‘Footstock’ Festival to Rock Utila in June
Andy Martin (the Cayman Cowboy), the Barefoot Man; Sea N B Band; and Utila’s own Barefoot Band will head the line-up at the Footstock outdoor benefit concert on Utila’s south shore June 15. Proceeds will go to the Bay Islands Conservation Association (BICA).
This will be the second annual charity concert to take place on the beach behind Neptune’s Restaurant at Coral Beach Village but the first under the Footstock name. Nick Nowak, the event’s coordinator, said last year’s concert attracted about 450 people and raised nearly $2,000. He expects a bigger turnout this year.
“We heard comments such as it was a great event to bring the whole family to,” said Nowak. “We had several families with three and four generations in attendance, and just days after the event I was stopped in town and asked when we were planning the next one.”
Nowak, who comes from Grand Cayman, said he noticed many similarities between Utila and his native island when he first visited Utila a few years ago. Among other things, Utila had its Barefoot Band, and he had grown up listening to his father’s group on Grand Cayman, Barefoot Man & Band. The Barefoot Band played at last year’s concert. That, the beachfront venue and “No shoes, no shirt, no problem” policy inspired him to dub the event Footstock.
Andy Martin – the Cayman Cowboy – also reflects the close historical ties between the Bay Islands and Grand Cayman. His 1970s song “Letter from Sea” registered deep in the hearts of traditionally seafaring Bay Islanders with its refrain: “Got no letters here today — and I’m a thousand miles away – I’ll be back — I’ve got 22 more days.”
Martin himself spent many years working on oil tankers crisscrossing the seas before launching his muscial career. His first hit, “Cayman Cowboy,” was recorded in a hotel bar. George Nowak, the Barefoot Man, is his producer and writer. Together they have recorded four albums over the last three decades and appeared in Nashville.
George Nowak, originally from the German Alps, yearned for white sand and tropical blue water as a young man. After spending some time island-hopping, he settled down with his guitar on Cayman Island. He is now to Cayman what Jimmy Buffet is to Key West. Known simply as Barefoot, he has composed about 2,000 songs and recorded more than 500 of them on more than 60 albums. He performs regularly on the Cayman Islands, Bahamas and throughout the US. His music is an eclectic mix of calypso, reggae, ska, a little bit of country and a whole lot of humor.
Tickets are Lps 200 for adults and Lps 100 for children 2-12 and can be purchased from Utila Realty, Neptune’s Restaurant, Bush’s supermarket, BICA and other spots around town, as well as from Utila Cays Diving on the Cays. The admission price includes boat transportation to and from the South Shore. Check at the landing dock at Blue Bayou for pickup and drop-off times, or visit the Coral Beach Village Facebook page.
“We will also be featuring the World Cup game prominently and will be cheering on the Honduras selection as they take on France,” said Nowak.