Don’t blame Bim

Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley has sought to absolve Barbados of any blame in relation to criticisms from delegates to the 13th Caribbean Festival of Arts (CARIFESTA XIII) about the organization of the regional festival.

The first days were particularly problematic for delegates, many of whom complained about difficulty securing their passes and difficulty getting information on simple things like their booths at the Grand Market and Buyers’ Shopping Mall at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre (LESC).

Poor attendance was also a feature at a number of the events.

However, while admitting that several of the events had fallen victim to poor marketing, Lashley told Barbados TODAY the blame should be placed squarely at the feet of the participants who failed to get information to the organizers in a timely manner.

“We have to get information early to know what is the most suitable venue for a particular activity and  . . . we have to look at time management from the perspective of when that information gets to the host country. So Barbados certainly cannot be blamed for issues which arise as a result of information which come to us at the last minute. We needed information on the specific offerings of member states so that we could put together what they are bringing at various venues. This is not information that Barbados can manufacture,” Lashley said.

“We are talking about 27 countries from across the region and we have got to make a concerted effort as delegations to get information to host country in a timely manner and that would avoid some of the backlog that we are experiencing in terms of scheduling events.”

The minister contended that the hiccups were by no means unique to Barbados, with other host countries experiencing similar problems in the past.

“This has been a feature of CARIFESTA for many years and I am not making excuses for it, I am just telling you what the reality is,” he said.

Similar sentiments were expressed by Dawn Lisa Callender- Smith, who has represented Barbados at previous festivals.

“I am a former CARIFESTA delegate for Barbados and I have been to CARIFESTA in other islands and what’s happening in Barbados is not to different, you know. Some events are well attended and some are not so well attended because sometimes there are just so many things going on, and part of it is locals [must] get involved,” she said.

Guyanese Paulette Caesar was among those who complained about the arrangements.

Caesar, who said it cost her US$3,500 to participate in the ten-day event, and who is displaying her craft at grand market, spoke of being embarrassed when she attempted to attend the opening on Sunday because she had neither a ticket nor an accreditation pass.

“I was really embarrassed at the opening. To go through the gate they tell me I can’t pass through the gate because I don’t have this and I don’t have a ticket. Anyhow there was a Bajan girl sorry for me and gave me a ticket. That is how I pass through,” she explained.

Caesar, who shares a booth with another exhibitor, also told Barbados TODAY she was unable to enter the LESC to set up her booth after she arrived here on Sunday, again because she had no accreditation.

“The first night I go home my pressure raise because they were pushing me around I can’t come in the building. It was frustrating,” she said, adding that she had to re-register the following day before she was given accreditation.

“I paid my money from Guyana and couldn’t get to come into this place until today because I didn’t have this,” she added while pointing to the pass around her neck.

Guyana has over 100 delegates here for the festival, including 11 exhibitors at the LESC.

13 Responses to Don’t blame Bim

  1. Miche August 24, 2017 at 6:36 am

    I was listening to a group of artist and other concerned lovers of the arts while they discussed the whole carifesta thing,,, and one of the points that came out was that What happened ,is natural and expected when the host country doesn’t care for ,respect or treat their local artist well….What sayeth thou?

  2. hcalndre August 24, 2017 at 6:46 am

    Barbados is known for being very slow in getting important issues done on time so it should be no surprise that this happened to such an important event.

  3. Hermine Alleyne August 24, 2017 at 7:41 am

    When you have guest in your home you do everything to make they stay happy and enjoyable, to say it’s not your fault makes you a very poor host,and it shame our Country,please think before you speak but then again the lot of you suffer from foot and mouth syndrome.

  4. ks August 24, 2017 at 7:54 am

    What a joke….an embarrassment to Barbados as hosts! This Minister always can give us reasons for failure & acknowledges that is has happened in the past! If they knew, well before the event, this happened in the past, why in hell did they not plan for it ‘not to happen’ here in Barbados???

    Piss-poor planning & a half-hearted attempt re this event is the reason, Mr. Minister!! Another waste of scarce resources!

