With 2017’s Back To The Island announced, I figured I should put something together like I did for MOE.
Back To The Island is a 5 day, 4 night event in Runaway Bay, Jamaica and Jewel Paradise Cove. 2017 will be the second year the event is held at this resort. In order to go, you must be a Hanson.net member. If you are not yet, join now! (Your membership needs to be valid through the trip dates so if you join now you’ll be set.)
When Should I Come?
Definitely as early as you can on the 4th if you can’t add extra days. If you can add an extra day before the event you’ll be golden, but it is not required. The first day the only activity is checking in to get your group assignment and merch and then the Hanson concert that night (assume a 9 or 10pm start time)
How Long Does It Take To Get To The Resort?
I’d budget at least 3 hours from the time you land to get through customs, immigration and get your shuttle to the resort. I personally like to land around noon – 1pm if I can.
What Airport Do I Fly To?
Montego Bay, Jamaica (MBJ) is the only airport that has the provided shuttles to the resort. The shuttle ride is about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Can I Come Early And Stay At A Different Resort?
Yes, but you will have to figure out how to get from that resort to Jewel Paradise Cove for the event, as Island Gigs will only take care of shuttles upon arrival at MBJ. (If anyone who did this in 2016 can comment with how you worked it out, it would be appreciated)
When Should I Leave?
Keep in mind the last night that Taylor’s after party will probably go until 2am, give or take. Shuttles to the airport leave roughly 4 hours before your flight (I had a 1:10pm flight and was on an 8:50am shuttle – shuttles seem to leave every hour). If you can’t add an extra day on at the end, try to book your flight as late as you can if you don’t want an early wake up call. Or book an early flight and leave right after the after party!
What Are The Add On Activities and How Much Are They?
Island Gigs generally schedules 2 excursions for each trip, but does not announce them until much closer to the trip dates (December). This year it was a tour of Nine Mile – Bob Marley’s birth and resting place as well as a trip to Dunn’s River Falls to climb water falls. The past couple of years we were only able to choose 1 of the excursions due to scheduling conflicts if not. The excursions were $50-$60. The hotel also offered booking for excursions as well which you might want to look into if you add extra days. [Edit: it looks like these can be booked when booking your trip for 2017]
What Are the Concerts Like?
There will be 3 Hanson concerts, on the first night, the second night and the last night. These are full sets and voting for themes will be happening in March. Each Hanson will also do a solo set of about 45 minutes. The second to last night will be the special guests concert.
How Do Group Assignments Work?
Red or Green passes are handed out when you check in with Island Gigs and pick up your merch package. Typically all of one color is given out first then the second color. In instances when excursions interfere with group activities you will be placed in a group that will not cause interference. If you want to be in the same group as your friends, try to check in at the same time. Island Gigs typically does not allow you to change colors, however if you can organize it on your own amongst other fans you can switch.
What Does the Schedule Typically Look Like?
For an idea, this was the 2016 schedule:
10pm Hanson Concert
11am – Bracelets with Zac (Green) / Tie Dye With Taylor (Red)
3pm – Trivia with Isaac (Red)
5:30pm – Zac Solo Concert
10pm – Hanson concert
11am – Bracelets with Zac (Red) / Tie Dye with Taylor (Green)
3pm – Trivia with Isaac (Green)
5:30pm – Taylor Solo Concert
10pm – Special Guests concert
8:30am – leave for excursions
1:30pm – Photos with Hanson
5:30pm – Isaac solo concert
10pm – Hanson concert
12:00am – After party with Taylor
How Is The Weather?
Typically in the mid-80s. It did get a lot cooler during the thunderstorm this year, obviously. But for the most part, hot and humid.
Is There Anything Special I should Bring?
Sunscreen. Bug spray. If you don’t want to tie dye your event t-shirt, something 100% cotton to tie dye. Money for souvenirs and tipping (not required, but if you have an awesome staff member, and you will, it might be nice) There is a small gift shop at the resort with clothing, postcards, trinkets, etc. Be sure to let your credit or debit card bank know you will be in Jamaica along with the dates so that your card is not declined.
I also recommend that you bring a pair of shorts in your carry on if you want to change when you land at the airport. The shuttles this year did have A/C though. If checking a bag, you might want to toss a couple days worth of clothes in your carry on as well in case luggage gets lost.
Make sure to have your passport and a blue or black ink pen handy on the plane to fill out your customs forms.
How Do Island Gigs Payments Work?
When booking there is an $800 down payment. If you have a roommate it will be a $400/$400 split. If you do not have a roommate at the time of booking you will be responsible for the $800 down payment. Once you add a roommate you can have the $800 credited to your portion of the room. (If you do not yet have the name of a roommate choose the single booking and Island Gigs can change it to a double once you have a roomies name)
There are 2 payment plans – one is $400 at booking / $500 in July and the balance by October 1-per person.
I do the monthly, it begins April 1 and runs until October 1 and divides into even monthly payments of the balance due after the deposit is made.
You can log into your account and pay more money down on the booking outside of the payments if you want.
What Are The Rooms Like?
Most of the rooms have 1 king bed. Some rooms do have 2 twins and they will try to accommodate as many requests as they can. The closets are pretty big. All rooms have a hair dryer. The outlets are just like the US outlets. Some rooms have showers and some rooms have tubs. If you go to Trip Advisor you can read from people who have visited before as well as look through their galleries as well.
What information of my roommates do I need in order to book?
Their legal first and last names. Their email address (that matches their Island Gigs account, if they have one) their Hanson.net name (You cannot get past the page without entering this, so it is important that you know it!) Their address and phone number (which should populate if they have an Island Gigs account and you entered their email address – but make sure you have it just in case). It also asks for their birthday, but there is a box to check if you don’t know it. It will prompt you to enter their credit card information as well, but it seems if they log in the same day to pay their down payment it should not be a problem. If you’d rather the peace of mind by booking for both of you at the same time you need their credit card number, expiration date and the 3 digit code from the back of the card.
If there are any other questions – leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer!