Beach versus field

It was the third night of the Virgin Islands Music Festival, and a Beaconite was talking with a longtime resident as they listened to Gramps Morgan perform live on stage. Seeing that it was the final night, the Beaconite asked the resident what he thought of the event overall. The resident recalled the distinctions between two kinds of music festivals on Tortola: one held on a beach and the other held in a field. Each, he said, offers distinct experiences. The resident regarded the annual music festival held years ago in Cane Garden Bay as an event with a reputation for drawing crowds from abroad. Its atmosphere, he said, was enhanced by the beachside location, offering a laid-back vibe that resonated with many festivalgoers. People could attend by sitting on the beach or pulling up from the water on a boat. Friday and Saturday nights typically featured soca and reggae, respectively, creating a lively yet relaxed ambiance. Sunday nights often added a romantic touch. Conversely, the resident described the music festival held this past weekend as having more of a “festival village” kind of energy. The resident said both types of festival have their strengths, but he believed the beach location offered a unique charm that could not be replicated by a field behind the government administration complex. However, he did find that the field’s expansive grounds and village-like atmosphere provided a different appeal, and he said he hopes the government will use the field for the upcoming 70th August Emancipation Festival celebrations.



Easy come, easy go

Like many residents on Tuesday, a Beaconite’s day was interrupted with power outages throughout the day. He and another co-worker both lost unsaved work when the Beacon office and surrounding buildings went dark at one point. In a slightly amusing way, those who rely on electricity to conduct business were seen poking heads out of windows and leaving buildings with eyes squinting at the bright sky. It was as if the internet ceased to exist, which would surely send any affected area into complete chaos. Luckily, simple power loss isn’t the end of the world. Believe it or not, people used to get along just fine with a life of fire and darkness. The power soon returned, and an explanation came down the grapevine that a mid-morning power surge had tripped a couple of generators at the power plant. What ensued was far less than chaos, but it certainly affected business for the day. One wonders how the reliability of the territory’s power grid factors into the decision-making of companies deciding whether they want to set up shop here.



On the stage

A Beaconite enjoyed covering the Virgin Islands Music Festival over the weekend, but by Monday she found that she was on an entirely new sleep schedule. Each night, the show really only started to pick up around midnight. This did not necessarily take her by surprise, and she enjoyed all the music. But she must admit that what she enjoyed most was putting her photography skills to use. She also appreciated the organisers’ willingness to give photographers access to the performers near the stage — and even on it. Throughout the weekend, she found that each performer’s time on stage felt as if it flew by. Perhaps this was because she was so focused on photographing them. She wonders if others who went to the festival — not to work but to have fun — felt that the time flew by as well. While attendance was generally very low — despite a modest crowd that showed up on Saturday night when Jamaican dancehall performer Alkaline headlined — attendees seemed to be enjoying themselves each night. And for photographers and other attendees alike, there are plenty of advantages to small crowds — provided that performers still put on a good show. This weekend, they certainly did.