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UPDATE: Festival cut gets mixed reaction from residents

The grand finale for Festival 2014 will not be held in Carrot Bay at least for 2014 but rather at the Festival Ground in Road Town. Photo: VINO/File
The BVI Festivals and Fairs Committee Chairman, Mr. Marvin Blyden did confirm that there has been some changes as mentioned but declined to comment further only saying that the media would be brought up to speed at a press conferences scheduled for some time very soon. Photo: VINO/File
The BVI Festivals and Fairs Committee Chairman, Mr. Marvin Blyden did confirm that there has been some changes as mentioned but declined to comment further only saying that the media would be brought up to speed at a press conferences scheduled for some time very soon. Photo: VINO/File
Chairperson of the East End/Long Look committee Ms. Sandra Potter-Warrican said she has no choice but to follow the decision that was made. Photo: VINO/File
Chairperson of the East End/Long Look committee Ms. Sandra Potter-Warrican said she has no choice but to follow the decision that was made. Photo: VINO/File
Chairperson of the Carrot Bay Festival Committee Mr. Stuart Donovan also confirmed that they are knowledgeable of the new changes but said while he does not agree in total he is working with the Minister's decision. Photo: VINO/File
Chairperson of the Carrot Bay Festival Committee Mr. Stuart Donovan also confirmed that they are knowledgeable of the new changes but said while he does not agree in total he is working with the Minister's decision. Photo: VINO/File
The grand finale for Festival 2014 will not be held in Carrot Bay at least for 2014 but rather at the Festival Ground in Road Town. Photo: VINO/File
The grand finale for Festival 2014 will not be held in Carrot Bay at least for 2014 but rather at the Festival Ground in Road Town. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – As the word spread of the five days cut of the 2014 Emancipation Festival activities, several persons had mixed reactions and shared this with Virgin Islands News Online. Most, for the greater part, felt that the decision should have been made in consultation with community leaders and key stakeholders.

“That is ridiculous, totally ridiculous. This is not just another celebration not just another THING, it's celebration of us becoming free from slavery that show to say where their heads are, I can’t say more how ridiculous that it is to cut out five whole days not one, not two, but five that’s so unbelievable,” said Mr. Bailey Penn.

Mr. Penn, who is known for sharing his opinion candidly on any topic of interest, was upset about the decision. “They could be wasting money on all kinds of stupid project, investing and loosing and they cutting festival by all five days is just nonsense,” said Mr. Penn.

Another resident who asked to be identified as P. S. Malone, described the decision as ‘high handed’. “This is not the first time I am hearing this particular Minister making high-handed decisions when it comes to matters under his authority. What he needs to remember, is the people put him there and he needs to show respect for the people, he is our servant and not the other way around as he has it,” said Mr. Malone.

He said that based on the report he had read on this news site as published on January 17, 2014, he did not get the impression that the decision followed a consultation with any of the stakeholders. “Even if this was discussed first with the Festivals committee they still needed to have it a matter of public consultation and that was not done so I am against the process of making the adjustment,” noted Malone.

A few others with whom we spoke had similar opinions. Ms. Sherrin Angus said that she thinks the reduction in the days was a wise move and according to her, “That’s a leader’s privilege to make certain decisions as he sees fit in the best interest of the authority position he was put in.”

The woman said that not every decision warrants a community consultation as she feels wisdom has to step in. “I am not necessarily a fan of Mr. Walwyn, nor any of the Ministers for a matter of a fact, but I will give him my full support on this call.”

One Businessman of the Cane Garden Bay area said that some amount of budget cutting was necessary but he does not support the reduction of the days. He opined that it would have been better to have one international artist for the nights as opposed to the “no more than three on any given night” decision.

“The kind of money that is spent to bring in those international artists is outrageous and we don’t need to have more than one at Road Town, one at East End and in Carrot Bay, that’s good enough,” he stated.

The businessman suggested that locals can be given the opportunity to promote activities of cultural nature during the season. “What about somebody from here being supported to put on a brass night! That’s a traditional thing that has been shoved in a corner and almost forgotten and we need to bring those things back,” shared the businessman.

He suggested a night of sound clash among DJs to attract the younger generation, “Say what you like, that is what the young people like and we need to give them things that they like too,” he added.

Other ideas that were proposed were water sports and an international cultural extravaganza. “The Culture department need to just allow persons to do these thing, they don’t have to own and control everything so, come on,” added the businessman.

