It will be one for the history books for Caribbean Carnivals worldwide, as Cayman’s national carnival, Batabano, launches its first ever Virtual Street Parade this Saturday May 9th in the Cayman Islands, featuring international Soca performers Marszville and 5Star Akil.
“Batabano is celebrating its 37th anniversary this year, and while we await the government’s final decision on the main street parade being possible this Fall, we are excited to introduce a Virtual Street Parade for the first time in the carnival’s history, and certainly one of the first such virtual parades in the history of Caribbean carnivals overall,” said Batabano Chairperson Donna Myrie-Stephen, stressing that the actual Batabano Street Parade is still merely postponed for 2020, not cancelled. “As people in Cayman know, we fought long and hard to confirm this date, so while we are adhering to the government’s decisions in terms of the health and safety for our people during this Coronavirus pandemic, we remain determined to offer our masqueraders a unique experience of a lifetime on Saturday May 9th.”
Starting at 1pm, the 37th Annual Batabano Street Parade will take the format of a “Virtual” Street Parade, with live performances by Marszville out of Barbados and 5Star Akil out of Trinidad.
5Star Akil, best known for his breakthrough single “Partier” as well as “To Meh Heart”, “Noise”, “Islands Adventure”, “Never Done”, and “Tuh Night”, had this to say about the Virtual Batabano Street Parade: “This is the first ever, and my first ever, Cayman Carnival Batabano Virtual Carnival, and you don’t want to miss it! Song after song, it will be a virtual concert performance, so get your friends and family involved, organize your crew, get connected, stay home, stay safe.
There will also be international DJ’s participating in the virtual parade, including DJ Storm out of Atlanta, DJ Ang from New York, and DJ Omar from Jamaica, alongside some of Cayman’s top DJ’s - DJ Fross, DJ Menace, Sound Revolution, and DJ Lin.
Local radio stations are also participating to help take masqueraders virtually down West Bay Road, including Hot 104.1 and Radio Cayman.
Fetedayz iRadio out of Jamaica will also carry the Cayman Carnival Batabano Virtual Street Parade live.
The following Mas Bands were registered for Batabano 2020: Tribal Carnival (the reigning Batabano Band Of The Year, 2018 & 2019); Fresh Carnival; Renegade Mas; Party Animals; Revel Unit; Local Carnival; Kaotic Mas Band; Mas Azucar; Iconz; Cayman Aids Foundation; Quintessential Movement; Reba Dilbert Creations; Tipsy Tomatoes; Honduras Band; and Coconuts
Carnival chasers and masqueraders locally and around the world are invited to wear one of their favourite carnival costumes or simply represent their country flag and join the virtual Batabano Street Parade via Zoom and Facebook Live starting at 1pm. Zoom access details will be provided via the Batabano Facebook page www.facebook.com/batabanocayman and via email for those signed up for Batabano’s newsletters via www.caymancarnival.com.