on centre stage

Caymanian talent cannot be kept down, and part of the weekend is showcasing exactly what the local-based acts can do.

“We are definitely looking forward to playing,” says Blake Hurlston of Backbeat, who play on Friday.

“It’s a new thing and a great thing for the Cayman Islands. It gives us one more thing to look forward to for expansion and to perform. Besides being a local event, it’s all connected with the international market, which gives us opportunities there as well.”

Backbeat are pretty new on the scene, playing ‘70s and ‘80s classic rock and pop and mixing it with Caribbean and reggae classics.

“We’re all Caymanians who grew up listening to classic rock, country, the whole works. Reggae came into the picture in late ‘70s, early ‘80s when it really started to boom in Cayman. Then there’s pop and calypso.”

Different feel

Playing in the open air is a whole different atmosphere and feel, Blake explains.

“It’s very different; a different feeling when you look at these open spaces being filled with people. Being on the beach is also definitely part of the whole experience.

“I think the lineup that we have shows the versatility and skills of the musicians in the islands. People will receive something that they do not expect – in a good way. I give thanks to the organisers for coming up with such an idea and giving us the opportunity to go on stage, do what we do best and encourage tourism and everything that does for the island,” he says.