See previous story published on January 17, 2014:

 Festival 2014 cut by five days!

- Decision allegedly caused by financial constraints

ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – It has come as no surprise to many key stakeholders in the Festival arena that a cash-strapped Department of Culture would result in the axe falling on the celebrations this year, 2014.

While it was also anticipated that the cut would have come in the form of lessening the number of international artistes, the thunder has rolled chipping some five days off the regular number of days. 

Informed and reliable sources close to the Department of Culture yesterday, January 16, 2014, told this new site that one day has been cut each from the festivities in East End/Long Look and Carrot Bay this year. However, further digging has resulted in the confirmation that even the number of days for the Road Town festivities has also been cut. 

When contacted, Chairman of the BVI Festival and Fairs Committee, Mr. Marvin Blyden aka 'MB' did confirm that there has been some changes as mentioned, but declined to comment further only saying that the media would be brought up to speed at a press conferences scheduled for some time very soon. 

Calls were also made to the chairpersons of the East End/Long Look Committee, Ms. Sandra Potter-Warrican and Carrot Bay’s Mr. Stuart Donovan, who also confirmed that they are knowledgeable of the new changes. 

Mr. Donovan said that because he holds a senior position on the Committee, he is not at liberty to disseminate much but did say that it was the decision of the Minister for Education and Culture, Honourable Myron V. Walwyn, which he respects and has no choice but to work along with. 

“Personally I do not agree but as it is I have to support the decision. I serve at the pleasure of the Minister so whatever decision he makes that’s what I am going with.”

Asked about some of the likely challenges Carrot Bay stands to face with one less day, Mr. Donovan replied, “No, I will not go there, the Minister’s decision is final and we working with that.” 

In like manner, Ms. Potter-Warrican said she will be respecting the decision. “Well it was rumored out there long before now so that information did not come as a surprise to me when we were informed but I understand and have to work with the two days that we have,” said Ms. Potter-Warrican. 

Attempts to further confirm with Minister Walwyn and his Ministry were futile as calls went unanswered. 

It was explained to this news site that even the number of days of celebration in Road Town was cut by three days. According to our informed and reliable sources, the official celebrations will this year commence on the Sunday with the Gospel Fest, “Remember the Gospel Fest use to be held on the Thursday, now Friday and Saturday were knocked out and the Gospel Fest starts the festival this year on the Sunday,” according to our informed source. 

The other noticeable change is that the grand finale will not be held in Carrot Bay at least for 2014.  “I am not sure if this is sealed in concrete but for this year I am sure that its (Final night celebrations) going to be in RT (Road Town) this year,” another source has confirmed. 

The other is that the decision has been locked on not having more than three international artistes on any one-night of the festival. 

All these changes come in the year when the festivals emancipation celebrations in the VI will be marking its 60th anniversary, a year many consider very significant in the history of the Territory. 

Last year was one that had attracted a mixture of reactions; some good while others had negative and constructive opinions respectively and there were those who had several recommendations especially for this year’s celebrations. 

Some of the high and lows included, the suggestion for some significant opening activity to be held at the East End Stickett, locals had the royal run-around to get their pay, the no show of some international artists, too many international artists, the introduction of the soca Monarch competition, more music trucks for East End/Long Look parade, just to name a few.

50 Responses to “UPDATE: Festival cut gets mixed reaction from residents”

  • thank you (17/01/2014, 14:41) Like (42) Dislike (16) Reply
    I agree a hundred percent. It is way too long!!!!!
  • gates (17/01/2014, 14:50) Like (32) Dislike (38) Reply
    60th annversry is already a flop any thing mvw touch is a failure
  • Mrs. D (17/01/2014, 14:56) Like (75) Dislike (18) Reply
    while I understand the need to scale back, I personally think they chose the wrong year to do it. ijs
    • Yea? (17/01/2014, 15:23) Like (43) Dislike (8) Reply

      Why don't you start raising funds to make up the shortfall then? Every single thing is on Government nipples. Enough is enough. About time we had some Ministers with balls. Let's await the noise from Andrew and Fraser now. They don't let a good story go to waste....before the weekend past we must hear some nonsense from one or both of them.

