Update of times, locations & Day 4 party info! You can also buy tickets online (see link @ end of post). Visit Negril Dream Weekend for local ticket outlets.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Dream weekend party rundown
Krista Henry, Staff Reporter
Day One - Friday, July 30th
As anticipation builds for the STAR-sponsored Smirnoff Dream weekend in Negril (formerly Red Stripe Dream Weekend), we give a run-down of what to expect from each event on the band. Consisting of seven parties, Dream weekend promises events that will fulfill every patron's fantasies and more!
Smirnoff Flavours - (UPDATE: 2:ooPM; Margaritaville, Negril)
The official welcome party of the Dream weekend, Smirnoff Flavours is the new kid on the block. Staged at Margaritaville Negril, Flavours replaces Absinthe as the first party on the Negril weekend. When THE STAR spoke to Dream team PR Ron Burke, he commented, "Flavours is our first party and we'll be using our Dream selectors 'Dream Liquid' and 'Dream Coppershot'. Of course, we have other DJs throughout the weekend, but they will be kicking off the weekend."
'Flavours' is being organised as a collaboration between the Dream promoters and the Smirnoff team, and was themed from the various flavours of Smirnoff. According to Burke, there are many flavours of Smirnoff, of which only 5 are available on the market. This includes: Vanilla, Apple, Citrus and the recently unveiled Cranberry and Passion Fruit.
Burke added, "we're going to have some interesting mixes with the Smirnoff flavours and we plan to entice and decorate to the best of our abilities. Last year, Absinthe as patrons told us, was a blast, so we plan to live up to that expectation. Persons redeem their bands outside at Margaritaville and come straight in and start the party weekend."
Twisted Spiritz: Tropical Oasis - (UPDATE: 10:00PM; Chances, Negril)
Known for its many drinks mixes, according to Twisted Spiritz promoter Ron Burke, the event is the number one mixology party in Jamaica. Twisted Spiritz started out 8 years ago in Kingston and has been a regular on the Negril scene for the last 4-5 years. Burke said, "when Twisted started out, it changed the face of the party scene. Back then, all-inclusives would include the regular beers and rum and coke. We now gave patrons other options and introduced the widest variety of party mixes."
For this Emancipation weekend in Negril, Twisted Spiritz will have, outside of the regular drinks, 21 special mixes. This will coincide with Smirnoff's original vodka which was called 'Smirnoff 21.' The theme of the event is 'Tropical Oasis' and will be staged at a new venue called 'The Rainforest.'
"The Rainforest is a new venue, which is close to where we had Twisted last year at Chances. This is a much nicer venue, a lot bigger and spacious and I know patrons will enjoy it," Burke said. Selectors include: Coppershot, Crazy Neil and Johnny Kool.
Day Two - Saturday, July 31st
Daydreams All-White Escape - (UPDATE: 2:00PM; Long Bay Beach Park, Negril)
Described as a "heavenly" event by Daydreams promoter P.J. Wright, Daydream was named at the Dream weekend launch as one of the top-three parties in Negril.
The event has been going on for the last eight years in St Thomas at the Solaris Estate and eventually opened shop in Negril five years ago. More recently, Daydreams also launched in Ocho Rios Easter weekend for the last three years.
Known for its good vibe and the all-white dress code, Daydreams is a no-brainer as to what to wear. Wright said, "white is Daydream's well-known theme which is the concept we got from the all-white party that is held in the Hamptons. The patrons like the idea 'cause even though it's all white, you don't see people in the same outfits, you have the choice to be different."
This year, Daydreams will be held at the same venue in Negril, the Sexy Long Bay Beach, which features selectors Richie D from Miami, ZJ Liquid, Coppershot and ZJ Chrome.
The venue will be set up differently this year with a VIP Sky Deck and live video deejaying. According to Wright, LED screens will be set up across the venue and will play the accompanying videos to the songs being played.
"We've been wanting to do this for the last three to four years but we didn't have the LED screens until now and we're real excited," Wright added.
He said, "Negril is our biggest event and has a wide cross section of persons.What makes Daydreams a top party is that we produce consistently a good event, good experience, there's a no-brainer that there's gonna be good food, good bars, a great venue, as we try as best as possible to deliver."
Heineken Yush Mega Beach Party - (UPDATE: 10:00PM; Margaritaville, Negril)
The only 90s party in Negril during the Emancipation party, the promoters of Yush have a few tricks up their sleeves for this year's staging. Having been around since 2003, Saturday, July 31 will be the 20th staging of the event, which takes place three times a year - twice in Kingston and once in Negril.
Yush promoter Scott Dunn told THE STAR, "we created Yush because we wanted to re-create the vibe of the 90s. That era of music we believe was a high point, so we strive to get back that vibe."
Known for the tag line, "No Long Talking", Yush is all about the music and not chatting on the microphone from the selectors.
Held at Margaritaville again this year, Yush promoter Dunn was not willing to unveil to THE STAR as yet who will be playing at the event.