  5. Malcom King August 24, 2017 at 8:53 am

    The people that are running these events have their heads in the sand. People in Barbados are afraid to come out at night due to the shootings. Address that a lot of people are not coming to crop over Next Year. The government with all of its resources are acting like boy scouts vs hardened copycat US wannabe Gangs. There are many Expats Retired from NYPD that can teach them a lot about gang violence. “We doan wanna hear anything from dem”. Change the mindset that you know it all. Gangs must be hit hard. Do early morning lock down raids with combined Police and defense forces in the areas where these murderers live. No bail should ever be given for gun crimes. Get a new AG . Fire the comptroller of customs. They are not checking Barrels, Containers and fishing boats. Barbados either hit back hard or the island will be a wasteland. Gangs are now telling officials they know where their family live. That is a threat Send the serial numbers back to the US, DEA and ATF to stop their kith and kin from sending in the tools of death.

  6. John Everatt August 24, 2017 at 10:16 am

    This is true. There will be many who will not attend cropover functions next year because of the violence experienced this year. I for one will not go near Kadooment or any activities in that area.

  7. Kathy August 24, 2017 at 11:33 am

    If all of that is true then tell me something, Why do hundreds of people go to Q in the Community every week without fear?

  8. Vad50 August 24, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    It is unfortunate that decent people are going to allow the hooligans in Barbados stop them from enjoying the Cultural events in their country. The wannabe gangsters and thugs are just that. It is time for the government and people of Barbados to say no more; stand up and take your country back. Barbados law enforcement needs to follow the money trail, and locate those who are bringing the guns and drugs into the country. We do not have a gun factory in Barbados; therefore they have to come through our ports. Anywhere in the world, when illegal items gets pass the borders of countries, someone is on the take. Follow the money, arrest them and do not wait forever to have their trial. As far as I am concern, when Bajans are found guilty of drugs and gun crimes, put them in jail and throw away the key. Also, if they are found guilty of murder, whether they be Bajans or foreign nationals, just hang them. Why waste taxpayers’ money to feed and clothe them; and they can still carry on their nasty trade from inside the jail.

  9. Tony Waterman August 25, 2017 at 3:14 am

    This is the Same attitude exhibited, when Gun Crime was on the Rise in Barbados, well we are not to blame, and it is worse in other area Countries, now it is rampant here, This attitude that because it happens elsewhere we should not worry is downright silly, how about setting a good benchmark for others to follow, since we so often “Punch above our weight” or is it because we are now in the same weight class.????

    Come on Mr. Minister stupid utererences make you look. Well!!! Stupid. please Adimit to the Egg on your Face and clean it up.

  10. Troy August 25, 2017 at 5:55 am

    ” This has been a feature of CARIFESTA for many years and I am not making excuses for it, I am just telling you what the reality is,”
    Are you serious Mr. Lashley? We should have been more proactive as the host country to do everything within our power to ensure it doesn’t happen to Barbados. Indeed you are making excuses.

  11. hcalndre August 25, 2017 at 7:18 am

    The first that should go is the one that the deceased PM bent backward to have him as CJ., what ideas have he brought with him?

  12. Titch August 25, 2017 at 10:48 am

    Heard participants complaining about lack of internet service, WIFI not working, having to buy a service for the few days. Lack of respect and care towards the participants. Booth space reduced to fit in more yet everyone had the same items rammed into the same areas. Sad and embarrassing for Barbados.

  13. Samatha August 26, 2017 at 7:38 am

    I too have heard venders complaining at the market about how rude and uncaring Bajan officials were, lack of resources for the participants and the general disorganization of the whole event. As a Barbadian I would say, this is typical Barbados! We do everything half-ass, we have little training in customer relations or interpersonal skills and we are the first to blame everyone else but ourselves! What’s new? I have never been to a cultural show here where I’m thoroughly blown away by the quality of the show…EVER! Calypso tents, concerts, plays, cultural showcases always seem like they’re organized the night before with a $100 budget to fund everything! That’s just Barbados for you! Subpar in most things! We are so arrogant that we turn up our noses at the ‘low island people’ but I’ve been to these smaller islands and their customer service is hundreds of years ahead of us! Shame on our Minister for making excuses that ‘it’s happened before’! What? So that doesn’t justify why it is happening here now! Idiot! We should strive to avoid the other mistakes of the past, not repeat it!


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