Horseshoe Packed, Snorkel Park Not So Much

August 1, 2013

[Updated with video] Although BeachFest was technically being held at Snorkel Park in Dockyard, the majority of people appeared to keep up the tradition of heading to Horseshoe Bay for the first day of Cup Match.

When we stopped by both venues today [Aug 1] we were greeted by heavy crowds at Horseshoe Bay, and light attendance at Snorkel Park.

The scene at Horseshoe at around 5pm:

beachfest 2013 (1)

Last month BeachFest organisers Chewstick said they will host their 8th annual Beachfest Emancipation Celebration for the first time at Snorkel Park in Dockyard.

They made this “unexpected move due to severe financial challenges, exasperated by tight timelines, and an increasing event budget due to the sheer scale of such an unprecedented event.”

Chewstick, a charitable organisation, said they are already working towards the 2014 event, saying: “all agencies and stakeholders are committed to ensuring this never happens again and that Beachfest is positioned to be a globally recognized, signature Bermuda event.”

The scene at Snorkel Park at around 6pm:

beachfest 2013 (2)

The original announcement prompted over 75 comments on the article, with some locals saying they objected to the entry fee, others saying the tradition has always been to go to Horseshoe, while some pointed out Chewstick is a registered charity and has to work within their means.


Update 7.57pm: Chewstick’s Gavin Smith said that the event had a “bit of a slow start,” but will continue through the evening with the “party going through the night.”

He said it was unfortunate they could not get back down Horseshoe this year, but “these types of events cost $100,000 to do, and if you don’t have the money you can’t do it.”

Mr Smith thanked the sponsors for sticking with them, wished everyone a good Cup Match, and said they will be back at Horseshoe next year.

Update Aug 2: Judging by various photos on social media, Snorkel Park appeared to have far more people attend in the late evening.

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  1. This Year’s Beachfest To Be Held At Horseshoe | | May 19, 2014
  1. Come On Man says:

    Oh well

  2. boogiedownproductions says:

    gues de people have spoken n chewstick have learned a lesson

  3. SoMuchMore says:

    …the people have spoken and I too heard thst a lot will continue the tradition of visiting horseshoe with or without chewstick.

  4. Mike Hind says:

    It’s a shame that people have been so bitter towards Chewstick.
    Their choice was either hold it at Snorkel Park or don’t hold it at all. Not sure why people are twisting it.

    • wow. just wow says:

      not like cup match just all of a sudden came on the calendar. so they knew what days cup match was they had more then enough time to come up with proper sponsorship. sounds like poor lack of planning on chewstick.

      • Mike Hind says:

        or it could be that someone backed out at the last minute and they did the best they could.

        But you’re right. It’s best to assume the worst about people.

        • wow. just wow says:

          still sounds like poor planning. but at the end of the day who cares! people still had a blast at the beach!

          • Mike Hind says:

            I care. That’s why I’m posting.

            Why are you posting?

            • wow. just wow says:

              Just to piss you off

              • Mike Hind says:

                Missed this earlier.

                a) you’re failing at that, too, ‘cuz the day some anonymous shmuck who doesn’t know what he’s talking about pisses me off by posting nonsense is the day I stop going on the internet.

                b) Thanks for letting us all know your motivation.
                Here I was thinking you had a point.

        • Doing the right thing says:

          Surely Chew was trying to do the right thing, but the execution failed.

          I think the reason for the hating here in the comments is less the move itself and more about how the announcement was made: that Beachfest was moving because someone so dictated a few days beforehand. No, this particular charity’s function moved. And it moved because they wanted patrons to pay more for admission, beer, food, etc.

          Beachfest at Horseshoe has a bit of an inmates-running-the-asylum vibe, what with the tight warren of tents, the 420, the occasional fighting, the drinking games, etc. The patrons weren’t going to go to the relatively controlled environment of Snorkel. Won’t happen unless the police ban glass bottles on the beach (which might be appreciated by beach patrons in the days after Beachfest.)

          • Mike Hind says:

            Where did it say that it moved because they wanted patrons to pay more for admission, beer, food, etc.?

            What they DID say was that it was moving because they couldn’t afford to put it on at Horseshoe.

            There’s so much projection, it’s insane.

    • Mike Hind Clearly Works For Chewstick says:

      All in all chewstick thought that people were at horseshoe for them. They tried to take advantage of that and have it at snorkel to try and make money which has clearly backfired.

      So in saying that, I think (along with others) that the Chewstick organization should remain at Snorkel in 2014 as their crowd are expats or tourist who don’t have camps (bbq,coolers,chairs,music,liquor etc).

