Suckerbox, one of Cayman’s local bands, turned in a strong set at last month’s KAABOO festival. So strong, in fact, that when the lineup for KAABOO Del Mar – the original festival held in September in California – was announced Thursday morning, there on the last line of the list of 48 bands, beneath such acts as Kings of Leon, Mumford & Sons, and Sheryl Crow, was the pop-punk band that has been a Cayman favourite for years.

“The exposure will be amazing,” said band member Derrick McKay. “I think the guys are all extremely excited.”

He said the band signed a contract for the Del Mar spot last week, but had to keep it a secret until the official announcement on Thursday, which turned into a busy day.

“It’s been blowing up,” McKay said of the reaction. “My phone’s been ringing all day.”

Playing at a festival five times the size of KAABOO Cayman, in terms of the audience, is an experience McKay said he’s looking forward to. But first the band has to get there.

While they may be included on a roster of big-name bands, they are not exactly getting star treatment.

“We have to make our own way there,” McKay said. “We’re still in the van.”

They also have to find their own lodging when they get to California, but the band is cool with that, he said.

“That was explained to us right off the bat,” he said. “It was really our choice to make. We just thought, ‘What a great opportunity for us.’”

He said the band plans to play several Cayman concerts between now and Sept. 13-15, the festival dates, to raise money for the travel costs. They also plan to write some new material for the gig, McKay said.

He said the band is not counting on the California concert being the band’s big break.

“We’ve been at this a long time,” he said. “We’re not going to get our hopes up, but we’ll go with the energy and have some fun with it. You never know where it will lead.”

Even if it leads nowhere, McKay said he wants to give Cayman some exposure along with the band. He intends to make sure the California concertgoers know where Suckerbox comes from.

“We definitely want to be the ambassadors for the Cayman Islands,” he said. “We would love to fly that Cayman flag very high.”

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