Shivering on the 49th Parallel
Thursday, February 16, 2006

Things are picking up culturally and entertainment-wise in Grand Cayman... but only if you're a guest at the Ritz-Carlton. Following up on my rant about the Sheryl Crow concert a month or two ago, where I also touched on the private, invitation-only concert by Garbage at the Seaview a few years back, last night there was another concert at the Ritz that was just for their guests.

I had planned to stay in last night, but because there was a bit of a tragedy out at the barrier reef yesterday, we closed ranks around one of our own and had a couple drinks to salute the departed at the Lone Star. I got home around 10:30 dead-tired, but having to spend some time working on a website that I've been slacking off on lately. (No, not this one, I've been majorly slacking on this site too, but priorities will be priorities). As soon as I got out of my Jeep in the carpark I heard the unmistakable sound of “live music”... rather loud, too.

“Great,” I thought, “I hope they wrap up early, I won't be able to sleep with that racket...”

Upstairs in my room I had the windows open to enjoy the nice breeze coming off of North Sound. On that wind was carried the sound of the concert, rather crystal clear. Paradise by the dashboard light.. man I haven't heard that song, like, since 'Nam! They were pretty good, too... I remember thinking to myself “You know, for a cover band, they sound pretty close...”

After that, Two Out of Three Ain't Bad. Another Meatloaf song? Another close cover! Then some inter-song banter, and then the band struck up their next number... I Would Do Anything For Love... What the? Oh No, Meatloaf AGAIN?These guys must really like Meatloaf... I strapped on some sandals and went for a little walk.

First I talked to the security guard in my carpark, and he didn't know anything, other than A LOT of people had gone in earlier in the evening. I wandered across the street and asked one of the security guards on perimeter duty at the Ritz and asked him, but he either didn't speak English, didn't know, or wouldn't tell me. I walked down Safehaven road a little ways, towards the tent that had been erected earlier in the day and where the stage was set up. As I got closer, and could see the stage more clearly, I saw a very large human being in the center of the stage: Mr. Loaf in (all) the flesh.

I walked back to my apt, wondering why I hadn't heard anything about it. I saw a few friends online who are also in Cayman and asked them. One of them had heard that Meatloaf was on island, so that was my confirmation. I opened the windows and listened to the next(and last) 45 mins or so of the concert, and they wrapped up around 11:30.

This morning I IM'd a friend “in the biz” down here who confirmed that yes, it was Meatloaf playing at the Ritz-Carlton last night, and that there was no publicity or anything about it because (once again) it was a private concert and not open to the public.

I've thought about it before, but Im truly convinced that there's a HUGE untapped market here for a concert promoter. There are a couple companies on island that bring in reggae acts from Jamaica, and they must be making a fortune. Everytime there's a concert, it's PACKED. If you're into dancehall reggae, it's a pretty good deal. The last concert they had here was Damian Marley. Shaggy was here a couple years back, as was Sean Paul and I think Maxi Priest was here during the Jazz Festival.

The only pop/rock concerts that ever make it down here (besides Garbage, Sheryl Crow and now Meatloaf for private concerts) are “Tribute Bands”. That's it. I think that if someone wanted to deal with immigration (performers have to fill out all the same paperwork and submit to all the same tests and background checks as everyone else and wait for a temporary work permit to be approved before they arrive) and all the other hoops and barricades and roadblocks that the gov't erects, that there would be a huge payoff.

Certainly a lot of work, but if you could bring in four acts a year, and even if you only had a permit for 1500 people, and even if you only made $1 per person after all the fees, permits, work permits, insurance premiums and the neccesary palm-greasing, that's still $6000 a year in profit. $2 per person and it's $12000, $3 and we're up to $18,000 and a nice side-job.. make it six acts a year, hell, make it eight. $2 per person @ eight shows is $24,000 dollars. And that's just off the top of my head. I have no idea how much is a reasonable profit to expect from the cover price on a ticket. What if it was $10? That's a lot of green (and red and orange and blue and brown)

Anyone?... Anyone?... Bueller?...

Thursday, February 16, 2006 9:17:35 AM (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00) | Comments [0] | Cayman | Rants#
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