      • Mrs.D (19/01/2014, 20:16) Like (23) Dislike (2) Reply
        It's not our duty to raise funds for festival! That's why we have a festival committee. The committee should've started holding fund raisers since last year instead of sitting and waiting for hand outs from the Government!
  • homegrown (17/01/2014, 14:56) Like (66) Dislike (13) Reply
    Ayo wait till the 60th to experiment with our festival.........Stop playing games..
  • wooow (17/01/2014, 14:57) Like (25) Dislike (18) Reply
    The Antiguan better not touch our horse races
  • coooooool (17/01/2014, 15:19) Like (9) Dislike (35) Reply
    Sense at last. Now all we need is local only bands and we got ourselves the best festival in the Caribbean, anyone that doesn't like it can go to Antigua or Anguilla or even Barbados
  • good (17/01/2014, 15:20) Like (31) Dislike (3) Reply

    All of them want to sit down waiting on Government money. GOOD! If they want the extra day, let them start fund raising from NOW to fund it, simple! Everybody got talk talk talk but when it comes to doing something nobody want to get off their lazy a.., just gimme gimme from Government all the time. Why do we need all those festivities in all those villages? 2wks in town makes more sense as the stage and booths already tehre, just add more booths etc. To be fair. Carrot Bay usually has a nice cultural thing so Friday culture day/night then Saturday last lap wont hurt. East has been the pitts for the last 5yrs each time a set o foolish artists shouting down the place. nonsense.

  • RICHARD (17/01/2014, 15:42) Like (31) Dislike (1) Reply
    Schuppps. The country is in a recession. Why do we need to spend spend spend what the country don't have. I prefer to use the money to give our children scholarships not waste
    • YouSoCrazy (17/01/2014, 20:26) Like (13) Dislike (4) Reply
      Lol @ Richard smart people don't spend over a million dollars on parks when in a recession.
  • Lil (17/01/2014, 16:09) Like (57) Dislike (2) Reply
    as long as the holidays remain!
  • c (17/01/2014, 16:26) Like (55) Dislike (3) Reply
    Carrot Bay festival was the best out of the three, don't cancel Carrot Bay at all. Secondly, East End Village don't need to open up the Monday night at all, it should up open on the Tuesday night instead. We don't need to have two parade because some of the same troupes from town goes into east parade. We just need to have one big parade. You can still have the village entertainment and the jouvert in east end though.
    • Thinking out here (21/01/2014, 00:15) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      Totally agree , one big parade is enough. All these festivals all over the place. wasting money.
      Suggestion. Opening night Sat with gospel Fest, 2013 reigning queen can open the village. Queen show the next Sunday. Queen and her courts gets some rest and all prepared for the parade to start on time the following Monday. Real nonsense to have queen show night before the parade. Why not a kiddies/children parade Saturday before the Grand Adult parade. Still have the Friday for the Food fair. That would be grand. Please review the usual practice. change would be exciting . Look this is a BVI emancipation festival. It is not an international Artist showcase. Celebrate your own man? I am not an indigenous native. I am with you Natives.
  • K (17/01/2014, 16:27) Like (22) Dislike (0) Reply
    i agree don't touch the holidays
  • island man (17/01/2014, 16:46) Like (8) Dislike (16) Reply
    Most locals with sence leave the bvi any way so let m w jump up he and dem island ppl
    • POOSHOOMPENG (19/01/2014, 17:55) Like (16) Dislike (3) Reply
      Last I checked TORTOLA and the rest of the BVI are ISLANDS...NOT CONTINENTS! STOP TRYING TO DEGRADE SEGREGATE AND MARGINALIZE THE PEOPLE WHO HELPED AND CONTINUE TO HELP THE BVI. We will JUMP up and enjoy the CARNIVAL MORE THAN YOUR SORRY BEHIND. (grinning from ear to ear)
      • Well Well (19/01/2014, 19:51) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
        Ayo need the island people to jump up yes you nuh see all ayo apartment them empty ayo need them just like they need ayo so be quiete you don't want to jump that's your business at the end of the day them "island people" could go back from where they came from
  • facts man (17/01/2014, 16:58) Like (23) Dislike (21) Reply
    after all deeds years one idiot come now to mess with our festival!!!!! backwards ever can't wait until next elections
  • opportunity knocks (17/01/2014, 17:16) Like (20) Dislike (1) Reply
    As a member of a band I see an opportunity knocking for we to do our own thing on the Friday and Saturday night. I hope the country will be filled with people who wants to go out, soooo we will open our own spot for the nights they are taking away.
    • well done (19/01/2014, 07:53) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      A sensible post, though I am not sure about the country being filled up with people I do hope you put on a successful private party.
  • good (17/01/2014, 17:25) Like (6) Dislike (7) Reply
    In the beginning it was town and town only, then east then CB, i am glad they ending festival where it all began.....
    • Real Talk (17/01/2014, 18:23) Like (13) Dislike (2) Reply
      you need to check your history it started in east end
    • Ignorance (18/01/2014, 08:22) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
      Clearly you don't know your history but it's common here to talk without actually knowing.
  • son of the soil (17/01/2014, 17:50) Like (0) Dislike (13) Reply
    Now look wha dis islunman do?
  • Real Talk (17/01/2014, 18:22) Like (6) Dislike (2) Reply
    for your information you need to check your history east end was the first
  • just do it (17/01/2014, 18:33) Like (3) Dislike (2) Reply
    Its gone already go with the flow
  • x ray (17/01/2014, 18:34) Like (6) Dislike (9) Reply
    People let's boycott
  • born here (17/01/2014, 19:39) Like (18) Dislike (17) Reply
    Look how a guy with no roots in the bvi now here messing with our culture good for you all! That what you get for voting for people who are not one of us
    • Elle (20/01/2014, 09:59) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
      Really? "not one of us?" Are BVIslanders a different species?
    • Total Recall (21/01/2014, 09:42) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      A few years ago Mr. Ralph O’Neal said East End Festival was a waste of time and money. I recall him speaking about sending people back to work on the Wednesday and he was seriously looking in to it.
      Everybody knows something has to be done about it. Someone made a bold move to do something about it.
  • .... (18/01/2014, 07:35) Like (6) Dislike (4) Reply
    This is an excellent decision. Been saying it for years. Only thing I would have done differently was take the 5 days from Town.
  • + (18/01/2014, 10:56) Like (10) Dislike (1) Reply
    Sounds reasonable to me. We are known to have one of the longest festivals in the Caribbean; but I'm not convinced that longer means better. Let's face it, festival is not what it used to be and I think one of the ways we waste money is by scraping to source entertainment in order to fill the spaces that can just be eliminated. Don't comment and complain someone is trying to ruin the festival. Be a contributor and a participant this year. We are who will make the festival historical, not the amount of days.
  • option (18/01/2014, 11:22) Like (2) Dislike (5) Reply
    I say keep the days cut east and west it will save alot more money real talk
  • CrucianDIVA (18/01/2014, 13:35) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Whattating
  • jtv (18/01/2014, 15:29) Like (7) Dislike (3) Reply
    Just cut the whole damm thing
  • Culture (18/01/2014, 16:43) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    I dont care about the cut back. I do know that alot of ppl look forward to carrot bay. Thats where you get the whole cultural vibe. And besides Aug Friday in carrot bay have alot of history. Just hope that it continues.
  • GoGo Girl (18/01/2014, 21:19) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    This is a great idea. Cut it back and make the celebrations more meaningful. This definitely has my support. Start the fundraisers from now and get the schools involved.
  • Party Animal (19/01/2014, 18:29) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ayo goin wait till the 60th to start cutting back? These people are sick in their heads. From way before they should have cut down on the international artists. Now they're struggling to pay the local bands. Nothing new. A wise man once told me common sense is a rare thing...clearly all has gone through the door
  • great (21/01/2014, 09:21) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Love the "business man's" suggestions, DJ clash, Cultural night, Brass-O-Rama. All very good ideas. I also agree that we do not need more than one international artist per night, instead of a parade of international artists, few good performances while the others just make noise.
    BTW. KASSAV is worth bringing back.
  • Yow!! (21/01/2014, 09:52) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Just don't cancel east end jouvert!!! Else......
  • cookie (21/01/2014, 10:58) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Great decision to cut it back. Let's get focused and recapture exactly what it is we are supposed to be celebrating. Things got out of hand long time ago. We cant pay the bills resulting from a long and drawn out celebration, and the party must still continue?? You all must be mad!
  • tom cat (21/01/2014, 12:28) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Here we go again witht NDP not taking the people into acount
  • please (21/01/2014, 12:48) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    As long as East End jouvert remains, I can care less about anything else.
  • SMH (22/01/2014, 08:11) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    To cut back, I think they should only have one jouvert for town ..... And like someone said before a BIG parade.
  • 41 (23/01/2014, 22:18) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    ha ha just notice the governement site has this stale news as breaking news dem late again


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