Damian Marley gig brought together tourists and locals

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Thousands of attendees at the Damian Marley concert on Friday, 1 March, not only had the opportunity to listen to some great music, but also to mingle with expatriates, tourists and locals alike.

Organiser Jean-Eric “Notch” Smith of Youngblood Productions deemed it a successful evening for many reasons.

“Youngblood exists to put on top calibre regional entertainment in the most ambient Caribbean settings. It is predominately a one-man show with a small team of dedicated professionals, but I basically do everything,” Mr. Smith said.

“I will put more emphasis on the VIP section next time; we had an issue with the security detail around the fencing between general admission, which was breached and also crowd control after the event with patrons surrounding Damian’s bus,” he added. “We did not want anybody to get hurt, so we stayed on the bus for a while. Other than that the concert went well and we gave quality and value for the money.”

Mr. Smith said that there were around 4,000 paid patrons there plus a large guest list, bringing it to about 5,000 people at the Camana Bay Festival Grounds. That constituted about 10 per cent of the population of the Cayman Islands, he noted.

“The venue could probably hold twice that amount,” he said. “The island lacks dedicated music venues, which needs to be addressed. Concerts like this are important from the point of view of social cohesion. Cayman is divided. You have locals and an assortment of expats from different nations and cultures worldwide, but music transcends those boundaries.

“Using music as a vehicle brings the community closer and gives people a rare opportunity to socialise with each other. Everything can then become possible from business deals, friendships and lasting relationships. All these things happen around concerts,” he added.

From a tourism standpoint, Mr. Smith said it was important to recognise that people come here not just for sun, sea and sand.

“They also want to be entertained,” he said. “Because Cayman is such a top-notch destination, they want top quality entertainment. A lot of time that is provided by the private sector, but the private sector cannot always do it alone. “Everybody has to get on board with these things like liquor distributors, newspapers and television, Cayman Airways and the Ministry and Department of Tourism,” he added. “This needs to happen to make these things a success otherwise we will not achieve optimal results and we will not benefit from that cohesion.”


One comment on “Damian Marley gig brought together tourists and locals

  1. Pingback: Sweet misery | Cbcburke9's Blog

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