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America’s Cup entertainment schedule announced

Pictured from left are Mike Winfield, CEO for ACBDA; Ed Benevides, COE for City of Hamilton; Pat Phillip-Fairn of the BTA; Cindy Campbell, chairman for Tall Ships Bermuda 2017; and Jason Sukdeo of Bermuda Heroes Weekend. (Photograph by Sarah Lagan)

“This summer is going to be the busiest in Bermuda’s history” according to America’s Cup Bermuda CEO Mike Winfield who today announced the schedule for a raft of events that will run in tandem with the world class sailing event.

Representatives from the Bermuda Tourism Authority, Bermuda Heroes Weekend, Tall Ships Bermuda and the City of Hamilton are working in partnership with the America’s Cup on events “related to the America’s Cup but not all about the America’s Cup”.

Mr Winfield said the combination of the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta from June 1 to 5 and the 35th America’s Cup “would present one of the most dramatic comparisons of sailing with the wonderful majestic tall ships to these racing machines on foils — it is going to be a photographic dream for many.”

The BTA announced a series of social events taking place in Hamilton and St George’s in June — Bonfires and BBQs and Pirates of Plunder.

The Bermuda Heroes Weekend will take place from June 16 to 19 and, as usual, Harbour Nights will held every Wednesday.

Also mixed into the excitement is the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup qualifiers and finals mid-June.

Among the City of Hamilton’s schedule is an “amped up” music and busking schedule, according to COO Ed Benevides while Wedco also has a listing of events.

Pat Phillip-Fairn, chief product and experiences development officer at the BTA, said: “Overall, the BTA will use this robust and diverse events calendar to influence visitor booking trends. These events, many of them in the middle of the week, will allow us to recommend to visitors that they arrive early and stay late. This is critically important to hoteliers who are seeing strong demand for weekends in June, but demand is less strong during the week. The calendar release will help that.”

Cindy Campbell, chairman for Tall Ships Bermuda 2017, emphasised that there were still spaces for trainees to sign up to the Tall Ships Regatta.

“There are still training births for anyone over 16 . . . so if you are young or young at heart you can have a tall ships experience,” she said.

As for on-island entertainment during the tall ships regatta, there will be extreme games and live entertainment. On the Friday of their visit the public can visit the ships and their crew for free and purchase tickets for the Tall Ships Concert in City Hall car park with a big name Bermudian entertainer.

On the Saturday, families can visit the ships for free and enjoy the crew parade which will wind through the streets of Hamilton and end with a party in Victoria Park.

On Sunday, Front Street will be pedestrianised for the Bon Voyage Party that will finish with fireworks and then the Parade of Sail with the ships sailing out of Hamilton Harbour begins at 9am on Monday.

Anyone interested in volunteering, sail training or sponsoring can email www.hello@tallships.bm

Mr Winfield added: “To see our stakeholders in Bermuda come together — to mobilise and seize the opportunity that is presented by the America’s Cup speaks well to the entrepreneurship, the energy and dynamic of Bermuda as a whole. The fact that we are all coming together speaks well to the community of Bermuda. I am delighted that we are now announcing the schedule.

“We are going to be on view to a billion people around the world. Bermuda will have an opportunity to stand on that stage and shine.”

The America’s Cup events begin on May 26 with racing starting at 5pm followed by the opening ceremony. This will include a combination of music, live performers, fireworks and Red Bull skydivers. Other key dates include:

June 12 and June 13: Bermuda’s TeamBDA race in the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Qualifiers.

June 20 and June 21: Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Finals.

June 17 and June 18: America’s Cup Match racing begins.

June 24 to June 27: America’s Cup Finals.

Additional Bermuda experiences will begin with the Tall Ships events in St George’s on May 26 through to May 31 including a Pub Crawl, Art Walk, Blessing of the Boats, Cricket Festival and more before the boats sail into Hamilton.

June 1: The Tall Ships Welcome Street Festival on Front Street which includes karaoke, digital gaming and more.

June 2: The Tall Ships concert featuring local and international acts in the City Hall Car Park.

June 5: Tall Ships festivities continue with a Bon Voyage Festival and a Parade of Sail as the flotilla leaves the island.

June 6 and June 20: Reid Street Busking will be held on with park seating, busking entertainment and street-side vending.

June 7: Harbour Nights on Wednesday, continuing every week on Front Street.

June 8 and 22: A new event for the season is Bonfires and BBQs, which will be held from 7pm to 11pm on Front Street. This event will feature a fiery night of entertainment for adults including a live band, performances by Rock Fire Productions, bonfires, a beer garden and more.

June 9: A Movie Lounge is scheduled in a city park with two showings and a happy hour experience.

June 10: There are two events — Bermuda Heroes Weekend Kiddie Carnival and a Vendor Village and Kids Zone in Northeast Hamilton with fish sandwiches, Gombey Dancers, local entertainment and more. The Vendor Village and Kids Zone will also be held on June 24.

June 14: St George’s will join the action on with the Pirates and Plunder Celebration Zone with privateer navigators, historical re-enactments, musical performances and interactive displays, taking place from 11am to 4pm on King’s Square and Ordnance Island.

June 16, 17, 18 and 19: Bermuda Heroes Weekend kicks off their main events on June 16 with Five Star Friday, a Raft Up on June 17, Promoter’s Day and Pan in the Park on June 18 and finally, J’Ouvert and Parade of Bands on June 19.

Weekly events: Wedco will host events during AC35 at Snorkel Park including a Sunset Market every Sunday from 4pm to 10pm, Sun Sundays from 1pm to 12am. Monday VIP Bonfires on the beach from 6.30pm to 10pm and Thursday Tiki Beach Party & Sunset Market from 6.30pm to 10.30pm.

For more information visit the partners’ websites on: