Comedy festival gets ‘em rolling

A week full of comedy, parties, sun and fun hosted by comedian Damon Williams from the Tom Joyner Morning Show and his celebrity friends is promised with the Laugh Cayman Comedy Festival. 

There are various events happening from Wednesday, 9 January through to Saturday, 13 January – Friday and Saturday at Tiki Beach – and Wednesday and Thursday events at The Great Room in The Strand Plaza. 

First event is on Wednesday, 9 January at the Great Room, featuring Gary Owen. 

Thursday, 10 January showcases A.J. Jamal, also at the Great Room. 

Friday’s show – Main Event Part 1 – should feature: Bphlat, one of the hot female comedians and from “Martin Lawrence 1st Amendment”, Leon Rogers from “Martin Lawrence 1st Amendment” and “WGCI The Morning Riot”, Tony Roberts from the sitcom “Mr. Box Office” and “The Shaq All Star Comedy Tour”. Lineup is subject to change. 

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Cayman Islands Flag Football Association. Gates open at Tiki Beach at 5pm on Friday. 

After the comedy there’s a great after party where Pooch Hall from the hit show “The Game” will be hosting Players in Paradise. Music by Selecta Renegade and Poison Dart Sound. Players in Paradise is the official birthday party for Damon Williams, George Willborn, and Tony Sculfield – hosted by Pooch Hall, NFL players and celebrities. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Cayman Islands Flag Football Association. This one is at Tike Beach from 11pm onward. 

On Saturday there’s a day party at Tiki Beach with drink specials, giveaways and music from DJ Royal, Poison Dart Sound and more. Register, too, to enter the swimsuit competition. 

 

Ron Shillingford, Weekender’s chuckle bredrin, spoke to Rod Jefferson about the upcoming shindig. 

 

Who will be there? 

We have Wayne Wonder, Pooch Hall aka Derwin Davis star of the BET sitcom “The Game” and NFL players from the Kansas City Chiefs, Detroit Lions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Chicago Bears. We have a lot of surprise guests who will be showing up to help the guys celebrate their birthdays. The television show “Off The Grid Comedy Excursions” will be on island documenting the festival and creating an episode around the top places to visit and things to do on the island. We need the entire island to come out and support these events because we have a tremendous opportunity to advertise the island to the world for five days. 

 

What has interest from the general public been like? 

We have been getting quite a few inquiries from the public. We have had a lot of interest from comedy lovers due to the incredible line up we have all week. There are a lot of people who want to hang out and enjoy the after parties with the celebrities, NFL players and enjoy the smooth sounds of Wayne Wonder.  

 

How much better is this one going to be than the first comedy festival? 

As with anything, it takes time to grow an event to make it big and popular.  

Last year was a dry run, so to speak. This year, we focused a lot of our energy on making it a tourism product. We advertised heavily in the cities that Cayman Airways has flights.  

We partnered with several radio stations and Damon Williams in Chicago. We did four feeder events in Chicago with Damon that drew more than 2,000 people. WGCI in Chicago is the No. 1 station in Chicago and they have the No. 1 morning show, “The Morning Riot”, with Tony Sculfield and Leon Rogers. WGCI made the festival a station event.  

Every time they went to break for more than a month they mentioned the Cayman Islands and Cayman Airways to more than 900,000 listeners. 95.5FM the Beat partnered with us in Tampa to promote the festival to their audience and we had feeder events in Tampa and Atlanta that drew more than a combined 5,000 people in attendance.  

This has translated into people coming down for the festival from these cities to enjoy the festival and enjoy our beautiful island. We are excited about doing the main events at Tiki Beach. The location will add a unbelievable atmosphere for tourist as well as locals to enjoy. 

As the festivals continue, we hope to bring more awareness of Cayman’s tourism product to the comedy faithful in the US with the ultimate goal of enticing them to vacation in Cayman with their friends and family. 

We would like to thank Absolut and Corona who have been with us from day one. The first time we met we them about the shows they thought it was something Cayman needed. Cayman Airways is now a big part of what we are trying to accomplish in the United States. We did several marketing campaigns and events in Chicago, and Tampa together that helped put Cayman Airways and the Cayman Islands on several million potential tourist minds to start the year.  

We have to give a big thanks to our new sponsors BAF Insurance and Stafford Flooring for believing in this project. 

 

A.J. Jamal is a family-friendly comedian isn’t he? 

A.J. Jamal talks about everything from relationships to family to differences between races and other everyday life experiences. He classifies himself as PG-13, so his material may still not be suited for children under that age. He is the “King of Clean Comedy”, but our shows are for adults only, not children. 

Wayne Wonder will be performing his smash hit, “No Letting Go”, as well as excerpts from his newly released album titled “My Way”. 

 

Any final thoughts?  

We would just like to invite anybody and everybody, out to the festival, who enjoy relaxing, having a good laugh and simply being entertained. 

With everyone heading back to work after relaxing over the holidays, the festival will be great medicine to cure the post-holiday blues. Some of the hottest comedians from North America will be here performing, so you don’t want to miss it. 

 

Tickets are $125 which gets you in to all shows; $62.50 for a weekend pass. Single tickets and VIP are available. Contact E Class entertainment for more details at [email protected] or by calling 925-9637. 

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