Dillon “D Mac” McKenzie has brought together dozens of his friends for a festival that he says will promote a culture of pride in being Bahamian through music. “DMac & Friends Festival: Present and Future” will basically be a glimpse at the next 50 years in Bahamian music, featuring talented children, emerging artists, popular mainstream artists and bands.
“Themed present and future, children are going to be performing, then we move on to new and upcoming artists, and those people who have songs playing that are new, and then the main stream artists,” said McKenzie of his D Mac & Friends Festival scheduled for The Farm on Marshall Road on Saturday, December 17.
D Mac, of course, is doing double duty, hosting and performing on a ticket that will also feature Karrington McKenzie, Stileet, Elon Moxey, Avvy, Gino D, Qpid, Dimitri Smith, Julien Believe, Iron Storr, Funky D, Puzzle, Lady E, Veronica Bishop, Sweet Emily, Melo D and Dezaria.
They will be backed by Shaad Collie & The VIP’s, Higher Level Bank, Lassie Doe Boys, Spice Band, Synergy Band, Replay Band and DJ Rev.
“This is my Christmas gift to people for all the support they have given entertainers over the years,” said McKenzie, who will be performing fan favorites including two new songs – “It Is What It “Is” and “Looking for Sugar” – which have definitely been recorded in the classic D Mac style.
“I will be performing and hosting, and every now and then I may drop a song with the bands – because it’s all about friendship, love, and comradery between entertainers.”
The “D Mac & Friends” event has been held in December since its inception. With more than 40 performers including artists and bands, McKenzie said it has become a “mega show.”
The festival is McKenzie’s 10th edition of the show, which this year has morphed from just a concert into a festival with 14 hours of activities and the added component of family-oriented entertainment.
The all-day event begins at 12 noon with donkey rides, live animal tours, face painting, bouncing castle, all the favorite eats for children, a DJ and live entertainment through 6 p.m. A one-hour turnaround makes way for the grand concert which kicks off at 7 p.m.
“We wanted to spread it into a more family-oriented affair. We wanted a venture for kids and to expose the younger artists, before moving into the evening and making it about the grown folks.”
The first edition of D Mac & Friends featured just 20 artists. This year, the showcase is literally doubled.
“I am over-the-roof excited for this,” said McKenzie.
“This event is the last hurrah of the year and also represents a glimpse into the next 50 years of entertainment. The youngest act is David Cox. I first saw him at a function for the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture and he had the crowd for himself. He sings rake and scrape and does an amazing job. Then there’s Karrington McKenzie, son of the late legendary Kevan McKenzie, will be performing, as well as Iron Storr, son of the legendary Ira Storr.”
An additional twist to the festival will see the artists representing the various islands they call home. Stileet and Avvy will represent Inagua; Veronica Bishop Cat Island and The Berry Islands; Geno D will represent Abaco; Lassie Doe is, of course, all about Cat Island; for Funky D it’s Acklins and Crooked Island; D Mac and Demetri Smith represent Exuma; Elon Moxey and the Spice Band will hold it down for Andros.
McKenzie has also earmarked part proceeds from the festival to assist a charity/foundation as they have done in previous years. This year they have selected the Blue Rose Foundation, which assists people battling blood cancers and funds scholarships for aspiring music majors, to benefit.
“This year we are contributing to the Blue Rose Foundation, a foundation for leukemia patients. We also wanted to bring awareness and assist those persons affected, so we will also do a dollar drive,” said McKenzie.
“It feels so good to be able to give back and show my appreciation to those people that have supported the D Mac & Friends brands over the year and to give back to foundations and kids.”
The 10th edition of “D Mac & Friends Festival: Present and Future” was almost a year in the making.
“The return of cultural events like Goombay Summer, Family Island festivals, regattas and homecomings this year received an unprecedented level of support from the Bahamian public and demonstrated that patriotism is alive in the 242. To continue this momentum, ‘D Mac & Friends Festival 2022: Present and Future’ will be the final cultural music festival event of the year and a crescendo to the celebration of our nation’s 50th anniversary of Independence in 2023.”
Tickets are VIP $100 sky box party, $50 at the gate, $40 early bird; or general, $30 at the gate, $25 early bird. Kids zone tickets are $3. For tickets telephone 376-5994.