[private] Utila’s Sunjam, the brainchild of Alan Gordon, celebrated its 15 anniversary on August 6. The organization of Sunjam, not a light feat, was in the capable hands of Luis Mayer and Alfred, the owner of Parrot’s Dive shop and prominent character in the local party scene.
Days before, the colorful Sunjam posters could be seen all over Utila. Our part crowd and techno fans were looking forward to an event with national and international DJ’s. The DJ’s are known as the “who’s who” in the DJ world, and included Ben Mills, Erik Prestinary, Tony Coupe, Loud Neighbour, Xpansul, Tony Rohr, Josph Capriati, and Gil Kuruneri.
The first Sunjam was held in 1996, and celebrated its largest attendance in 2004 with 1,400 people. There were dory (canoe) shuttles from Utila to the small island of Water Caye situated west of Utilas main island. After the attendees arrived by plane and ferry, they could take these dories out to the cay every hour.
To imagine what Sunjam is like, you must try to picture over 1,000 people jammed into an island only a hundred meters in both length and width. The music stage was erected and the crowd warmed up with deep house music early in the day, switching to techno as the sun set. The bar supplied people with lots of red bull and other stimulants so that they did not run out of steam prematurely.
The earliest boats coming back to Utila started leaving at 3 am. A 120 kilowatt generator supplied the power for music, lights and 15 portable toilets served the sanitation needs of the guests. There was also in effect a security force of 15 men and women. There was also a doctor and several nurses on standby.
Over a thousand people from 20 countries participated in this year’s Sunjam party.
Overall, the event went well, as you could see by the smiling faces. After the “Social Event of the Year” came to an end, cleaning crews leave the cay spotless for other visiting tourists and so as to not disturb the local wildlife. The garbage was shipped to La Ceiba by barge.
With all the churches on Utila, Sunjam provides a happy escape for visitors and tourist alike, a perfect counterbalance which will definitely continue in the future. [/private]