American singer/songwriter, Jimmy Buffet, made his inaugural appearance in Jamaica last week and he did not disappoint. Nearly 2,000 people, including scores of die-hard fans, some of whom flew in from overseas, came out to see the legendary musician. His was the main act at the opening of Margaritaville Restaurant and Bar in the Island Village Shopping and Entertainment Centre in Ocho Rios.
It could well be the first time ever at a stage how in Jamaica where there were more visitors than locals, and what a sight for sore eyes. With the tourism sector still feeling the effect resulting from the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, having a drawing card like Buffet for a local concert may have been exactly what the doctor ordered.
To say the visitors had a blast would be putting it mildly as even after the singer completed his marathon performance, the partying continued way into the morning. As someone commented to me after the show, it would be nice if the country could really capitalised on what transpired last week. If it was even for a few hours, we had a captive audience having the time of their lives and guess what – there was not even a security officer within a hundred yards – there was no need to – everyone – the locals I might add – were simply caught up in the moment.
Yes, tourists can come to Jamaica and have a good time without being harassed. Some may argue that it is a lot easier to do in a controlled environment – true – but I am saying that it is possible in the wider community if only we had the will. But back to the show, it was really a wonderful event with showmanship at its best. Buffet, who is a permanent fixture on Forbes magazine wealthiest entertainers, came, saw, and conquered and certainly has given our tourism sector a much needed boost. In attendance were Joe Issa, Audley Shaw, Carol Guntley-Brady, Don Creary, Ayeha Singh, Tanya Phillips, Kiran Chatani, Racquel Parkes, Jutine Henzel, Roger Brown, Ian Dear, Brian Jardim, Andrew and Caroline Grant, Marilyn Barrows and Gaylin Murray.
Source: The Gleaner