Tuesday, May 20, 2008

8,000 strong

Is it possible to become jaded after a few years on the island? Many tell me that after a few years, they either end up hating their stint or still continue to love it just as much as when they first arrived here. But everyone agrees that the weather, the sun, the sand, the beaches are things that one never tires of. But then there's work - or at least office politics that no one likes to deal with, unless you're all about the drama (which some are). Office politics are one thing, and then there's this:

TUESDAY, MAY 21: Beyonce, Alicia Keys and UB40 will headline the Bermuda Music Festival in October.Other acts lined-up to appear include The Whispers, Collie Buddz, comedians Bill Bellamy and Dick Gregory, Solange Knowles (Beyonce's sister), soul and R & B singer Aaron Neville and comedian, actor and radio personality, Steve Harvey."This event will garner for Bermuda more worldwide attention than anything that has ever happened here," BMF producer Rock Newman of Gibraltar Promotions told the Bermuda Sun. "Folks around the world are going to say 'Bermuda has got it going on!'"

There are 22,000 tickets available and Bermudians can buy them online tomorrow at
www.bermudamusicfestival.com. They go on sale on Thursday for non-Bermudians.

So, should I be offended? As an expat, are you? We've all heard of price discrimination, but this just takes the cake. I've never heard of this happening anywhere else and while there are a couple of snarky comments I can make, I shall refrain. For now. But I can make a few observations:

What do they mean when they say Bermudians? Are they including 'Spouses of Bermudians' as well? In recent events there has been much talk of how restrictions should be placed on property purchasing rights for Spouses of Bermudians, where previously there were none. These restrictions came about because of the fear that more land will fall into foreign hands (never mind that that foreigner is married to a Bermudian). Of course, this created tension and resentment among locals, that did not exist before. So, if Bermuda treats its citizen's spouses this way, what hope is there for expats?

The expat population in Bermuda is only about 8,000 from a total of 66,000. Surely not all 8,000 of us will be attending the Music Festival & surely not all 58,000 Bermudians will be attending either, especially when you factor in how many of those are children and the elderly. So, what's the big deal? Why the discrimination? Why make the expat community feel like it's a second class one? Why not make us feel equally valued, especially considering International Business is what Bermuda mainly depends on? I know it's only 8,000 of us, but it's a number that drives the economy.

Folks from around the world are actually going to say: "Bermuda clearly does not have it going on."

Oh yeah, clearly, I am offended.


bichonpawz said...

I whole-heartedly agree!!!

Tryangle said...

it's wrong and condescending and unfortunately par for the course. it's also political pandering to the electorate and indeed, subtly indicating that expats are second-rate.

I sure don't blame you for feeling offended or disgusted. It was so easy for them to say 'residents', but nope. I do wish the attitude of the powers that be will change.

Slowhand said...

It was corrected later.... as they say they meant residents and non residents (overseas). Even so... the whole thing is a farce as they are trying to pass it off as a Tourist attraction, and it really hardly brings in any at all, certainly not enough to justify the expense to the taxpayer. Our money is being squandered to make the local populace feel good. It is being dubbed a massive success already, just because we the locals bought up all the tickets. Meanwhile the ticket sales will nowhere near cover the cost of the concert.

ZenDenizen said...

Wow, how frustrating. It's hard enough to get decent tickets to a show with all the online bulk purchasing scams without geographic discrimination.

~ Ms. Cute Pants ~ said...

Tryangle: you betcha. I do hope things change, because all this negativity that's been created is just not good for Bermuda's image & economy.

Slowhand: Thanks for the comment! :o)
Things like this where money is spent so frivolously is just about heartbreaking, epecially when you think about how it can be better spent on education, health care or on the elderly. Makes me mad, too!

bombaygirl said...

Its always like that where "furriners" are concerned. No matter where you go. Some places are just more blatant than others.