Jamaica Gleaner / Despite the passing of Category 4 Hurricane Irma on September 10, which wiped out several homes and businesses in the Florida Keys, promoters of BRT Weekend did not allow plans for the fourth and final staging of their six-party weekend road trip event for 2017 to be blown away by the hurricane’s gusty winds as they quickly moved its November 3-5 staging to Riviera Beach.
BRT Weekend promoter Hans Mullings said: “After the hurricane, we were getting a lot of calls from our patrons asking what we are going to do. Are we going to cancel? What’s the next step? Are we going back to the Keys?”
Indicating that the team was thankful to the supporters for being patient while they waited on the city’s feedback as they sorted out what came first for the people living in the area, making sure that they would be safe, have clean drinking water and warmth, Mullings said that they had to make the decision to relocate.
“We had to wait, patiently, two to three weeks [after the hurricane] for the cities in the Florida Keys to get back to us to let us know what was appropriate and what we could do and what we should advertise. They reached back out to us, and they wanted us to talk again about doing the event. All the venues wanted us to do it [the event], but half of the hotels in the area are shut down until January. So we had to make the choice to move from the Keys because people had nowhere to sleep, so no accommodations,” he said.
SURPASSED TICKET SALES
Highlighting that they had received no cancellations with the change of location and that they have, in fact, piqued the interest of new enthusiasts who say that they are excited about the change as they had always wanted to attend the event, Mullings said that ticket sales surpassed that of last year.
“We are really excited, and we’re really appreciative of the people who believe in our brand and know that because of the circumstances, we couldn’t help [but make the change] because of the hurricane.”
With different offerings of package deals for their tickets each week as the November 3-5 date draws near Mullings said that prices were ridiculously low, and weekenders would save a lot by booking a hotel stay in the Riviera Beach area during BRT Weekend.
With dancehall entertainer Ishawna being promoted on their Instagram page as the hostess for the Friday night bonfire party – V Maui Wowi – Mullings says that BRT is adding several things to “spice up the weekend”, which offers six all-inclusive parties: BRT Welcome Party, V Maui Wowi, Xtreme Wet ‘n’ Wild, BRT Glow Wonderland, J’ouvert Breakfast Party, and BRT All-White.