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Bequia Mount Gay Music Fest 2018: “A fabulous weekend of music!”

BequiaBluesFest2018Headliner, King Bubba out of Barbados, gave his fans a musical experience to remember, this past Saturday night at De Reef, for the Bequia Mount Gay Music Festival 2018! His FM Band, performing with St. Lucia’s Teddyson John, gave the frenzied crowd their soca fix, singing favorites like "Calling in Sick”, "Whole Night”, "Allez”, "Mile High” and much more!

SVG’s Luta, the Pan Boss Rodney Small, and over 100 talented musicians performed for the four-day, five- event festival, featuring a wide variety of music genres , held in Bequia every January, and was " a truly fabulous weekend of music,” said one visitor.

Like previous years, the Fest attracted visitors from across the world, filling Admiralty Bay with yachts, and every hotel room and guesthouse on the island.

The event, run by the Bequia Tourism Association and its Musicfest Committee, opened at the renowned Frangipani Hotel to a packed house on Thursday, as the 14-piece Elite Steel Orchestra, led by Kesslon Wilson, mesmerized the crowd with sweet pan music until 1 am.

Blues, jazz and more

The Thursday vibes continued into Friday night for Blues and Jazz night under the stars at the beautiful Plantation Hotel. Barbados Blues Guitarist, Toby Armstrong rocked the place with his skilled guitar playing.

Friday night also saw the young vocalist Deanna of X Factor fame, performing with keyboardist Andy Cruickshank and the Impac Jazz Band of St. Vincent. She charmed everyone with her big smile and melodious voice.

Blues lovers got their fix, with extraordinary unaccompanied solo performance by American bass guitarist Shaun Munday, who had a stunning presence on stage, and a fantastic gravelly voice. Equally impressive was American Jazz guitar virtuoso Sean Harkness playing the acoustic guitar.

Jamming in the open air

Saturday afternoon’s open-air jam by the beach included a unique blend of musical genres, and despite the light drizzle, patrons packed the venue dotted with palm trees.

The versatile Barracuda Band and vocalist Nico Bresciani out of Grenada started the afternoon swinging with a reggae and pop mix, and even included some classical strains.  Bongo Drum Queen of the Drums, Onika Best of Barbados beat her drums and invoked some infectious rhythms. The five-piece Bequia Blues Band with Bob Berlinghof, Uthan McIntosh, Jerry Simpson, Mikey Wilke and sexy guitarist Nicola Cornwell, were awesome, bringing the patrons to their feet with their blues, pop and rock and roll renditions.

The afternoon also included Flamenco acoustic guitarist Stefan Roach of Trinidad; Rodney Small, the skilled Vincentian pannist, with headliner St. Lucia’s veteran Saxophonist Rob Zii paired with vocalist Phyness, and added to the reverberating positive energy.

Soca Night

Saturday night was the fete night for the younger patrons, where the Soca King of Barbados - King Bubba ensured a memorable evening of high-energy vibes. De Reef in Lower Bay was packed to capacity, with fans jumping and waving as Bubba nd Teddyson John and the FM Band gave the crowd what they wanted. Rodney Small, the pan boss, gave an impressive performance, displaying his exceptional skill, versatility, cool and charm to woo the packed venue. Dominica’s Mr. Gwada Benz also performed on Saturday night, with boyon soca at its best in true Musicfest style.

The magical evening, however, started off with Bequia’s own Rockstone Reggae Band and lead vocalist Colin Peters, who brought his best effort, with classics as well as his own original music, proving that he can hold his own with the best in the region.

Sunday afternoon Jam

Sunday afternoon was the "highlight of the weekend,” said many patrons, as De Reef was once again packed to capacity, with patrons spilling off on to the beach.

SVG’s Luta outdid himself with a fantastic high-energy performance, proving why he one of our best, and a real crowd pleaser. Backed by vocalist Keido Foster and the fabulous K-Netik band, Luta dug deep into his soca classics to connect with the audience, and entrenched his popularity in Bequia.

The 2017 breakout artiste Dynamite was on point with his monster hit ‘Brave’.

Sunday afternoon also saw violinist, St. Vincent’s internationally renowned Darron Andrews whose performance included him moving through the crowd with his instruments – violin and keytar - and rocking the place.

The real surprise for Sunday was the young group Lennox from Barbados, whose energy and talent really impressed.

The Denzil Bacchus Band, also of St. Vincent, gave a great performance and had the audience calling for more.

The Bequia Kids on Pan opened the show, exhibiting the incredible, young talented Bequia musicians, who have a wonderful future in music. Bequia’s DJ Shatta closed out a fantastic weekend of entertainment for all who attended.

The Sponsors

Director of the Bequia Music Festival, Sabrina Mitchell expressed thanks to the loyal and major sponsors, especially title sponsor Mount Gay Rum, who has invested in the Bequia Music Fest for over ten years, and the St. Vincent Brewery (Hairoun Beer) and Flow.

She welcomed BMI Records, Cocoa Cola and Dasani Water, who all came on board as sponsors for the first time in 2018.

Recognition was also made of the SVG Tourism Authority, and CEO Glen Beache for their commitment to the Festival, and for ensuring that Bequia continues to be a destination of choice, bringing visitors to our shores again and again every year.

The Bequia Plantation Hotel, SVG Sotheby’s International Realty, One Caribbean Airlines, Going Places Travel, De Reef, Frangipani Hotel, Compass Publishing, Action Bequia, Quik Print, Outhouse Graphics and CRS Music also generously support the Bequia Music Fest.

Minister of Tourism, Sport and Culture, Hon. Cecil McKie had on Friday night, welcomed visitors and pledged the Government’s commitment to the event. He thanked Sabina Mitchell for her hard work, and reminded that SVG is a country full of many festivals, and encouraged visitors to come back next year.

This year Music Fest, as in previous years, proved to be smoothly run, staffed completely by volunteers.

If you missed a great weekend of entertainment, plan for next year……dates are set for January 31st to February 3rd, 2019.

Source of Article:
The Vincentian