Big names: Summer Splash entertainers from left Beres Hammond, Machel Montano and Tarrus Riley. *Photo montage by Gary Skelton
Big names: Summer Splash entertainers from left Beres Hammond, Machel Montano and Tarrus Riley. *Photo montage by Gary Skelton

The key to large-scale, top quality entertainment in Bermuda is collaboration, according to the three promoters organizing the Cup Match Summer Splash event this year. 

These are the partners who brought us Beres Hammond last year, and who have Tarrus Riley and Machel Montano lined up for us this year. 

They are Declan Harris of Veterans In Action, Andrew Holmes of 441 Productions and Rowan Ramotar of Wild Apache and they hope their three-day music festival will continue to get bigger and better. 

Andrew Holmes had dreamed of bringing a festival to the island for years and when Declan Harris landed Beres Hammond last year, it provided the impetus to go for it and go big. 

Harris told the Bermuda Sun: “Each company has a different feel to it. When people see a Wild Apache event, they see a younger demographic, and you get something different with Veterans In Action and 441. Hopefully we can pull crowds from all three. 

“We want Cup Match Summer Splash to become synonymous with Cup Match. 

“People have said to me why don’t I do this on my own and I say they have no clue about the extent of work that goes into it. You put plans in place and map it all out but things will always happen beyond your control. This is a yearlong process. One of the acts we have already deposited for next year. 

“This is a job beyond what we normally do — from an economic stand point, I’m underpaid.”

Holmes added: “The synergy of three people working together is important — Lord knows you can’t do this on your own — you need a team and each member brings their strengths to the table. 

“A collective of us wanted to do something bigger and step up our game and each year we will do that continuously.”

The trio also believe they have their finger on the pulse in terms of what artists will draw Bermudians and residents to their concerts as well as attracting visitors from overseas. 

Holmes explained: “We thought about what talent Bermudians want to see and what talent a visitor in our gateway cities would want to see and its unlikely they will fly to Bermuda to see Beyoncé if they can go and see her at Madison Square Gardens. 

“They want to fly to Bermuda to see someone like Beres Hammond or Machel Montano who don’t often perform in North America. You come to an island and you want to hear island vibes — we’ve had that real authentic island feel — I think that’s what our visitors are willing to travel for in peak season.”

Harris added: “The artist, we have are A-listers in their genre, just not in the scheme of the mainstream.”

Aside from hitting the right note musically — these types of artists are much more affordable meaning a better chance of profit and
accessible ticket prices according to Harris. 

The Bermuda Music Festival, which attracted performances by the likes of Beyoncé and Alicia Keys, had buckled under a lack of return on investment.

Harris said: “We have put together a music festival at a fraction of the cost and still provide quality entertainment with similar numbers to what in the past had cost millions. 

“You have to look at what is economically feasible from several different angles — Are there people who are going to spend $150-$200 to go to a one night show — yes, but how many can afford that?”

The collaboration has many ideas for the future to make their festival and Cup Match a major draw for visitors. 

One idea is to work with Tourism on a week to ten day pass that will allow access to several events inclusive of hotel and airline packages. 

Holmes said: “We’re in this for the big picture you know? It’s not a career or a hobby — it’s a passion. When those people start smiling and the headliner hits the stage there is not a better feeling.”

Cup Match Summer Splash 

July 25, 26 & 30 — 

July 25: The City Music Festival —a free family concert featuring Michael Jackson tribute Who’s Bad. 

July 26: Tarrus Riley heads up the One Love One Life concert with his Black Soil Band and world-renowned saxophonist Dean Fraser. Luciano will join the stage. All events are at Par-le-Ville Carpark.

July 30: King of Soca Machel Montano and the HD Family headline the Cup Match Eve concert. Special guests include Patrice Roberts, Farmer Nappy and DJ Young Chow of Hot 97 NYC. 

Tickets: Fabulous Fashions in the Heron Bay Plaza and Pulp and Circumstance in the Washington Lane or www.bdatix.bm. 1,000 general admission and 100 VIP tickets will be available at a considerable saving. The 1,000 tickets are $100 and include admission to both Saturday, July 26 and Wednesday, July 30, events. VIP tickets are $300 with admission to both concerts featuring headliners Tarrus Riley and Machel Montano. VIP tickets will include access to the front of stage with private bar, bathrooms, a welcome cocktail, food and water. 

For more information please contact 441productions@transact.bm