Floating rock fest Cayman bound

Thousands of rock fans are to dock in Grand Cayman in April during a unique cruise that features some of the hottest alternative bands in the United States.

The VH1 Best Cruise Ever departs from Tampa, Florida, on 15 April, visiting Cayman two days later. During the four-day cruise, the Carnival Inspiration will be transformed into a 24-hour music festival site, with several different stages offering live performances from bands including 3 Doors Down, Shinedown and Lifehouse.

On Saturday, 17 April, the shindig will dock at Grand Cayman where passengers and bands alike will get a chance to sample what the Island has to offer before the cruise starts its return journey the following day with more live performances by the groups on-board.

Cool

Andy Levine is the owner of Sixthman Events, which is organising the festival in conjunction with music channel VH1. He said that it’s the ‘coolest’ lineup of all their cruises to date.

‘It’s our first cruise with really cool alternative rock bands on there and it’s shaping up really well. We’re very excited to get to Cayman.

‘Our passengers are adult professionals, 25-40 years old who love music, love to travel. They come and have a party with a whole load of people – and you don’t have to drive home. It’s going to be something else.’

Levine said that there will by 2,000 people on board enjoying everything a cruise ship has to offer but rather than the usual entertainment, the rock bands are taking over the music element for the duration of the trip. There will also be competitions, contests and special events.

The music boss noted that the eight hours the cruise will be docked on Cayman will be used wisely and that the bands were looking forward to visiting the Island’s attractions, particularly the beaches and, if time allows, Stingray City.

Preference

Sixthman Events has chartered 20 ships on similar events in eight years. Aside from Cayman, the company’s regular music-themed cruises visit Cozumel, Bahamas and Belize. However, Grand Cayman is always the outfit’s first choice if it is feasible, said Levine.

‘Everyone loves it – Cayman is such a beautiful place. It’s always a big preference for us but sometimes there’s not enough room or too many regular scheduled ships for us to get in to dock.

‘We came to Cayman with Canadian band Barenaked Ladies in 2008 then Lyle Lovett and Emmylou Harris in 2009.’

Future events to hit Grand Cayman include a cruise with Kid Rock on 1 May and on 4 September a music cruise headlined by new country artist, Zach Brown.

Levine said that it was difficult for the bands to perform while on shore due to the time required to unload their equipment but that Sixthman is looking for partners on the Island to explore any possibilities.

Work permits for visiting musicians would also be an issue, he noted.

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