Cayman Islands Winter Music Festival: Hot stars on the beach

A stellar lineup of local acts? Check. World-famous and rising Cayman DJs? Check. Sunday boat ride/chill-out? Check.

Seems like we’ve got a festival on our hands… the Cayman Islands Winter Music Festival, no less.

This celebration of music, talent and great vibes, presented by Heineken, is coming our way from 1-3 April at Calico Jack’s, a beach bar with a quintessential sense of Caribbean magic and good times.

Things kick off on Friday night with a great set of local-based bands, presenting stylish live sounds for the enjoyment of the gathered crowds.

Food and drink always taste better with your feet in the sand, and music sounds even better with the soft swish of the Caribbean sea in the background.

Bands

There’ll be tattoo artists on the beach, artists, air-brush painting and of course the Lions Productions stage next to the first cabana of Public Beach. The event is for ages 18+ and bag searches will be in effect with plenty of security on site.

The evening of Day One is set up for the live music lover – from 6pm, a series of outstanding Cayman groups will get the feet moving as the festival starts with a bang.

Performers include Stuart Wilson & Love Culture, the E-Z Street Band and Local Motion 345. (See box for complete list of bands.)

Cayman Islands Music Association president Eric “Notch” Smith says that events such as this are important for the island and for the bands themselves.

“It’s the aim of the Cayman Islands Music Association to make the events’ calendar filled with worthwhile entertainment, and this festival will fulfil that. It’s at its inception, but I am certain that it will grow to be everything that it should be.

“Festivals are a different thing altogether to performing in a small venue – it’s something our performers can become more experienced in. It’s a different energy in a large venue with a lot of people.

Originally in Cayman, entertainment was pretty much outside, in the days that Cayman was developing its tourism industry – the Holiday Inn, Galleon Beach, even Royal Palms. It was always outdoor venues and beach energy. It’s a proven formula for a Caribbean destination,” says Notch.

Stuart Wilson of Love Culture adds that the bands are really looking forward to the prospect.

“The greatest thing about the winter festival is that it is just about spring now, and it’s a cheeky way to say bye to winter by still referring to the season as such, even though it is in its extreme twilight.

“We are ready to rock and look forward to being in the lineup alongside other bands and DJs from all over the world.”

International DJ

Lizzie Curious is one the most successful female DJs in the UK. Years of experience combined with her raw talent, insatiable appetite for the hottest house music, a never-ending source of energy and enthusiasm, flawless technical skills and consistent crowd-pleasing performances led to a summer residency in 2009 Ibiza at the super-club Privilege. She also has four current residencies in the UK – Licked, Sick Vibez, SHEBANG! and her own flagship night at The Curiousity Club – plus headline gigs around the country and worldwide.

She’s looking forward to returning to Cayman for her set on Saturday, 2 April.

“I was fortunate to be [here] in November for Pirates Week and absolutely fell in love with Grand Cayman, so I am excited to be coming back. Music-wise, I’m going to be playing some really uplifting summery, feel-good house music to put a smile on your face.”

Indeed, Cayman will more than likely be the first to hear the hottest tunes – Lizzie’s going to be coming direct from playing some cutting-edge Miami parties and promises to keep her ear to the ground for the biggest tunes.

As a singer/songwriter, she has firmly established herself globally, working with the likes of Robbie Rivera, Cosmic Gate, Lazy Rich, Hirshee, Ali Wilson, Digital Freq, Nino Anthony, Graeme Lloyd and Dinka, having already notched up over 30 releases to her name. She has already had headline gigs in Russia, Bahrain, Miami, Houston, Greece, Finland, Majorca, Spain and Ibiza.

“Going abroad to DJ is a really exciting feeling. I really love travelling, and when you DJ you’re by yourself, so on the journey you meet some really interesting characters. Getting to go to a different country is such an honour and a privilege. It’s fantastic.

“As an international DJ, unless you’re a massive name like Tiesto, you need to be quite adaptable with your sound for the crowds. I was just in Lithuania and the promoter asked me to play more commercial house music, classic hits and remixes because that’s what they wanted to hear, and I completely understand that – wherever you are in the world, when you’re DJ’ing that is the crowd’s Saturday night out. It’s what they look forward to all week, so you need to give people what they want whilst still having your own touch.”

Luckily, Lizzie has literally thousands of tunes to draw on and having been here once, she’s already up for the vibe – both behind the decks and off-duty too.

“I’m going to be staying with my friends who live just off Seven Mile Beach. I am going to be doing lots of snorkelling, lots of sunbathing – I love all watersports, so I’ll be zipping around on jet skis quite a bit – eating lots of nice food and drinking lots of rum and ginger. I can’t wait!”

Get on the boat

A boat trip leaves Safe Haven at 2pmSunday, featuring DJ Brooklyn, Lizzie Curious and Billy Corduroy.

There’s limited space and tickets cost $25. Email [email protected]

Tickets are $15 per day in advance or $25 per day at the gate.

Two-day passes in advance are $30 or $50 at the gate.

The boat cruise costs $25. Tickets are available at Calico Jack’s, Spin and Vibe Studios, all Jacques Scott locations and through www.caymanboxoffice.com

Friday, 1 April

6-7pm Stuart Wilson and Love Culture

7-8pm E-Z Street Band

8-9pm Local Motion 345

9-10pm Charlie Goes Electric

10-11pm Backbeat

11pm to midnight Ratskyn playing as Loaded Peace

Midnight to 2am Charlie Goes Electric

Saturday, 2 April

Noon to 1pm DJ Snarfbeatz

1-2.30pm DJ Natural

2.30-4pm DJ Beatdown

4-6pm Billy Corduroy

6-8pm Lizzie Curious

8-10pm DJ Brooklyn

10pm to midnight Morgan Page (headliner)

Heineken, What’s Hot, Paramount Media, Red Bull, Lions Productions, Massive, Netclues, Coconut Car Rentals, Island Oasis and Sign Solutions.

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