BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – THE Minister of Tourism, Hon. Richard Skerritt, who is also responsible for the St. Kitts Music Festival, said that for the past four years they have been able to reduce the entire cost of the festival.
Minister Skerritt made this announcement and several others at the Media and Corporate Partners Breakfast Press Conference held on Wednesday (May 9) at the Marriott Ballroom.
The Minister, who has been responsible for the festival since 2005, said they have made a lot of progress and have been able to reduce the entire cost of the festival from about EC$4 –EC$5M to EC$3.5M.
“We have been through financial challenges, but the good news is that the St. Kitts Music Festival is at its healthiest stage and we’ve not had to go back to government at any point in time to ask for more money. This is a significant achievement,” the minister said.
This has been achievable even though the support from the local, private sector has dropped significantly, the Minister informed.
He said there has been a decrease in cash and kind from sponsorship from the region of about $800 000 per year down to less than $400 000.
“And that brings us to why we’re here; to celebrate what we think is a great event and also to appeal to the private sector. Investment in the Music Festival is a good investment.
“That the support of the festival is good for the country, good for the people of St. Kitts and Nevis, good for destination marketed and good your business,” he said.
Skerritt appealed to those corporate citizens who had been sponsoring the festival over the years, but for some reason or another no longer do so, to return.
“And those who used to be involved and left for whatever reason, come back home, come back home, because the Music Festival is a good home for your investment dollars.”
He stressed that regardless of the politics in St. Kitts, residents have to appreciate the good things they have, and that one of those good things is the St. Kitts Music Festival.
The Minister said that for this year’s festival they are already expecting some 300-400 visitors from Guadeloupe and there would be several charted flights coming into St. Kitts from neighbouring islands.
“We have charters coming in from neighbouring islands including St. Lucia, St. Maarten and also a following form the UK, primarily because of Courtney Pine,” he said.
He said that despite the reduction from the private sector, they would stay on course because they feel that more and more private sector entities would understand that the Music Festival is in fact a useful investment.
This year the festival, which is celebrating its Sweet 16 Anniversary, will be held at the Warner Park football grounds from June 28-30.
Music Festival Lineup
Thursday: Spectrum Band, Krosfyah, Ali Dee, Nicha B, Masud Sadiki a.k.a. Stitch in Time, Shakki Starfire, Grand Masters Band and Machel Montano and Team HD.
Friday Night: Lovindeer, Eric Donaldson, Courtney Pine, Morgan Heritage, I-Octane, Popcaan and Damian Jr. Gong Marley.
Saturday Night: Bruce Skerrit and the Liamuiga Project, Roberta Flack, Omarion and Toni Braxton.