By Anesta Henry
Tickets for the April 27, 2019 Buju Banton concert in Barbados, have been selling like “hot cakes”, show promoter Al Gilkes, Director of Fas7Star, has revealed.
While holding the details of the concert dubbed Long Walk to Freedom close to his chest, Gilkes told members of the media today that the upcoming show slated for Kensington Oval has not only attracted local support but worldwide interest.
He said that Barbados’ tourism sector was in line for a major boost with a large number of fans from the region and beyond expected to attend the show.
“Before there was any mention that Buju was coming to Barbados, people were calling and asking when were tickets going on sale. So we decided to jump the gun and put some tickets for sale online. We released the flyer, it was mainly on social media and we put tickets on sale online and they started disappearing like the traditional hot cakes. The first day we sold over 300 tickets, which was unbelievable.
“Despite the fact that we knew the appeal that Buju has now it was something unprecedented, that four months plus before a show, on the first day just online you could sell over 300 plus tickets. So then we decided to open the box offices locally and the same thing happened. People just responded. It looks like based on this preliminary response and the urge to get tickets, we will have a monster show on our hands,” Gilkes said.
Gilkes noted that despite the fact that Banton is expected to perform in Trinidad the week before he comes here, he believes Barbados will draw the crowd.
“I believe even Trinidadians would prefer to come to Barbados and see the show here in peace and comfort,” he said.
“It would be a major foreign exchange boost for Barbados. Our regular reggae shows and Hennessy Artistry bring in people from all over the world. A hundred here, ten here, we bring people from Australia and Japan, the United States and other parts of the region. But this [Buju Banton show] has an appeal beyond anything that we have ever staged. The only thing that I believe would have matched this in appeal would have been Rihanna in Barbados.
“At that time, Rihanna was already being seen all over the world. Whilst coming to Barbados to see Rihanna was an opportunity to get away to a tropical island for a vacation or a weekend as opposed to coming to see a person that you might not see in your country, that you have been waiting to see for all of these years in any country. It isn’t that he is going to be here a year after he is back on the market, but within months. In fact, he is in Jamaica first, then he goes to Bahamas, then Trinidad then Barbados, so we are going to be the fourth show that he is doing,” Gilkes added.
The promoter said that more information on the concert would be released in the near future.
Buju Banton, whose real name is Mark Myrie, was released from McRae Correctional Centre in Georgia on December 8 after serving a near 10-year conviction for conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine.
Since his return, he announced that his Long Walk to Freedom tour begins on March 16, 2019 in his homeland. (AH)