The Best Fest Costa Rica

Things are getting exciting in the Best Time Ever offices. Costa Rican music festival season is just around the corner. Yes, there is a Costa Rican festival season now!!! In the last few years festivals like FIA, Imperial Festival, Jungle Jam and Envision have sprouted up making life for music lovers in Costa Rica much happier and more satisfying. Well we are close to announcing yet another music festival that is the brainchild and labor of love of our Best Time Ever staff. The “Best Fest” will take place on Feb. 9th and 10th, 2013 in the Costa Ballena region of Costa Rica. The venue is nestled next to Marino Ballena National Park and the jungle covered and wildlife filled mountains of Uvita de Osa.

Best Time Ever has assembled a fantastic team to help make Best Fest the best it can be. Some of our staff members have worked with bands like Widespread Panic, Phish, and MOE while others and have been a part of over 100 festivals in the United States such as Summer Meltdown, All Good Festival, Gathering of the Vibes, Bonnarro and many more. Rest assured that the 1st Annual Best Fest will be epic!

Best Fest will mix the best Costa Rican bands with some great bands from the US and other countries. The two day festival will feature different genres of music such as jazz, funk, jam, reggae, latin, rock and much more. Best Time Ever will be announcing the line up in the near future so stay tuned to this blog and our Facebook and twitter pages for more info.

Costa Rica Music Festival

World Class Music on a Palm Covered Beach in Costa Rica

4 of Costa Rica’s Best Bands Share a Stage!

I was on my way to San Jose from Uvita when my buddy Mich, who manages the Costa Rican reggae band “Ojo de Buey”, called to talk about a festival we are preparing for in early 2013. I told him I was on my way to the “big city.” He threw out an invitation to come hangout backstage at the free concert that the Ministerio de Cultura and Juventud was throwing at Parque la Libertad in a barrio of San Jose called Desamparados. I was stoked to hear that Un Rojo, Sonambulo, Cocofunka, and Ojo de Buey were sharing a stage as these are 4 of the best bands in the land they call Costa Rica.

I arrived to the park just after Un Rojo left stage, I was late because of the crazy traffic in San Jose. There were only 100 or so cars in the large parking lot so parking was a very easy . Most of the 3000 concert goers arrived by bus or walked to the centrally located venue. We wandered into the venue as the lead singer of Ojo de Buey stepped on stage and thanked the crowd for being at the event. The ladies in the crowd gave them a warm welcome by shouting loving words back. Ojo de Buey played a 1.5 hours set that included some of my favorite songs from their new album “Sabor en un Tiempo Cruel”. Lo Que Fue and Me Hierva la Sangre were especially good although I found myself singing Dime La Verdad for the next two days. Ojo de Buey really got the crowd into a frenzy. They screamed “otra otra otra making them come out and play 2 encores before they allowed them to get off of the stage.

Cocofunka came out after Ojo de Buey and were also given a warm welcome by this fun and energetic crowd. They were begging for more live music. Cocafunka is a latin funk bad, and a damn good one. Their stage presence is fantastic and high energy in every way. The entire band jumps around and the lead singer, Javier, surely has passion for performing in a live setting. Cocofunka played for roughly an hour and half leaving stage only after impressing the large crowd.

Sonambulo was the final band of the night and wow did they impress. The fans went crazy when they took the stage. They too are a very energetic band with a great live performance. They had a few guest dancers that really spiced things up. The music must have also woke the lighting guy. There was a ton of lighting equipment on stage, but it was not being until this point in the show. I am not sure if there were technical issues, but I can say that once the lights were running, the venue came alive with all kinds of different beams shining into the crowd and around the outdoor venue.

