Smashing records, #BigParOnline goes international!

If you thought the first #BigParOnline was huge, then you would be sadly mistaken BUZZ fam, as Sunday’s (March 22) high-octane edition set a new record!

What coronavirus? Respecting the rules of social distancing, tens of thousands of Jamaicans flooded the virtual dancefloor of #BigParOnline and this time, sponsor and host Radiolize’s servers were more than up to the task.

There were those there for the fun and gimmicks, others for the music but for so many more, it was a chance to fraternise with friends. You could easily bring yourself back to a time, not too long ago, when parties/lymes were still a constant on the entertainment calendar and COVID-19 wasn’t an existential threat.

Over the six-hour set, Big Par, through its Forever Radio channel and world-class DJs, delivered on the already viral traction yet another exceptional night of vibes and entertainment!

Speaking extensively with BUZZ, organiser Keanu ‘ShotbyDeth’ Gordon said that he’s truly amazed by the sheer ‘turnout’.

“Words can’t explain. We could never expect to triple our targets on the second go. We’re just glad for the outcome, overall, the support was massive. We’re thinking about getting better to improve the party experience,” he said.

Even putting the stream on multiple servers, #BigParOnline enjoyed over 29,000 live listeners across 30 countries. Generating over 100,000 tweets, the movement was the number two trending topic on Twitter worldwide, a major feat for Gordon and his Forever Entertainment team.

Gordon told BUZZ that like last week’s ‘musical baptism’, the team worked tirelessly to ensure the Sunday’s virtual experience was seamless.

Boosted by the return on DJ Kashmatic, the team injected some fresh talent in the likes of ZJ Wylyphe and DJ Remix from X Factor and fans loved every minute. The Big Par Online website also went live, adding the party experience.

A screengrab from Big Online Par’s sleek new website! (Photo: bigonlinepar.com)

‘Online Par’ fans will be pleased to know that ‘ShotbyDeth’ gave BUZZ the scoop that at least four more shows are on the horizon, with the next slated for Wednesday (March 25) at 10pm.

“We guarantee to have about four more shows and we have something special coming up for [this] Sunday. We’re making [BigParOnline] stand for itself. It’s a whole different experience from just turning on music and sitting down,” Gordon told BUZZ.

The virtual event gained its first local sponsor, J Wray and Nephew, which made the experience that more ‘spirited’. Additionally, Mayor of Kingston Delroy Williams has showered the team with praises for providing Jamaicans with a much-needed break from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

“The mayor has been making sure we stay focused, giving us tips. A lot of people have been thanking us for bringing a distraction from what’s going on and that’s what we aim to do. We’ll just keep making the experience better for everyone,” he explained.

In Gordon’s eyes, having a platform like Twitter, to watch people interact with the music in real-time is key to ensuring that #BigParOnline stays fresh and maintains its edge.

Still, Gordon said that #BigParOnline would be nothing without the tireless support of his teammates — Jean-Pièrre Roman, Geovanni Bennett, Shamar Thompson, Micah Johnson, Sebastian Austin, Tiguana Mitchell, Padrique Duncan, Xavier Ashley, Leighton Campbell, Khori Edmond, Jordon Hylton and the entire squad of Forever Angels who run a well-oiled machine.

Looking to the future as the event grows in popularity, Gordon said that #BigParOnline would keep its dancehall roots but include more genres to welcome all types of listeners.

“We’re planning on taking it international, trying to take [everybody’s] mind off the coronavirus, keep them inside, keep them safe. Yes, we started with dancehall, but we added a little soca last night, and we want to cater to as many people,” Gordon told BUZZ.

As the social people we are, it’s no surprise Jamaicans appreciate a good party. What #BigParOnline has capitalised on, however, is despite the deadly pandemic and uncertain times, we can still have a good time under quarantine.

No laws are broken, everyone understands the role they need to play for us to see the end of the COVID-19 outbreak and #BigParOnline brings it all together to remind us we’re not alone.

Wherever this leads, we hope to see you at the next #BigParOnline, BUZZ fam!