ABACO, BAHAMAS – Friends of the Environment, Every Child Counts and the Hope Town Volunteer Fire Department will collectively receive over $170,000 to split evenly, thanks to the proceeds raised from the Combustion Hope Town Music Festival, held this past weekend in Hope Town. This figure exceeds last year’s intake which was $150,000.
Chris Farren, Founder and President of Combustion Music, said the festival is so special because of the island, itself.
“I bring a lot of people from out of the United States, and they fall in love with this island and they give back. None of the musicians get paid anything; they just come and donate their time so that we’re able to make money. The beach, the sun, the sand, the island, the people, it’s what I love and it’s what makes it so special. It’s just a beautiful place and nothing like this exists in the U.S.,” he said.
Every year, the world’s best songwriters and singers dedicate their time to raise money for the charities. This year was no different, as Charles Esten, better known for his role as country singer Deacon Claybourne on the popular television show, Nashville; Grammy nominee, Jon Nite; Chris Farren, and many more celebrities thoroughly entertained the crowd.
Chris DeStefano, a contemporary songwriter and Grammy winner, said there are so many things which make the festival special.
“This place is one of the most special places on earth; I just feel there’s an energy here; there’s a sense of community and connection between the locals and everybody that comes in for the event. It’s incredible and I’m humbled to be a part of this. Not to mention Hope Town has some of the best diving in the world and being able to support Friends of the Environment to protect this incredible underwater escape that you have here and the sea-life here, makes this event incredibly special,” he said.
Over three days, the festival moved from Hope Town Harbour Lodge to Harbour’s Edge, Abaco Inn and concluded at Hope Town Inn & Marina.
On Saturday, local performers had their turn at charming the crowd and were well received. The silent auction, which was also held on Saturday, raised $50,000.
Tracy Louis, a repeat visitor from Georgia, said she is ready for next year. “The music festival has been wonderful, perfect, lots of good singers, songwriters; I had lots of fun and I’ve already bought my ticket for next year,” she said.
The Combustion Hope Town Music Festival is one of many festivals that are held on the island of Hope Town throughout the year. According to Manager of the Abaco Tourist Office, Wynsome Ferguson, the island looks forward to these types of festivals.
“For the island of Abaco, this is huge, surpassing their target amount of $150,000, raising over $170,000; all that will remain on island. It’s such a great opportunity to host songwriters and singers from Nashville, Tennessee and to showcase the product and beauty of Abaco to them. In return, they write songs on the island and can promote the destination to the rest of the world. It’s free public relations that we don’t have to pay for,” she said.