All in all it was a great night of music. The crowd enjoyed the free concert and the bands got to show off in front of a large crowd. Great job by the Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud, we hope they put on another concert very soon

Ojo de Buey

4 great bands performed for a crowd of over 3000

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Jose Ramirez Trio plays the blues at Roadhouse 169

Roadhouse Blues

Jose Ramirez came to Uvita with a power trio and blew the doors off the Roadhouse last saturday night. There was a crowd of about 75 people in the house enjoying dinner and drinks when the bands started playing at roughly 8:00. Right out of the gate Jose Ramirez played a raucous version of B.B. King’s “Thrill is Gone” and then showed a wide range by backing it up with a cover of Bill Withers “Aint no Sunshine” The Trio was tight from beginning to end. They complimented each other and had excellent chemistry and impressed everyone with their covers of blues legends; Eric Clapton, Albert King, Stevie Ray Vaughn among others. They put their own spin on the music and had a vibe of their own. I would love to see these guys play some original music. The crowd was so impressed that we received numerous requests to bring them back once a month which we hope to be able to work out. As the music ended, the crowd was yelling “otra, otra, otra” which means “give me another.” The Trio gladly came back out and played a fantastic version of Stormy Monday before finishing the night off with Pride and Joy. All in all it was a terrific night of fantastic music. Jose and the crew were super friendly, professional, and obviously have a love of live music.

If you want to stay informed about Jose Ramirez and the rest of the music scene in Costa Rica go like our facebook page.

4th of July Celebration

Working on holidays is part of the job when running a production company, and the 4th of July is no different. BTE will be at the Barba Roja in Manuel Antonio to run sound and lights for Fusion Funk San Jose. We hope to see most of you there for the celebration. Barba Roja translates to the Red Beard in English. It was established in 1975 making it the oldest restaurant in the town of Manuel Antonio.

Mike Chappel purchased the Barba Roja and started turning it into the best restaurant in the area. The atmosphere is 2nd to none, and the menu is full of traditional favorites along with many specialty items such as smoked meats, fresh fish and sushi. When we approached Mike to ask if we could turn his restaurant into the hottest music venue in Manuel Antonio, he was all ears. Since our relationship started we have brought some fantastic music. Fusion Funk San Jose, Talawa, Ben Fagan, Jami Sun, the Canarys, Mckenzie Eddy, Kat CHR and others are among the quality acts we have enjoyed at the Barba Roja. Mike and the staff at the Barba Roja have come to love our shows and always take exceptional care of us, and the acts we bring. The kicker is that, the locals always come up to us and thank us for bringing quality acts and running a tight ship. This makes all the differenc and makes us feel welcome!

Today is going to be a celebration of the birth of the United States. Fusion Funk San Jose will be in the house to provide the great music. Best Time Ever will be there to run sound and lights. The kitchen staff will be running the smoker and the grill providing hotdogs, burgers and an assortment of smoked meats. The bar staff will be pouring Costa Craft Brews and your favorite liquor drinks. We hope to see your smiling face there to help us celebrate.

Review of Tico Hendrix

I walked into the Roadhouse 169 in Uvita ready to see the “Tico Hendrix” tear up the stage. I found Nabil aka “Tico Hendrix” and stuck out my hand to say hello. He grabbed it with force and smugly said. I am Tico Hendrix, the best guitar player in Costa Rica. WOW I thought, this man talks the talk, I hope he walks the walk!

Just after 8pm Nabil y Los Duros took the stage in front of about 100 people and started the night with a latin rock song. I could immediately hear this mans talent and could tell that he is quite good, but I don’t think I can put him at the top of the best guitarist in all of Costa Rica. His licks have a Jimi Hendricks vibe but let’s be honest, not many can fill Jimi’s shoes. Nabil is a talented showman and kept the crowd eating out of his hand most of the night. They showed their range by playing straight blues, latin and reggae tunes with the later being the crowd favorites.

The sound was pretty pathetic. They had quality equipment such as JBL mains and Yamaha mixer but the set up reminded me of a garage band. They had no monitors so the mains had to be behind the stage which contributed to a feedback problem throughout the night. On top of this, guitar and vocal were set so loud as to overcome the drums on stage that they were overpowering in the crowd. I wanted to walk on stage and “fix” these problems but could tell that this would not be welcomed by the musicians so I left it alone until the feedback got so bad that I took it upon myself to turn the offending mic away from the speaker it was pointed directly at. This solved most of the feedback problem but not the other sound issues.

All in all Nabil y Los Duros is a terrific band with enormous talent that could be better represented with the help of a decent sound guy. The songs are upbeat, and fun to dance to. The Roadhouse as usual did a terrific job of taking care of people and providing a place to see live music in Costa Ballena.

