January 5, 2016 Hanson’s 4th annual Back to the Island event began. This year, we truly went *back* to the island as the event came back to Jamaica after a year in Cancun, Mexico. This year was at a new resort, the Jewel Paradise Cove in Runaway Bay, Jamaica. As fans arrived they were greeted with cold towels and drinks and were shown to their rooms. After checking in with Island Gigs they received their red or green event pass as well as the merchandise package that included a towel, t-shirt and bag. Veterans to the trip received either a pin, sunglasses or visor depending on if it was their 2nd, 3rd or 4th event.
The first night we were treated to the Welcome to the Island show, a set that started out with ‘Back to the Island’ and had a mix of album tracks and fan club songs as well.
Day 2 began the Hanson activities with the Red Pass doing tie dye with Taylor and the green passes being split up into 2 groups to join Zac’s sweat shop and make rasta bracelets at 11am. At 3pm, Red passes tested their knowledge with Isaac’s trivia. At 5:30, Zac was first up with his solo set. As evening approached, it started to rain. Many were discussing attending that night’s show in their bathing suit, but as 10pm got closer and the storm turned into lightning in addition to rain, Zac made his way to the stage to let those waiting know that the show for that night would be canceled and they would fit it in the next evening instead.
Day 3 the activities continued, with green passes trying out their tie dye skills with Taylor and the red passes making bracelets. Green passes then tried their hand at Isaac’s trivia with 3 fans going head-to-head with Isaac for prizes. At 5:30, Taylor did his solo set – wearing one of his tie dye creations. Due to the storm the night before, Paul McDonald’s set was at 8 instead of 10, with Parachute following at 9 and Hanson’s second concert of the event at 10pm. This was originally supposed to be an acoustic set, but it was changed to a covers show instead highlighting most of the songs from the fall’s Roots & Rock N Roll Tour.
Day 4 those who booked excursions took off for either a tour of Bob Marley’s Nine Mile place of birth and rest or Dunn’s Rivers Falls. Photos with the band began at 1:30 and went until about 4pm. At 5:30, Isaac’s solo set was supposed to start – but we learned that it is Isaac that is the cause for “Hanson Time”. After Isaac’s set we were treated to a grand beach banquet and then it was time for our final Hanson show of the event – another setlist mixed with album tracks and fanclub songs. After the show it’s the after party and Taylor DJed for a bit before finishing things up at around 2am.
The last day most fans left the resort – many on my 8:50am shuttle very tired from the fun, but exhausting week. It sounds as though next year will be happening at the same resort once again, but we are all not so patiently awaiting official word from the band (probably to be announced in late February or March!)