When you hear the Virgin name it might conjure up images of the Sex Pistols, Rock’n’Roll and Virgin Records. Music is ingrained in our history, and even though we’re an airline and holiday company, we still know a good song when we hear one – which is why we’ve just made a music video with legendary British reggae band, UB40.
We wanted to help the Caribbean after the recent hurricanes, and after listening to their 1998 hit, Come Back Darling, we knew it would serve as a great call to arms and lure visitors back to the islands once more. So, we teamed up with UB40 ft. Ali, Astro and Mickey, Universal Music, Elite Island Resorts and the Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority to get the message out that the Caribbean is ready to welcome tourists with open arms.
When a series of hurricanes hit the Caribbean last year, many islands were badly damaged — but not all. With the media reporting on the natural disaster, the public was left with the impression that the islands were beyond repair, and so their holidays would have to take place somewhere else. We wanted to get the message out that this is far from the truth — in fact, over 70% of the Caribbean wasn’t affected at all. The region is still open for business and ready to make your holiday one to remember. The areas that were hit are recovering well and, since the Caribbean economy is reliant on tourism, the best way to help the recovery effort for affected areas is to ‘Come Back Darling’.
There’s more to making a music video than you might think. First, we had to sort out logistics. Thanks to the amazing team at Elite Island Resorts, we were able to accommodate the entire cast and crew across three of their properties: Pineapple Beach Club, St James Club and Verandah. The accommodation was ideal, and ended up as a gorgeous backdrop for much of the shoot. Only the Caribbean could throw a wrap party like the one in the video!
Secondly, we needed to make sure we filmed the best locations to showcase the natural beauty of the area. Thankfully, in the Caribbean – Antigua more specifically – this was never an issue. Wherever you look there are beautiful beaches, landscapes and far-reaching views to admire.
Finally, we had to talk to the locals. This was the easiest part – residents of Antigua are well known for their welcoming nature, and you’ll often leave feeling like one of the family. Indeed, this was my first visit to any Caribbean island (shocking when I work for Virgin, I know), yet our friendly airport transfer driver greeted me with a “Welcome home” nonetheless.
We filmed the video in around 4 days; on the island, on the seas, at the airport and around Elite Island Resorts, culminating in a celebratory event attended by more than 100 locals and the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne. It took place at The Outhouse; a rib shack overlooking the beach at Pineapple Beach Club, with steel bands, carnival dancers, plenty of rum, and a stage where Ali, Astro and Mickey sang the catchy lines to ‘Come Back Darling’ to round off the music video.
If you haven’t seen it yet, you can watch it here – I challenge you to not want to sing along and pack your suitcase immediately:
If you’re considering a visit to the Caribbean, we’ve got plenty of options – Virgin Atlantic fly from London Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester to Barbados, and from Gatwick to Antigua, Cuba, Tobago, St Lucia, Grenada and Jamaica, and we offer holidays all over the region. Why not add one to your next holiday wishlist and check out our Caribbean offers?