We will be at the Barba Roja on July 4th and hope to see some of you out there. Funk San Jose will be providing the live music and Best Time Ever will be doing the sound and lights! See you there.

I love the Roadhouse 169 in Uvita Costa Rica

A few recent events to make you aware of before I get to the meat of this entry.

We are back from the US and brought a few new lights with us to improve the crowd’s experience as well as the on the stage lighting. We hope this means that you enjoy future shows more than past ones. We are going to test them out tomorrow night at the Roadhouse 169 in Uvita for the Nabil Garcia show. He is traveling from San Jose to Costa Ballena with bandmates Jose Alfaro and Manrique Corrales formerly of ” Chepe Blues”. Nabil bills himself as the Jimi Hendrix of Costa Rica. I am anxious to see his chops. Those are some big shoes to fill so come on out and see how he does. Show runs from 8 to 11 on Saturday the 30th. Entry is $4 at the door. We will also be at the Dominical Lifeguard Event on Sunday the 1st of July. We are going to play a 2 hour DJ set to help the town raise money for the lifeguard program. If you are anywhere close, please come out and support a great cause. All you have to do is have fun!! Lastly we will be at the Barba Roja in Manuel Antonio on July 4th with Fusion Funk San Jose. This amazing jazz – funk band is one of my favorite bands and are sure to please the crowd. We will be doing sound and lights so come on out and enjoy the best BBQ in all the land.

Now to the meat! The reason I entitled this blog “We love the Roadhouse 169″ is because they are working hard to bring quality live music to the Costa Ballena Region of Costa Rica. I – love – every – minute – of – it. The Roadhouse staff is easy to work with and understand that all shows are unique. They understand that budgets should be flexible, and that with proper marketing, quality live music brings a crowd.

When I moved to Costa Rica, one of the first thing that I became aware of was that the talented local bands I enjoyed while i visited Costa Rica were sometimes limited in their range. Before I get myself into trouble with the local talent, let me say this….There are phenomenal musicians spread throughout Costa Rica and they form quality bands. The problem lies in that the smaller beach markets of Costa Rica, such as Uvita and Dominical only had one live show a week and, the same band played the same set each week. As a tourist you never notice the repetition but, as a resident it was unbearable for a live music lover such as myself. This was the main reason I started Best Time Ever in Costa Rica. The idea was to draw quality acts to the smaller beach markets of Costa Rica and build events around the incoming talent.

The owner of Roadhouse 169, Bob Swanson and his sidekick, Laurie Gustafson has been amazing allies in this endeavor. They love music, love the crowds it brings and, have enjoy the energy of live music events. The thing that impresses me most is that they truly believe in taking care of the incoming talent. They always go that extra step to make the bands happy. As we all know, a happy band makes better music, better music makes for a happier crowd and these things combined create the Best Time Ever. Best Time Ever has believed in this philosophy from the start and has always tried to take care of the talent we hire.

We are outta here to go and prepare for the next few nights of music. Make sure to check out our Facebook page for pics and updates. Enjoy the 4th of July holiday and be safe!

Talawa Reggae at Barba Roja

Wow that was fun! We headed to Manuel Antonio with Talawa to throw Barba Roja’s owner Mike Chapple a 40th birthday party. The Costa Rica Craft Brew was flowing, the music was amazing and good times were had by all those that attended the event. This was the 6th show we have produced at Barba Roja and it has become one of our favorite venues. The atmosphere is perfect for live music. There is an inside stage that is protected from the elements and the rain that can happen anytime during the wet season of Costa Rica. The outside stage is larger and has a backdrop of ocean, mountain and during sunset the ball drops into the Pacific just off stage.

Talawa played an amazing show drawing everyone in with 50 minutes of Bob Marley covers before getting into their original music. The crowd loved every minute of the show and many danced the night away while others just stood slack jawed with their video cameras running to record the show.

