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Festival village booth owners counting their losses

- but said they undertook venture knowing the risks
Booth owners at Rita Francis Festiville have been counting their losses. Photo: VINO/File
Many have stated that the Virgin Islands Emancipation Festival has become too political under the watch of Culture Minister Hon Myron V. Walwyn. Photo: VINO/File
Many have stated that the Virgin Islands Emancipation Festival has become too political under the watch of Culture Minister Hon Myron V. Walwyn. Photo: VINO/File
A sparse crowd at Rita Francis Festiville on July 27, 2016. Photo: VINO/File
A sparse crowd at Rita Francis Festiville on July 27, 2016. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – “We can only say that we did it for the sake of country, despite a lot of us weren’t born here we did it for this country, the British Virgin Islands,” said one businesswoman who was a booth owner at Rita Francis Festiville in Road Town, Tortola.

The booth owner, who originally hails from St Vincent and the Grenadines, said when she opted to operate a booth in the festival village this year she had the gut feeling that it would not have been a profitable venture financially, judging from the many political and other noises that surrounded the celebrations this year.

“We were hearing so many things, the late kick off of planning, the late this and the late that, that no money for this and that, the old line up of international artistes, everything was on the table for me and I know I can speak for some others, to make a judgement call, but you know what, we see a loss right before our eyes but we did what we did for the sake of country,” said the booth owner.

According to the woman, there were a number of ‘born here’ who in previous years operated booths in the village but refused to come out this year because they were not prepared to lose a dollar. “So this is what hurts a lot when you hear people making comments about who is born here, from here, who is down island and island man. We are all contributing in a big way to the economy of the BVI and we all should see ourselves as equal.”

Losing venture but proud!

“Right now we are counting our losses but at the same time we are proud to say that we didn’t hold back on the BVI. We stepped forward because we recognise what it means for the country.”

Another woman, who said she was a helper in one of the booths, noted that she had an initial arrangement to work for a certain amount of money per night, however, after seeing the state of business as the nights progressed she did the humane thing. “Look, I told my boss just give me something that would cover my travelling expenses because my heart could not be so hard seeing she making a loss and me plucking her hard on the other side.”

Several other booth owners commented that they too incurred a loss this year and, while opting not to be quoted, underscored the fact that there needs to be early planning, serious restructuring of the conduct of festival for 2017 and, according to one man, “This thing is supposed to be all about EMANCIPATION and over the years I do not see anything that resembles EMANCIPATION, maybe only Limping Jack on the parade and the fisherman’s tournament in Carrot Bay.”

Many have stated that the Virgin Islands Emancipation Festival has become too political under the watch of Culture Minister Hon Myron V. Walwyn. This was further confirmed with the public spat between him and Opposition Leader Hon Julian Fraser RA (R3) on the official opening night of the celebrations.

