Barrington Levy, left, performs at Horseshoe Bay, while Collie Buddz is on at Barr's Bay Park. *Photos supplied
Barrington Levy, left, performs at Horseshoe Bay, while Collie Buddz is on at Barr's Bay Park. *Photos supplied

FRIDAY, JULY 13: Two international reggae acts have been booked to play here in Bermuda on the same night, at the same time.

Reggae fans will have to choose between attending a show by Jamaican star Barrington Levy or one featuring the homegrown star, Collie Buddz.

Promoters for both events told us they were not aware the other was putting on a show.

Both artists will perform shows on Cup Match eve, with Levy at Horseshoe Bay for BeachFest — as exclusively previewed here — and Buddz performing at Barr’s Park at an event put on by his radio station, Vibe 103.

Andrew Holmes is promoting the Collie Buddz show — which was exclusively previewed in Wednesday's Bermuda Sun — while Gavin Smith is promoting BeachFest.

Asked if the situation could have been avoided, Mr Holmes said: “Yes — well, with more communication. I mean, we had announced we were going to do a Cup Match eve event a long time ago. Chewstick did one last year with Mr Vegas.

“I didn’t think it was that successful so I didn’t think they were going to do it again. I had heard rumours that they weren’t going to do it. I wish them the best but I think it’s silly to compete.

Mr Smith told us: “It was a surprise for us because of the Collie Buddz show. We knew Andrew did Uzimon last year.

“It’s looking like it might be an annual thing for the both of us.”

Asked why Barrington can’t play during the Thursday portion of BeachFest, Mr Smith said: “We can’t do it on the Thursday because it’s the free event. We can’t go towards Friday because it’s the game and we want to try to support that. There’s been a need for an annual event [on the Wednesday] that introduces the festivities. BeachFest is already a stakeholder in Cup Match.”

As for why his team chose the Wednesday night, Mr Holmes said: “Their event is traditionally the Thursday so we chose the Wednesday. Unfortunately, BeachFest didn’t get the best press last year. It’s a monster event.”

As far as the competitive aspect of it, Mr Smith said: “I don’t think it’s a bad thing. It’s great that events are coming up. I think it’s great that events are happening on this island.”

But Mr Holmes said: “I wish we weren’t competing with Chewstick. I have utmost respect for them. I am sure they wish they weren’t competing with Collie Buddz as well.”

He also said the communication should have been better.

Better communication

“Promoters should really be communicating with each other to decide if they’re making a stance to move their show. Communication should be stronger.”

Mr Holmes said Collie Buddz’s set for the event hasn’t been seen in Bermuda, as it’s the show he is currently performing on tour in Europe.

Mr Smith said he expects the Beach Fest crowd to be the under 50s: “People looking to have a good time without grief and bad vibes. People who are looking for more than just a reggae concert. The typical concerts in Bermuda are reggae or soca.

“We’re trying to go forward to be much more of who you think will be on stage and expecting that but with people you never anticipate seen in Bermuda.”

Mr Holmes expects his crowd to be a cross section of Bermuda including kids, college students and adults.

 “We are inviting the youths to the event. We don’t want to exclude them from the show.”

Mr Holmes said they are hoping families can come to the event because kids like Collie Buddz: “The other thing that really concerns me about the Chewstick show is that it’s an older act. They’re going after an older demographic. I think those factors are negative for them.”

He continued: “However, Barrington is a world class artist. I have seen him perform various times, so I know he’s going to put on a great show.”

But Mr Smith said the event aims to “break down barriers” and introduce new artists to Bermuda: “The more events happening over the Cup Match week, it’s better for the country. We aggressively tell tourists to come from the Wednesday to the Monday to get the best out of the weekend. Maybe this year, it’s unfortunate that there’s two headlining reggae acts, but in the future, it could be Coldplay. We’re generally not bound to reggae as a genre.

“We’re looking to make Beach Fest the festival that introduces new talent to the world and the region.”

Gates for Barr’s Park open at 8pm with the show starting at 10pm.  BeachFest starts at 6pm with performances later in the night. Tickets for both events start at $50.