Music Festivality

I attended my first ever Bermuda Music Festival last week and got to see the headline performances from Beyonce (who’s all-girl band completely rocked) on Thursday night and Alicia Keys (smaller woman than I’d have thought, she rocked too). Not many productions can claim to bring two music heavyweights down over one weekend, I’d wager. Also, Aaron Neville performed, first time I’ve seen him live and this fella has got a hell of a voice. Steve Harvey brought up the fact that we in Bermuda have chickens running around the place, and he’s right, I can’t think of a single country in the world that has chickens running around free. Anywhere else, they’d be caught, chopped and cooked like a flash.

It was a good show and one could tell that they put a lot of effort and cash into getting a quality stage arena for the entertainers. It was a little strange that there was no security to ensure that people didn’t videotape the shows (trust me, at least a third of the audience were filming), but oh well.

Financially speaking, I cannot guess how much was spent on this event. Government through the Ministry of Tourism was of course the lead sponsor, which means that our taxpayer dollars goes to bringing this event every year. With our National Stadium probably maxing out at 15,000 people and a limited amount of corporate sponsorship possible, the questions that many are raising is how much are we, the Bermuda public, paying for the event?, how much revenue did Bermuda gain from tourist dollars (there appeared to be sizable numbers of visitors, but there were far more Bermudians, I’d wager), and how much exposure did Bermuda get to the outside world where future tourists would be watching, listening, and hopefully calling their travel agents afterwards?

Of course this then treads down that road of economics and politics raised by the UBP, Vexed Bermoothes and others and countered by the PLP, and we’re probably not going to get anything tangible from Government anytime soon. That aside, I enjoyed my time at the Music Festival.

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