33 Responses to “Festival village booth owners counting their losses”

  • ... (10/08/2016, 09:25) Like (18) Dislike (5) Reply
    As long as myron there expect this to contine
  • son of the soil (10/08/2016, 09:33) Like (18) Dislike (51) Reply
    Can a BVISLANDER get a booth in ST.VINCENT carnival village?
    • VINCI (10/08/2016, 10:55) Like (29) Dislike (5) Reply
      Of Course!!!! Once you do it legally. You can also get one in any country in the world again once you get the legal documents and no one will tell you you are not form here..once you do it legally
    • vincyman (10/08/2016, 11:17) Like (27) Dislike (1) Reply
      in st Vincent they dont have BOOTH the carnival committee/private promoters provide food and drink for there events...and for ur info private promoters FROM OTHER island CAN/DOES put on shows in VINCY MAS once they have the right paper works..
    • Examiner (10/08/2016, 12:04) Like (21) Dislike (7) Reply
      son of the soil, you for one need not celebrate emancipation. Your mind is still in bondage( slavery to Bigotry).
    • ginger (10/08/2016, 14:30) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
      yes they sure can they can even set up in more than one places if they like also because in Svg they dont worry about who from here and who not so long as you doing it legally. instead we give opportunityto everyone who can contribute POSITIVELY to the development of country thats why carnival there is very successful and noted as one of THE HOTTEST CARNIVAL IN THE CARIBBEAN.
      • Trini gyul (13/08/2016, 00:35) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
        Well same as my country ... Actually the only place I have seen such BS bout who born here ..I born here .. Down islander ..down island man is here I think those phrases are getting little old now though ...most caribbean welcome and loves another country taking part in carnival even visiting to make it bigger as we say in Trini d more d merrier !
  • sore eye (10/08/2016, 09:35) Like (13) Dislike (3) Reply
    VINO please stop campaigning for Walwyn because i am sick and fed up of seeing him daily on this site.
  • bob marley (10/08/2016, 09:37) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
    "don't jump in the water if you cant swim"
  • Yea yea yeaaaaa (10/08/2016, 09:38) Like (30) Dislike (3) Reply
    Every single year they say the same damn thing and every single year they're back in there! In their minds, losses means "I wanted to make $20K profit but I only made $12K profit.." How about sell something different apart from what ALL other booths are selling? You have events with a few thousand people and over 20 different bars selling the same food and drinks, profit? Really? I saw about 3 booths doing real advertising on social media and elsewhere and I'm sure they came off alright. If festival village was such a loss we won't have people clamoring every year for a spot.
  • The Resper (10/08/2016, 09:57) Like (4) Dislike (6) Reply
    Why U enter and U Know.. Your native people should have support U....Native people here support they Mrs IRS and Mrs Fahie..Thank U Very Much
    • @ The Resper (10/08/2016, 16:45) Like (19) Dislike (2) Reply
      No you dont support your own!!! Why when Vibes and Showtime and all the other local bands are playing how come locals are not at the front crowding the stage showing love to the guys? Why every festival the majority of people in the village are expats? Why locals choose to go off island around festival time? Why CCT is not more 'successful?' Talking bout locals support....take a seat with that sh*t!!!! Locals only support each other 100% when it comes to pull down an island man!!!
  • Smoke n Fire. (10/08/2016, 12:06) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    All those booths make back the money spent for the spot and all the drinks and food they sell and buy. Some of these money gluts need to speak the truth. It an emancipation celebration. Lower prices of food and drinks and sell in volume and be contented but greed is a beast and the love of money well u know the rest ah dat.
  • look he (10/08/2016, 12:24) Like (12) Dislike (6) Reply
    look he black face and red eyes evil
    • please (10/08/2016, 14:29) Like (16) Dislike (0) Reply
      @look he, you almost made me choke on the guava tart I am eating with laugh. LOL.
  • rewrsdffds (10/08/2016, 12:27) Like (19) Dislike (1) Reply
    Look at it this way, put bk the festival the way it was like in 2001, full two weeks festival, let's say pay $3.00 per night, rides $2.00, reggea night, international Calypso night $20.00 and see how many more people will come from abroad and participate in the festival, but no $5.00 a ride for 1 child, $30.00 for reggea night and the greed goes on, that's why festival is being demolished slowly, nobody is taking part in groups like before, the vibes is not like before even there own virgin islanders is taking vacation to go to other countries at that time, it's sad.
    • Yessss (10/08/2016, 14:23) Like (15) Dislike (0) Reply
      @ok, so true. Why the hell you have to pay to get in the village. If admission was free, people would be swarming the village and vendors will make more money. Me and my family had our festival at home. We had a blowup pool in the back for the kids to play in the water and we cook bull foot soup, conch, mutton, peas and rice, potato salad, cole slaw etc.. We had a ball.
  • $$$$ (10/08/2016, 14:35) Like (12) Dislike (3) Reply
    @Ok, I just came back from Atlanta. I spend Carnival week school shopping in Atlanta for my kids. I did not want to waste money on a messed up/overpriced Carnival.
    • tola (11/08/2016, 08:34) Like (1) Dislike (4) Reply
      you should have stayed right up there in Atlanta supporting others ...and I bet you went through the St Thomas airport. ..>Go back and stay right up there....
      • $$$$ (12/08/2016, 11:58) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
        @ Tola, learn how to mind your damn business. And FYI, if you looking news, I flew to Atlanta VIA Beef island VIA San Juan.You want to know where I stayed also? See, when you make assumptions you make yourself look like a donkey. Again, learn how to mind your damn business. You have a great day.
        P.S, stay out of people business.
  • Lord O.. Check this. (10/08/2016, 14:47) Like (13) Dislike (1) Reply
    Why have 3 international reggae artists on Friday. Do one Sunday and one Tuesday, Why have three international Soca artists on Saturday, have one on Thursday, and one on Monday. Team them up with local Acts...Have Calypso Saturday with one International soca artists.. So by August Mondays we have a king and queen. One more thing the security closing the gates too quickly in the afternoon..U leave work want to go to the village for a drink and something to eat. 430. 5pm u can't get in. Don't understand why the gate can't start closing at 630 pm. Too much rules and control killing the thing. Then Charge $5.00 week days and $10.00 Weekend the numbers will increase so will the profit.
  • rewrsdffds (10/08/2016, 17:12) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    Bring back our festival here in the British virgin Islands, I am not form here but form my heart regardless how we downisland people so to speak go through alot here I must say I LOVE TORTOLA, my best years here for festival were between 2001 to 2006 bring bk the real festival please, I rather be here for summer than go away because it hurts to here how I miss out this and that, stop this greed for money, give it and you will get more, which means charge less at the gate and for rides and you will see people will be here like rice.
  • humbly (10/08/2016, 23:59) Like (2) Dislike (2) Reply
    i think we slowly losing our culture,festival was way more traditional and pure and the food was so changed.
  • smokey (11/08/2016, 00:14) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Stones had his usual "booth" selling the very same things that he sells every year and made money as usual, so maybe it's what the booth owners selling?
  • tbh (11/08/2016, 01:41) Like (4) Dislike (1) Reply
    You cannot expect people to pay $30 especially when they have family thats more than $30
    You cannot expect people to pay $30 and then come in the village and have rides for $5+, drinks for $6/$7, food for $10+ REALLY? and up to the little children yall charging $30 seriously and lastly WHY CHARGE FOR LAST LAP last lap needs to be free its end so everyone can come out
  • old (11/08/2016, 08:52) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Ndp is a mess to the Bvi the kill every thing
    • ok (11/08/2016, 13:55) Like (1) Dislike (1) Reply
  • CGC (11/08/2016, 13:53) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
  • limit (16/08/2016, 08:41) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    if its not bout the young generation nothing will not work , they run tings all over da wol

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