Four days into CARIFESTA XIII and the organizers were forced to go back to the drawing board following reports of low turnouts at some events and the cancellation and rescheduling of many others.

A new strategy has been put in place for the remainder of the regional culture and arts festival which concludes on Sunday.

Today, at a media update, Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley and Festival Director Andrea Wells reported that some of the problems had been fixed and there was a new plan to attract more locals and visitors to the events.

“We have opened up the Grand Market to encourage greater participation. We have done that after we toured the Grand Market and interacted with exhibitors and seen the rich array of things on offer at LESC (Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre). Those from overseas don’t want to take back anything with them. I felt that it was necessary to move any fee being charged and encourage Barbadians to go out,” Lashley said.

He added, “Friday and Saturday will be Grand Market sale day. We have encouraged the exhibitors to give as big a sale as possible, especially because they aren’t charged any taxes on the proceeds. We see this as an opportunity for Barbadians to take advantage of the Grand Market and I believe a whole variety of items will be on sale. And I know from interacting from exhibitors, they are anxious to offer sales and we are hoping that Barbadians and visitors will go the Grand Market and take advantage of these offers.”

The Culture Minister said since they have now opened up the Grand Market, a refund policy has been put in place for those who would have purchased advance tickets.

“We are dealing with a very intensified festival with over 500 events. So from time to time, some events will need to be rescheduled or cancelled. Therefore, a refund policy has been put in place. Persons who fall in that category are encouraged to call the CARIFESTA office,” he added.

With regard to the low attendance at some events, Lashley said they have changed some of the times to allow for working people to be able to attend.

“(We) had some cases of low attendance. That was mainly at some of the decentralized locations like Foundation, Lester Vaughn and Alexandra. What we have done to address that is start the events a bit later. We did as a strategic move to have events at various locations and what we need to do is provide further information on this,” Lashley said.

“I think we have to recognize that many of the events are held during the day when most people are at work. That’s why we have moved the start time from 4 to 6. The nature of CARIFESTA still requires that from time to time some changes will still need to be made. We have done some tweaking to the marketing strategy.”.

However, Lashley stressed that there had been many highs and successes of CARIFESTA thus far.  “The signal events have been very well attended and received. We have had great attendance at the art exhibitions and have been well received. The youth village, I want to compliment the young people for answering the call at the youth village. The Bay Street Esplanade location has been well attended and almost all the delegations want to have events there,” he said.

Lashley took the time to encourage all to come out and see all that was on offer. “Come out and experience what I describe as a festival that celebrates the true spirit of Caribbean culture. And I want to compliment all the delegations that are in Barbados. CARIFESTA cannot be successful without all the countries present. The fact that we have 27 countries here and on the ground speaks to the true CARIFESTA spirit and as host country we cannot be more proud that they are in Barbados.”

Source: by Davandra Babb

3 Responses to New CARIFESTA plan

  1. kathy-Ann Clarke August 24, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    There probaly may be too many activities in a day.
    Just my thought on it.
    It’s great that the Grand market is free also !

  2. Peter Lowe
    Peter Lowe August 24, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    Who does plan these things tho? crop over just finish and before de cat could lick it ears they putting on another big event…people are thinking about back to school. Barbados should have never take on that event at this time especially with the state of de economy….just waisting money to look good.

  3. William August 24, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    Well, I am not supprised. After being burdened with those high taxes, where do you think we can find the money to spend on art etc;
    Most of us have to think about keeping the car running, paying utility bills, buying food and of course those very high university fees.


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