The hottest and most unique music festival in the Caribbean rocked the island of Exuma last weekend for the second straight year, bringing together fans and artists from across North America and the Bahamas.
From crackling bonfires on the beach, to intimate song writing jam sessions, to a massive concert in downtown Regatta Park, the entire island got into the spirit of the event, culminating in a performance that incorporated Bahamian bands, choirs, dancing and Junkanoo.
“Our members love Exuma. We’ve been looking forward to this since the last Exuma Unplugged a year ago, when we had the first one,” said Josh Smith, owner of The Standard Club in Nashville, Tennessee, and a sponsor of the event. “The country music, the amazing people, the Bahamian music and culture, the intimacy of the whole weekend and of course the incredible sun, sand and sea just make it a very special time.
This year I feel like we’ve really come of age.”
The Standard Club, a premier establishment in downtown Nashville, joined forces with GIV Bahamas Inc. over a year ago to expose the city’s elite to Exuma through perhaps the most universal form of expression: music.
The rest, as they say, is history, as the festival has grown to include and unite an eclectic group of fans hailing from Canada, the United States and the Bahamas.
In addition to The Standard, this year’s event featured members from The Spoke Club in Toronto, another partner of GIV Bahamas Inc.
“Our recent trip to Grand Isle and the Exuma Unplugged music festival was filled will amazing surprises, life-changing adventures, non-stop laughter and smiles, and world-class live music,” said Tara O’Doherty, Vice-President Customer Experience Strategy at Cossette.
“The intimate nature of the festival and the friendliness of the surroundings acted as the catalyst for the start of life-long friendships. Will we be back next year? Absolutely! Our bags are already packed with marshmallows so get that bonfire ready!”
The concert featured a few familiar faces and a couple new ones. The Lovelocks, the dynamic duo of Zoe Neuman and Ali Raney, along with the gritty Bobby Wills, joined the festival for the first time. Jess Moskaluke, the hottest artist in Canadian country music, Chad Brownlee, the soulful Grammy winner Gary Chapman, guitar aficionado Stacy Mitchhart and the ever popular Morgan Alexander returned for the second installment.
On the exclusive first night, guests enjoyed a laid back songwriter concert where each musician discussed the inspiration behind their performances. Hundreds of fans packed The Palapa Grill or hung out around the pool with Emerald Bay’s “Billion Dollar Beach” as a backdrop.
On Saturday, hundreds more filled up Regatta Park for the big community bash, followed by an Exuma Unplugged tradition. As the last guitar cord was struck, drum beats, cow bells and trumpets filled the night sky as those at the concert took part in the famed Junkanoo rush through the streets of George Town.
For more information, photos, videos and news on the Exuma Unplugged festival, be sure to visit its Facebook page.