The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - --Bar­ba­dos To­day

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 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. 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 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 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. 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.

Buju Ban­ton’s Long Walk to Free­dom tour per­for­mance in Bar­ba­dos is pre­dicted to at­tract reg­gae fans in droves. (Credit: Echo Lo­ca­tion Tal­ent Agency)

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