2017 marked a banner year for the Combustion Music Hope Town Music Festival as the festival nearly doubled its total from last year. Marked by incredible talent, great sponsors and cooperative weather, December 8-10, 2017 brought four incredible shows to Hope Town, with top songwriters in the US entertaining capacity crowds at every venue.
The weather was a little suspect going into the event, but the festival was able to dodge the rain and every show went off without a hitch. From the opening night gala at the Hope Town Harbour Lodge, to the packed house at the Edge, the gorgeous daytime show at the Abaco Inn, including a fantastic performance by the ECC drum and Junkanoo band, to the closing show at the Hope Town Inn and Marina, complete with festival closing firework, each event had its own highlights and was packed full.
“Every year the goal is the same… first to raise a bunch of money for these worthy charities, and then to have a great time entertaining and playing music in this special place. This year was wildly successful on both fronts. We couldn’t do this without the help of so many people, and I want to personally thank them all,” says festival founder Chris Farren. The money raised goes to three great local charities; Every Child Counts, Friends of the Environment and Hope Town Fire and Rescue.
The festival performers once again wowed audiences with the amount of hit songs that were performed, with this group of writers accounting for over 80 #1 singles. Five time ASCAP songwriter of the year and Combustion writer Ashley Gorley put it this way. “This place never ceases to amaze me. I have been here for the past 5 years now, and I didn’t think it possible, but each time gets better than the last. I can’t wait to come back.”
On Sunday, along with the great songwriters, there was an incredible performance by the ECC drum core. The kids ran through a great show of traditional Bahamian Christmas music that had the crowd dancing in amazement of the children’s’ talents. School administrator Lyn Major and the ECC kids added, “Performing with Chris Farren and Combustion Music at the festival was so awesome! We wish it could have gone on and on.” After that set up, the crowd was in a giving mood as there was a live auction with signed guitars, signed lyrics and a Nashville trip, raising even more money for the charities.
“Great music, I mean REALLY great music, with award winning musicians, combined with one of the most beautiful places in the world, great people and a whole lot of fun, all for the purpose of giving back to three charities doing really good work… The formula is Win – Win! It’s hard to find the right words to express the gratitude to all involved,” said Friends of the Environment’s director Cha Boyce.
Needless to say, the performers and concertgoers all left having made some great new friends, had a ton of fun and the knowing that all helped raise a lot of money for great causes. Next year’s festival is already confirmed for December 7-9, so put it on your calendars and make sure you join in for some great music.