      The people of Bermuda can organize their own fun, like they did yesterday with out chewsticks “beachfest lol” taking up all the room and drowning the beach with your live entertainment that nobody wants to hear unless its your boy/girl.

      For punishment of thinking that horseshoe was beachfest and for thinking that it was all about you (chewstick). I think (along with a lot of people) that your allocated spot that you set up the enormous stage should be moved down to the very end of the beach to let families, groups, friends etc who have been coming to horseshoe to carry on the tradition for more then 20 years ,to set up camp and not have to walk a 1000 miles in the hot sun to set up. As you guys have trucks to set up your equipment.

      In closing lol..nobody cares about you apart from the select few who work for you or are entertaining, No dis but facts is facts. I mean how was your turn out??? Dont answer i already know :D

      So please boycot Horseshoe thankyou


      a Happy Bermudian who enjoyed being able to park, play and hear my music, space to flex, my girl could lay off and tan, and soooooo much more….bye bye :)

      • Mike Hind says:

        None of that is based on facts or reality. It’s just some nonsense you’ve made up.
        You’re completely misrepresenting the truth. Makes me wonder what the chip on your shoulder is all about.

      • Mike Hind says:

        And, for the record, to round out your “I’m making things up” trifecta, I don’t work for Chewstick. I just a) believe in what they’re doing and b) can’t stand people spreading lies and misinformation because of some nonsense they made up.

        • Mike Hind Clearly Works For Chewstick says:

          I like how you only addressed my name though, not anything else i said. but then again you dont work for them. your just on here defending them because you believe :D .

          Well can you relay my message then.

          1. Stay up Dockyard 2014
          2. Go to the end of Horseshoe if they do come back
          3. Keep the noise down.
          4. Park at Rangers to leave parking for families an groups that are there to have a good time not to profit.

          • Mike Hind says:

            I addressed everything you said with my first post.

            “None of that is based on facts or reality. It’s just some nonsense you’ve made up.
            You’re completely misrepresenting the truth…”

            Interesting that you ignored that. I wonder why.

          • Mike Hind says:

            and “…not to profit”?

            Seriously, do you honestly not get how a charity works?

      • Watcher says:

        @Mike Hind Clearly Works For Chewstick
        A bit rough around the edges.
        I agree with your points.
        They should be placed at the end of the beach for the very good reasons that you stated!
        Clearly as hindsight has been so gracous to reveal, the people go to horseshoe for some great old traditional fun; not for chewstick!

        • Mike Hind says:

          Who is claiming that people go for Chewstick?
          This is what I don’t get? Everyone seems so angry at Chewstick for thinking people go to Horseshoe for them… and they’ve never made that claim. They’ve repeatedly said that they understand that people were going to be going to Horseshoe and that they get why. Not once has any of them said anything remotely like “People go to Horseshoe for Chewstick’s Beachfest”.
          Not once.

  5. justMYopinion says:

    Since they are a Registered Charity I agree that they need to work within their means….”Champagne Taste Beer Money” is a no no………They now have a whole year to raise needed funds….Have mini fundraising events through out the year to reach their goal if need be…..Instead of trying to defend and justify the reason for change they should have heeded the calls of the public not to switch the venue…..Snorkel park is NOT condusive for an event of this magnitude….Chalk it up as a lesson learned…”If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!”……..see you next year at Horseshoe Beach…..

    • Mike Hind says:

      So they should have just cancelled everything?

      • wow. just wow says:

        by the looks of things they spent more money at S.P then not doing the event at all

        • Mike Hind says:

          Um… yes. Doing something is always going to cost more money than “not doing the event at all”…
          That’s how it works. How are you missing that?

          • wow. just wow says:

            you guys failed, admit it and plan better next year, im going to let you know, it may come as a shock for your guys……but there is cup match next year, may be best to start planning it like yesterday.

            • Mike Hind says:

              More assumptions. You’re just being silly now.

          • tricks are for kids says:

            They could have cancelled if they wanted to becausr at  the end of the day it has been proven that its the PEOPLE who make beachfest NOT Chewsticks…instead of being defensive pull up your “big boy pants” and take the constructive criticism with a positive mind…..start planning NOW for next year and instead of just having a plan A and B have a plan C as well…that is all….

            • Mike Hind says:

              I will… when there’s constructive criticism and not ridiculous trolling.

  6. E$ says:

    WHO CARES if Chewstick hosts the party down Snorkel or Horseshoe! Ppl will still go Horseshoe no matter what. How many ppl do der activities and listen to d music on stage. yawn lol. betta parkin this year too!

