Three stages, one epic event
DJ Rusty G promises that the sixth Flag Invasion on Saturday night will be worth the trip to St George's.
He's brought together deejays that are all “at the top of their game”, for a mega show at Fort St Catherine. Thirteen in total, they will spin soca, reggae, dancehall, hip hop, Latin music and Afrobeats.
The organiser, born Russell Griffith, believes it's the largest group of local and international deejays to perform here.
“The event itself is split into three separate stages at Fort St Catherine,” he said. “There's one stage just for soca lovers, one dedicated to reggae, hip hop and dancehall and, for the first time this year, we're adding a Latin and Afrobeats stage.”
The inclusion is in response to a growing appreciation of the music genre here.
“Also, I personally like it and wanted to include it in the event to make it [more] into something for everybody,” he said.
It's the sort of thinking that got him into deejaying while studying business at university in Canada.
“Really what sparked it was the fact that when I was living in Toronto, a lot of Canadians weren't playing island music, reggae, dancehall and soca.
“That was part of what made me say I wanted to do it.”
He returned to Bermuda after graduation in 2008, got a job in the hospitality industry and began deejaying part-time.
Three years ago he decided to focus on it as a career.
Machel Montano, Kes The Band, Bunji Garlin, Chronixx, Beres Hammond and Shaggy are some of the artists he's performed with.
He also can be heard in a weekly show on Vibe 103FM; for the past four years he has earned a Best of Bermuda Award for being the “Best Club/Party DJ” on island.
His online podcast, which receives thousands of downloads and streams each week, can be found on iTunes, Spotify and SoundCloud.
“For me, luckily, I was able to build a strong brand,” the deejay said. “My passion for music and entertaining was always strong and I have been able to perform on pretty much every big stage in Bermuda and I've travelled and performed in a lot of countries around the world.
“I see a lot of things at events and parties that they do in the Caribbean and other places and that's what inspired me to do this event, Flag Invasion. This is going to be the sixth year it's taken place.”
Five deejays are coming from the Caribbean, the rest are all homegrown.
“Most of them I've met through my travels. The deejay world is almost like a fraternity on the international scene.
“A lot of us know each other and know of each other's work so we talk, we network, and most of these guys coming [here] are at the top of the game in their respective fields in their countries.”
Part of the idea is to set the pace for Bermuda Day celebrations the next weekend.
“Flag Invasion has always been a pre-holiday celebration. I know a lot of people either run the half-marathon or are in the parade or have kids in the parade, or they're marking out spots, they're cooking ...
“I know people get busy in the holiday, so I like to do it the weekend before just to kind of set the tone.
“The response has been embracing. The event has grown every year and this year I'm moving to Fort St Catherine which is the biggest venue I've used yet for it.
“I'm really looking forward to it. I'll be performing, hosting. I'll be all over the place.”
• Tickets for Flag Invasion are $50 and available at www.ptix.bm. Group package holders are eligible to win a raffle for tickets to Barbados Crop Over in August, courtesy of No Crew Left Behind. Read more about DJ Rusty G at www.djrustyg.com