet-era war medals while younger, trendier areas are known for their lively bars filled with locals toasting firewater with strangers. The city feels familiar yet alien all at once, and it’s hard not be overcome by the welcoming Georgian lifestyle.
Georgia’s art scene, fashion and nightlife are behind the influx of traffic. If you’ve been to Berlin then you’ll recognise Tbilisi. They have distinctive similarities but Tbilisi feels effortless. Maybe the city manifests what Berlin was… once upon a time?
Like Berlin, raving is central to younger Georgians’ identity with techno music being the soundtrack to those seeking social liberty and cultural freedom. The underground club Bassiani is a concrete Mecca for techno; the main dance floor is a disused swimming pool and at weekends it’s flooded with smokey, Chacha fuelled clubbers dancing to promising Georgian DJs. Bassiani has sparked the question – could Tbilisi be the new Berlin?
With the rapid increase in tourism, we recommend jumping on Georgia now. Flights may be a little higher than you would like BUT it’s seriously worth it. Tbilisi is everything you need in a city break: be it a romantic getaway or a wild weekend with your pals. This rough-cut Caucasus gem will leave you wanting to pack your bags and relocate… if only we could speak the language!
Need help planning a to-do list? Here’s our list of the essentials things to do in our new favourite city.