This weekend will be pandemonium in Nassau, Bahamas as the island will welcome the return of Buju Banton on his Long Walk to Freedom Tour. The event will feature an official welcome back party on Friday night, March 29th and will climax on March 30th 2019 during the main event when Buju will do a live performance.
Unlike islands like Barbados and Trinidad that have warned that Buju Banton not perform his controversial song Boom Bye Bye while performing on those islands, the people of the Bahamas are begging and pleading with Buju to perform the song on Saturday night. The song is considered by many to be homophobic and Buju himself has said that he will no longer perform the song as people should live the way they sit for themselves.
Bahamas is considered to be very homophobic, even more so than Jamaica so it might not be a surprise that Bahamians are clamoring to hear the song perform live.
Canada has issued a travel advisory for LGBTQ people who are planning to visit The Bahamas for the purpose of attending the Buju Banton show.
Canada notes that “LGBTQ2 travellers should carefully consider the risks of attending Buju Banton’s Long Walk to Freedom concert in the Bahamas” and that “homosexual¬ity is not widely accepted in those kinds of surroundings.”
Erin Greene and Alex D’Marco, who are LGBTQ activists based in The Bahamas, said that they understood where Canada was coming from in issuing its warning.
Greene called it “a sound, a reasonable advisory” while D’Marco cited a wide range of reasons why The Bahamas is not a friendly destination for LGBTQ people, especially at a Reggae concert even if Buju Banton does not perform the song that some claim that it incites violence against gay people.
“So for LGBT Bahamians, their claim is based on stigma and discrimina¬tion,” D’Marco said. “They can’t get married. They can’t advance if they are a public LGBT person; they are discriminated in that area. They can’t advance in their career. There is no access to marriage, hormones, medications, and all of that, so that will be their claim.”
The fact that Buju Banton did not perform the song in Jamaica and promised not to perform it again, it is unlike that he will succumb to the demand of the people of Bahamas and perform the song.
Buju Banton’s performance will be the sending leg on the Long Walk to Freedom Tour; the first leg was in Jamaica. After the Bahamas performance, the artiste will move on to Barbados, Trinidad and St. Kitts before returning to Jamaica for Reggae Sumfest 2019.