Panamanian Reggae Concert

Club nights/events in Bocas are promoted by posters being stuck around town, rather than through Facebook/Twitter which is what I was used to in London.

This week I noticed some posters for a reggae night in a really local bar/club which is unfortunately normally empty. Obviously I was determined to go and Aude, the Swiss girl from my hostel, agreed to come with me. We had no idea what time to go so we went at 9.30 and it was empty so we went to another bar to play table football for a bit then went back to the local club at 11, by which time there were a few more people but it was still pretty empty, so we just got a drink (water for me!) and sat in the outside part by the sea.

I didn’t really read the posters properly so I didn’t know before, but when we were there we realised there were going to be live performances from 2 Panamanian reggae/dancehall artists. We didn’t pay to go in because we were early but later on people were paying $5 to come in.

Anyway because there weren’t many people, there wasn’t really much atmosphere and Aude isn’t even into reggae/dancehall (which is what the DJ was playing) and I could tell she was getting bored so it didn’t surprise me when at about 12.30am she said she was tired and was going to go home.

I wanted to see the performances so I figured I had nothing to lose by staying by myself. I went with her to the door then saw that working on the door taking the entrance money was a woman who I’d briefly met before, the fiancee of another reggae DJ on this island, so I stood with her and asked her when the singers were going to come etc. There were some other people working on the door and soon enough they were all talking/laughing with me, which was really nice because it was the first time I’ve been treated like a normal human, not a tourist, since I’ve been here. I must have stayed with them for about 2 hours!

Eventually the artists turned up at about 2.30am so I went inside with one of the girls from the door to watch them. I don’t remember the name of the first guy, but he was obviously popular/famous because all the girls were jumping up and down and singing and dancing. This is him:


I danced a bit but it’s hard to go crazy and be enthusiastic with a live performance when you don’t know any of the songs in my opinion.

The 2nd guy was called Bossy Lion and I preferred his songs because they sounded more like the dancehall I’m used to:


After his performance everyone was crowding round to get a picture with him, so I decided to do the same:


The performers stayed for the rest of the night (which went on til 6am) partying with everyone.

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