ROSEAU, Dominica - DOMINICANS were left smiling and wanting more from the King of Soca - Machel Montano - who sang and danced his way into the hearts of patrons as the curtains came down on what is being described as one of the most successful and entertaining World Creole Music Festival.
The three-night extravagaza lived up to its promotion as all of the genres - Afrobeat, Reggae and Soca - fused into the Creole nature of the mega event.
Headlining the Festival was the Trinidadian songster. who turned back the hands of time to electrify the venue with his most popular hits.
He mixed the Creole with his dynamic hits, belting out his fans favorites and matching them with recently-recorded songs, one after the other.
Entering the stage as the final performer in the wee hours of Monday (Oct. 30), Montano left no stone unturned as patrons were unfazed by the weather, as the younger generation and Dominicans would say, it was a ‘wet fete’.
Montano’s near two-hour performance was full of energy and ‘vibes’, and though he stole the show on the final night of the event, he was preceded by the popular Creole artistes and bands, all of which were equally energetic and entertaining.
The Festival is built around a number of other fringe events across the vast expanse of the island, and this year continued the tradition of partying on Saturday evenings into the midmorning hours of Sunday.
Dominicans then hit the waterfront for another party before returning for the final night’s party.
The 23rd edition of the WCMF featured legends of yesteryear and they entertained the crowds that seemed energised, as they slowly waltzed in some instances and gyrated in others.
Discover Dominica Authority (Tourism) utilized the Festival as a means of drawing tourists to the island for the extravaganza, while showcasing the warm culture and hospitality of its people who are very welcoming.
For this year’s Festival, the organizers were expecting to surpass the numbers of visitors of last year, which were well over 7,000, according to the Director of Tourism and the World Creole Music Festival, Colin Piper.
“That is about 10 percent of your annual arrival that happens within the span of a week or a week and a half. So, you can imagine the activity on the island from that many people,” Piper told SKNVibes.
The event generates significant revenue for entrepreneurs ahead of the start of the busy cruise season, and, according to the Director, that is a welcomed boost for local businesses.
“The economic impact was huge,” Piper said while reflecting on the 2022 numbers.
Dominica’s Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit noted that the Festival is a huge revenue earner for the country, including bringing critical foreign currency to the territory. It is for that reason the island’s Government continues to invest heavily into the event.
Piper told reporters at a press conference that the Government has made a profit from the event and would continue to throw its weight behind the event.
Writer’s note: Once you can get through the hassle of intraregional travel, the World Creole Music Festival is the place to be in late October. The event provides a unique atmosphere when compared with others, including the St. Kitts Music Festival. Unlike most others across the region, Dominica infuses its French Creole culture into the event, while drawing the culturally enthusiastic people who bring the atmosphere together.