KINGSTON, Jamaica – Caribbean people, especially Jamaicans, are some of the most creative people in the world; and will always find ways to enjoy themselves, even during a crisis.
That has been evident since the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic that has postponed or cancelled all outdoor activities, including parties. While promoters and deejays reel from loss of revenue, some have moved their events online to help usual party-goers cope with self-isolation and outdoor restrictions.
The organizers of ‘Big Par’, a local party which was scheduled for March 20, but shut down due to COVID-19, moved their event online and had a massive reach that far outweighed the number of patrons that would have attended the actual event.
Patrons were able to “attend” the event online via the radio platform Radiolize, that allows deejays to stream music to listeners.
The first online event was on March 15, then again on March 18, which recorded about 5,000 listeners. For the third staging on March 22, over 31,000 listeners tuned in from over 30 countries around the world. The impact was enough to hold the second and third slot on Twitter’s worldwide hashtag trends list, racking up over 100,000 tweets with the tags #BigOnlinePar and #BIGPARONLINE.
The organizer of Big Par, a local photographer named Keanu Gordon, known as “Shot By Deth”, said he’s not sure what exactly happen, but is grateful for the response.
“Big Par was just forced to be held online. But I don’t know, it just got loose and we started trending worldwide and people started going crazy for the stream,” he told Jamaica Observer.
‘Big Par Online’ Makes Waves In Turkey
The impact of the event was also enough to impress the owner of the Radiolize platform, Onur Koseoglu from Turkey.
“For a Turkish person, it’s weird. The whole thing happening is weird and very funny. It’s viral, not planned, not professionally organised. I knew about Jamaicans loving partying. But since I saw this … I didn’t know it was such a big deal for Jamaicans to party!” Koseoglu told The Gleaner.
Sunday night’s wave crashed on the shores of Istanbul, Turkey, where the Radiolize team is still reeling from the stress of crashed servers and other technical difficulties, and the amazing realisation that Jamaicans really love to party.
“Everyone loves parties, but it was something different. It was like their main culture, I think. It’s a culture there, a big deal for them, I just realised. The Jamaican people are amazing,” he added.
Koseoglu said that the company is a small start-up, and the platform generally facilitates roughly 1,000 users at a time, so over 30,000 was a huge boost for his business.
“I party too much in my life. Every week, like two or three times. And I can clearly say, it was the best party ever for me. After all the things, I’m thinking to come to Jamaica for the real Big Par event,” Koseoglu shared.