If you would like to listen to the show you can find it on our website. http://www.besttimeevercr.com We also have pictures posted on our facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/btemusic

Moving over to WordPress

Happy Saturday All,

We are moving our blog from Iweb to WordPress for many many reasons. One we want to be able to blog from anywhere and from any computer without having to deal with the “backend” of iweb each time. We love Iweb and designed our site at www.besttimeevercr.com on it but another thing WordPress does better than iweb is catalog blogs on search engines such as google, yahoo and bing. So this post is pretty much a copy and past from our Iweb blog. The good news is that we were just getting started with our effort and did very little to push it out to the public so it is redundant information but, not horribly repetitive. So without further ado….

This was our second post from May 30th 2012Music Festival in Uvita Costa Rica

We are working to bring music to the paradise of Uvita de Osa, Costa Rica. We know that Envision Fest is probably going to do their thing in March (we love what they do) so we were thinking of doing our thing in late January at the earliest and mid February at the latest. We want to take advantage of the dry season and the traffic the tourist can bring in. We will keep you informed on the dates as we nail them down. What we could use from you guys is suggestions on which musical acts or type of music you would like to see. We have contacted the people from “The Movement Vibe”, “Dangermuffin”, Ryan Montbleau Band,  Ben Fagan and the Holy City Hooligans, and more. Of course we will be mixing these “out of town” bands with local acts such as Ojo de Buey, Fusion Funk San Jose, Ciclo Urbano, and others. So go ahead and suggest your favorite local bands too and we will see what we can do. Ok all you live music lovers….Have a great day and don’t forget to go to our facebook page to stay in the loop!

Our 3rd Post from June 7th 2012 –  Envision Festival Announces their Dates

Well here we go again. The amazing Envision Festival has announced new dates for 2013. If you’re a music lover and you’re thinking about a trip to Costa Rica maybe you should plan to be here from Feb 27th through March 3rd, 2013. It looks like a 5 day event this time around. Last year was epic and we fully expect them to outdo themselves this year. We will post more information as it becomes available. We are wondering if it will be at the same site as last year, if they will have better beach access and most importantly… who will be entertaining us. Stay tuned music lovers!

Our 4rth Post from June 8th 2012 –   VibraTica and Gabriel Wiernik

Our dear friend Gabriel Wiernik is not only an extraordinary bass player who plays for multiple bands around Costa Rica, but he is also a business man that has excellent vision. Gabriel is actively pushing Costa Rican music out to large international audiences and helping Costa Rican music lovers learn about acts from around the world through his website “Vibratica.” Vibratica could be described as a digital encyclopedia of music. The platform has links to artists, blogs, news articles, song reviews, forums, charts, event calendars, and much more. We find ourselves streaming Vibratica radio searching for new musical acts to place at destination weddings and to bring to the “Costa Ballena” region of Costa Rica for live music events. Gabriel and Vibratica have helped us get our feet under us in Costa Rica and to find bands like Ciclo Urbano, Fuerza Dread, and our favorite Costa Rican jam band, Fusion Funk San Jose, which happens to be Gabriel’s main project. We also use their event calendar in conjunction with My Destination’s to spread the good word about our events. So go check out Vibratica and enjoy some music that you have probably never heard about and tell us what you think.

Hello Music Lovers!

Well here we go! Best Time Ever’s own “Live Music Costa Rica” blog. We are sure this will morph into many different things, but for right now we just want to get the word out that Best Time Ever loves live music and we enjoy working to make it happen in Costa Rica. We want musicians and venues to know that we are here to help them with production, promotion,  sound, and booking… Hell ,we just want to be a part of great live music events. If we had to personally clean the bathrooms and scrub the floors to be a part of the magic that is great live music, we would with a grin on our faces that spans from ear to ear. Thankfully we have paid some dues and worked hard to learn about our trade so that our skills place us in “greener pastures”

Last month we finished the “Pura Vida Tour” (May 8th) with The Ben Fagan Trio =  Jami Sun on guitar, Quentin Ravenel on the drums, and rocking the vocals and bass was Ben Fagan. It was fantastic and took us to 9 venues over 11 days. Some of the pics and videos are on our facebook page if you would like to take a look. We played in many of the countries top venues and were blessed to meet  some great and super talented people. I would like to thank Ojo De Buey for taking us in and for treating us like old friends. That is one band stocked with buena gente as they say in Spanish.

That is all for now. If you would like to learn more about BTE and our vision check in at our website.

Until next time, live life to its fullest.

Chuck