  7. Jessie says:

    We had a GREAT time at Beachfest/Snorkelpark and all around Dockyard today! Thrilled to be far from the madding crowd, and very happy to give $10 to Chewstick Foundation. They do great work in our community.

    • Facts says:

      Stop BSing lol

      • Mike Hind says:

        Why is that BS? Or are you just hating for the sake of hating?

    • SoMuchMore says:

      You sure that $10 dollars you gave is going to chewstick, you better check cause snorkel park charges an entrance fee on normal days anyway.

      check. check. check.

  8. yukno says:

    do u kno how many events chewstick put on a weekly basis? they don’t make enough to save exclusively for beachfest…..if horseshoe was still busy then why errbody hatin on chewstick? to me it sounds like you all didnt need chewstick down there, except for you to use up their free entertainment and events….

    • mixitup says:

      Ahhh Chewstick invited themselves to beachfest, beachfest as it was today has been goin on for over 20yrs. THEY decided to bring a stage and entertainment. Bermudians do not need anyones stage or entertainment for beachfest, as you saw today. Chewstick enhances it, but they most certainly don’t “make” it.

      • Mike Hind says:

        Get the facts straight. They took over when the previous organizers stopped doing it.

        They also cleaned up the beach and provided security, etc.

  9. RawOnion says:

    I still do not understand the fuss about having Chewstick host Beachfest. The event of people going to Horseshoe Bay on Cup Match has been going on for more than 20 years!!!! And without Chewstick. I am not knocking Chewstick but they should have just had nothing this year and focused on 2014. I can tell you for sure that everyone (other than whomever got carted away in the back of the Parks truck) had a GREAT time at Horseshoe. All you need is food, music and alcohol…the beach will naturally provide the rest…..oh, and without charging admission.

  10. Wake up call says:

    Spending $100K on beachfest the past few years doesn’t seem very charitable. Lets be honest chew stick isn’t needed to make beachfest…’beachfest’. They’re trying to brand and take credit for an event that was established before they got involved while…. I’ve never heard of a Bermudian charity spending $100K to host a charitable event. Somewhere along the way they’ve lost their sight…

    I call it like I see it… It’s all for promotion and money.

    • Mike Hind says:

      a) Evidence?

      b) Um. Yes. They are a charity. Promotion and money is what that is about. They raise money to help out the folks they help out. They do this by promoting the charity.

      c) Just because you haven’t heard of a charity spending that much to host an event doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.

      • Johnny says:

        Do you think that beachfest makes more than $100,000? I doubt it even gets close to that. Seems to me they should give the money that they raise to charity instead of spending it on a party.

        • Mike Hind says:


          • Johnny says:

            This is not a trial. People are free to voice their opinions. Plus I don’t see you offering any evidence.

            • Mike Hind says:

              Offering evidence of what? What claims did I make?

              You made the claim that they don’t make $100K. You gotta back that up.

  11. Robert says:

    Thats what you get. Take a community event and turn it into a money making event !!! Shame cavin, shame !!!!

    • Mike Hind says:

      Money making event… for charity. You seem to have forgot that part.

  12. bermudaUSMCsniper says:

    should have just LET MTV take it over mr. chewstick

  13. a. johnson says:

    I enjoyed Horseshoe more without Chewstick’s cackling background noise & annoyingly sectioned off sections of the beach. Here’s to hoping they stay in Dockyard or scale things back to a less disruptive level.

  14. Lol says:

    Let me explain !! Snorkel park … Ain’t nobody got time for that!!

  15. Citizen Banned says:

    What entertainment did they have? Hopefully not that awful Ukelele player? Only kidding Mike – keep up the good work.

  16. What Do You Think says:

    Mike Hinds your not on the same planet as everyone and to add to the events at horseshoe bay yesterday … There was no incidents and for almost the entire day no police presence and everyone local and visitors had a great time. The last few times Chewstick has had it there was always fights and more fights. Thank you Chewstick for NOT coming and judging by yesterdays turnout , No one wants you at Horseshoe bay ever again

    • Mike Hind says:

      Amazing. Thank you for speaking for everyone.

      Mind boggling how you miss the entire point.

  17. Mike Cranfield says:

    Have you seen the trash on Horseshoe…?? C’mon guys go clean up!!!

  18. yes says:

    shoudda brought in Beyonce

  19. Milton Raposo says:

    My goodness.

    Ever since this news broke that BF was going to Snorkel Park, all I’ve seen are a bunch of people making random unsubstantiated claims about Chewstick and how it runs things.

