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Columns > Annabel Lukins - Both Sides of the Rail

Published: 2008/12/22
by Annabel Lukins

Home Again (On Holidaze)

Never had a home like this, never had to think twice, always knew my home was in paradise- Home Again, The Disco Biscuits
I know a place called paradise, and Ive been theretwice.
You ever slam dunk a basketball something so perfectly that you and your teammates high five each other running back to the other end of the court smiling and saying great shot?
Thats how we felt after Caribbean Holidaze last week.
For all who are unfamiliar with our event, we charter two all-inclusive resorts, Breezes & Hedonism 3 in Runaway Bay, Jamaica, for a week, build a professional size stage on the beach, and throw an intimate but over the top music festival. Along with our dear friends the Disco Biscuits & Umphreys McGee, plus a few other outstanding artists, we take a music lovers dream come true to a whole new level.
Now, if any of you know me, obviously Jam cruise is the love of my life. However, there is something about sitting by the beach all day and seeing shows starting at 10:00pm that is delightful. But thats not all. Toubab Krewe traveled to a girls orphanage where music and dancing echoed off the ceilings, while boxes of donated clothes were presented to them. Aron Magner played in a pool volleyball game. Brendan Bayliss ran up and down the courts in his 2nd annual tennis tournament. Three out of four days had illustrious theme nights, where participation was rampant!
The Biscuits and Umphreys each play close to 3 full shows. Heres the best part, and this info isnt just coming from my personal observations. Each band played close to one of their greatest shows ever. Jake Cinniger told me that they walked out on stage, looked at each other and said, Lets do it. Brownie told me that each of them let go of every single inhibition and became a musical force of four individuals molded into one for three straight hours. For the record, I haven’t seen Barber that happy in a long time. He was dancing and jumping around on stage with a sense of freedom and complete satisfaction.
Lemme tell ya, its just that kinda place. And as I am writing, I am listening to the Biscuits, Home Again. When you arrive in Jamaica, the locals welcome you home. We feel that. All 800 of us: bands, fans and staff alike. Its the most comfortable place to live under palm trees, below blue skies, in warm ocean water, all while dancing with no shoes on, toes crimping the sand, in awe that this is real, this is a place each and every one of us know truly the best.
There was a moment that I had at about 1:00pm on the last day by the pool at Breezes. I looked around me, Ryan Stasik was in the pool on a pink floatie, Dee Herman & Dan Berkowitz were horsing around in front of me, Andy Bernstein, Scott Cohen, Jenni Kleinbaum and about 7 other close friends were hanging out under a little cabana. I became instantly introspective, almost tearful with gratitude. Here, some of the most important people in my life, were all together by the pool in Jamaica. Nothing much was going on except relaxing and spending time with one another. There were no expectations, no cell phones, no traffic, no computers, just quality hang time. I looked around; pondering how important this was for me, for them, for all of us combined. Weve all been pals for 10 years, but the older we get, the most exclusive our lives become. Its not on purpose; its just the nature of being busy. But at that moment, for that week, we were one, a collective energy of past, present and future friendship. It was truly special.
Throughout the week, everywhere I turned, people told me, this is the best vacation of my life, or Cloud 9 throws the best parties. The comments were frequent and enthusiastic. Makes me feel so good knowing that I can put my heart and soul into something so powerful that people, who have had years and years of fun at shows, can make such bold statements.
Anyway, I could go on and on. Ill share some photos so you can visualize my happiness. And I am beyond proud to share this with you: WE ARE GOING BACK FOR CARIBBEAN HOLIDAZE 3. December 10-14, 2009 we once again will light up our lives. Pre-booking begins January 20, 2009. Please join us on the path to musical perfection.

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