He said, "the focus in Negril unlike Kingston is "then and now", 90s versus the current music. Unlike in Kingston, in Negril we have a much younger crowd so we try to play current songs. This year, we're having a big local DJ versus a big International DJ who we'll unveil soon. The weekend tends to be monotonous in terms of the music played, so you know you can come to Yush and hear something different."
This year, Heineken will be on as a sponsor of the event and according to Dunn, patrons can expect a whole new decor from the beer brand. "We've proved ourselves over the years and brought quality to the table, so we're always looking to evolve and raise the bar, " Dunn said.
Day 3 - Sunday, August 1st
The third day of the Dream weekend band kicks off with the very wet Xtreme Wet N Wild on Sunday, August 1, and cools down in the night with Beer Vibes.
Xtreme Wet N Wild - (UPDATE: 12:00PM; Kool Runnings Water Park, Negril)
It is all about fun, romping and a lot of water at Xtreme Wet N Wild, one of the three top events on the Dream weekend band. One of the most talked about events in Negril, Xtreme Wet N Wild gives patrons a new experience staged each year at the Kool Runnings Water Park.
According to Xtreme Wet N Wild promoter Kamal Bankay, outside of concerts held in Negril during the Emancipation weekend, as a party Wet N Wild sees the largest number of patrons. Last year, the number of patrons numbered approximately 6,000 persons.
Having been on the Dream weekend band for the second year this year, Wet N Wet got its start years ago as Xtreme Tip N Ting, and was staged at the Half Moon Beach in Hanover. Bankay said, "the first Wet N Wild, then called Xtreme Tip N Ting, was already a huge hit and then the water park was formed and we thought it would be an audacious and bold move to take it there, and the water park makes it a different party."
As well as partying, patrons attending Xtreme Wet N Wild also have the chance to enjoy the water slides and the lazy river which are open to patrons during the event. A "wet zone" is also installed in the event where water is showered on patrons. This year, like last year, there will be two dance floors with DJs Liquid, Coppershot, 3rd Dimension, Bloodline, DJ Smurf and Richie B.
Bankay told THE WEEKEND STAR, "this year we're changing the set-up a little bit - where we put what, and we have a lot of cool ideas working through now. So the place will look different and there will be great interactive ideas for patrons. There are no inhibitions at this party, when you want to get wet, this is where you go and have a lot of fun and romping."
Last year saw entertainers Elephant Man, Bounty Killer, Mavado, Big Ship crew, Flippa Mafia, Flava Unit, Mr Lexx, QQ, Spice and others soaking up the fun alongside their fans, and the event promises the same fun this year.
Heineken Beer Vibes - (UPDATE: 8:00PM; Bourbon Beach, Negril)
Thinking outside of the box, Beer Vibes promoters Ras Promotions have a few surprises up their sleeves for the event in Negril this year. When THE WEEKEND STAR spoke to Solomon Sharpe from Ras Promotions, he was tight-lipped about the event, but promised patrons a good time.
Having staged Beer Vibes for the last 12 years in Kingston, the event hit Bourbon Beach in Negril for the first time last year. According to Sharpe, it was a memorable occasion.
"The beach gives it a whole different vibe. This year, we're going with an international flavour, there are definitely surprises to come, it will be high and non-stop energy," he explained.
One of the surprises will be a new, soon-to-be announced venue, as well as the selectors. Sharpe said, "it'll be a different beach with a different type of personality. In Negril, it will be a mixture of everything. Last year, we gave you nine of the hottest selectors, this year it's about a different vibe, kinda like a remix. We love experimenting, and we always get a good response."
From The Jamaica Star.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Day 4 - Monday, August 2nd
Smirnoff Xclusive - (UPDATE: 12:00PM; Margaritaville, Negril)
Described by Deane Shepherd, one of its promoters, as a "cut above the rest", Smirnoff Xclusive is the last hoorah for the Dream Weekend. Exclusive has been on the list of Negril parties for the last five years and last year, it made a splash with its debut on the Dream Weekend band. It was voted one of the top-three parties in Negril.
"Xclusive has been going on for a while, but it was a pretty low-key event, an invitation only event. Last year was the first we opened it to the public and it was great, we exposed a number of people to the Smirnoff experience," said Shepherd.
Held at Margaritaville last year and again this year, the disc jocks are yet to be announced.
"The event is primarily known for its red-and-white theme, people really adhere to the dress code and have to go shopping to get something to wear. It's the last event for the weekend, so its a send-off celebration kinda vibe and everyone is just having a good time," he said.
This year, the promoters have a few surprises in mind that they say will have patrons rocking on the signature 'run way' that is set up through the event.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Order your tickets online & pick up @ Margaritaville:
Weekend armband: US$135.00 (J$10,000 at local ticket outlets)
Smirnoff Dream Weekend Armband Redemption Centre is located at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville Negril at Norman Manley Boulevard, Negril, Jamaica between July 30th and August 1st..
1. Valid ID (Passport, Drivers Licence, Voter Registration) of purchaser listed on confirmation e-ticket.
2. Actual credit card used for the purchase online
3. Printout of e-ticket or approval.