    All I’ve seen are selfish Bermudians claiming ownership over an event they know nothing about or how it’s run. All I’ve seen are a bunch of man-boys moaning about a $10 entry fee when for the last 8 years BF has been a totally free event except for the bars.

    All I’ve seen are people acting like the temporary move to Snorkel Park was such an offense….like someone has insulted your mama. Even those that Chewstick has given TIRELESSLY to over and over again were moaning and crying and behaving like a bunch of spoiled brats. All I’ve seen are people not realizing that it’s not easy running a registered charity at all. You’re all sitting up in here like you invented the event. Well you didn’t.

    I can only imagine if Chewstick wasn’t around, what kind of void there would be? That brilliant building down on Court Street wouldn’t be there. The space for performance artists of all genres wouldn’t be there. A safe space in the midst of an historically disenfranchised neighbourhood wouldn’t be there.

    Yeah that’s right. Before you all act like you know what’s up, why not take a look at the space and organization and not rely on your personal opinions and selfish attitudes.

    I tell Bermudians and expats all the time, if you care about Bermuda, you don’t just care about your neck of woods. It should be everything from front of town to back of town. Stop sitting off and pretending you know what’s up and actually ask a question and get the real story. We all want it on a silver platter, don’t we Bermuda?

  20. buzz says:

    what it really appears to be is ,,Ego,Pride,and Greed !

  21. young observer says:

    I don’t personally have a problem with Chewstick. My problem is that they think they own something which they don’t. I have been going horseshoe bay the first day of Cupmatch since the 90s and we always had fun it is like a giant Bermuda Picnic. This year I enjoyed Horseshoe bay on Thursday without chewstick. This is how it use to be before people decided to come and turn something into a grand event.You had minor issues with people drunk and passed out but that is it. We had no gang issues and Bermudians was able to enjoy their day with little to no fuss. If Chewstick was smart they would have not put on an event at all this year and save there money put it into something for next year because it is obvious their Beachfest up snorkel park wasn’t a success.

    • Mike Hind says:

      Again, when have they claimed that they “own” Horseshoe?

      And how is it “obvious their Beachfest up snorkel park wasn’t a success”? How do you know their criterion for success?

  22. watchfuleyes says:

    ditto @BUZZ looks like Chewstick is forcing themselves on the people at Horshoebay. The problem being is that they think they are more important than they really are. This holiday, especially is about tradition, and the people have spoken.

  23. just saying says:

    All this aside….I was worried to see so many young people drunk, half collapsed….fully collapsed requiring an ambulance….alcohol and sun don’t mix….we have a big problem if our young people think the only way to enjoy something is to get smashed out of their heads to oblivion….emancipation is about more….people struggled for rights and look how we show appreciation…

  24. Someone says:

    was far more people then last year..without chewsticks structures everywhere the beach was able to hold more people in a greater area..and as much fun was had regardless of chewstick being there

    • Mike Hind says:

      Again… you DO realize that they’re a charity, trying to raise money, right?
      You guys seem to be under the impression that they’re a promotions company like 441 or something.

  25. Really says:

    Where are Gavin and Najib to defend Chewstick. Why is it left to Mike and Milton and pure silence from the ED and founders and staff?? At the end of the day, perhaps 441 should take over and setup at the end of the beach and chewsticks can stick to what they are great at.

    • Mike Hind says:

      I think they’ve explained themselves enough.

      The sad part is that anyone HAS to defend Chewstick.
      It still hasn’t been established exactly why there’s so much hate…

      Not with any level of honesty, based on things that actually happened…

      • buzz says:

        Mr. Hind I think the main Reason for the back lash Against Chewstick is because they are Running a Charity as a Production Company, may be they should look at what they are structured to do under the Charity Status,,also why is it that some people here
        wanna Run Every Thing,,I am Mr. Big ,,Look at me I am in Charge around here,,some Folks here are so Damn Fake,,trying to project an
        image, nothing but wanna bea’s

        • Mike Hind says:

          Evidence? Or is this just your opinion?
          What is this based on?

  26. Young observer says:

    Wow I don’t see why all this hostility is around. I’ve never went to beachfest before. This year however I did go to horseshoe bay and was surprised that there were so many people there. Chewstick is a great organization and i’m sad that they couldn’t host beachfest at horseshoe this year. whether people go to horshoe for chewstick or not the point is that on “EMANCIPATION DAY” everyone is having a good time. all this hostility is unnecessary. Make peace not war, choose your battles wisely. Don’t be blinded by animosity or bigoted thoughts that will leave you incapable of thinking wisely. Gosh Bermuda, so much drama for such a little island.