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SURVEY: Majority of residents against 2018 VG Easter Fest

A scene from the Easter parade on Virgin Gorda during a previous staging of the event.

A majority of residents in the British Virgin Islands believe the annual Virgin Gorda Easter Festival should be scrapped this year.

This is the finding of a BVI News survey conducted on the islands of Tortola and Virgin Gorda from February 13 to 16 on 162 respondents.

The survey was commissioned after government’s recent announcement that it was spending the usual $100,000 to put on the event from March 31 to April 2 this year.

Sixty-three percent of respondents said they did not support the government’s decision.

The other 37 percent respondents wanted the event to be held.

Reasons for answers

More than 35 percent of respondents said hosting the festival this year is a waste of money.

They said the money could be better spent assisting affected residents and/or rebuilding infrastructure damaged during the hurricanes.

On the other hand, more than 18 percent respondents said the Easter Festival is part of the BVI’s culture and needs to continue despite the hurricanes.

Another 10 percent believe hosting the festival will help boost tourism and, by extension, the economy.

However, 14 percent of respondents said the government should be focusing on recovery this year and not the annual jubilee.

Wrong message

Five percent believe that hosting the event this year sends a wrong message to the international community.

They believe the BVI should not be hosting Easter Fest while soliciting donations and assistance to rebuild the territory.

On the contrary, three percent of residents said hosting Easter Fest will send a global message that BVI is resilient and truly ‘open for business’.

The survey also found that 0.6 percent of respondents believe residents are no longer feeling the after-effects of the September 2017 hurricanes so government should continue with its plans to host the festival.

Culture Minister Myron Walwyn said this month that he has no intention of cancelling the event ‘unless the people of Virgin Gorda decide that they do not want Easter Festival celebrations’.

A total of 51 persons from Virgin Gorda participated in the survey.

Sixty-four percent of respondents on that island do not support the festival.

Copyright 2018 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

30 Comments

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  1. bvi weak says:

    He just looking votes cancel the event please

  2. BS says:

    I don’t care one way or the other, but the sample size was too small to get a true reflection of the public’s feelings on this. NDP Government really believe we are stupid.

    • Sampling says:

      And, given Tortola’s general disdain for sister islands, it seems to me the sampling is biased. What proportion of Tortolians were against vs the proportion of Virgin Gorda?

  3. WoW says:

    They need to take that money to help build back the country ,it seems like people don’t know what a catastrophe we just went through some still homeless no jobs etc, to much of wasted money for sh*t. Maybe they can keep one show so people can make a little money yes, but not that heaping set of money put it to good use. They cant see God is talking to us and we not listening make it worse its around the time we celebrating his death come on cancel that s*&t listen to the majority of the people.

  4. Eagle eye says:

    Festival in the dark? Spend the money and light up the place first

  5. BeeVeeEye says:

    I find it amazing that of 162 surveyed, only 51 persons of our population of 3,000 on VG, were “invited” to participate in the survey that affects THEIR Easter Festival. We are in a mess over here and I’m sure that $100K could certainly benefit our rebuild efforts….let’s start with Lee Road!!!!

  6. Thoughtful Sailor says:

    Hmmmm. The highly touted Recovery Plan states that marine tourism amounts to 25% of BVI employment. It also designates, out of $750 million, a paltry $100,000 (!) to the recovery of the hugely damaged marine tourism sector….and now wants to spend an equal amount on the VG Festival. Just think, it could have DOUBLED the allocation for the marine sector, instead. Wow!

    • Mr. Hodge says:

      The marine sector may make up 25% of the employment but the impression it has on the economy is more far reaching considering that customs, immigration, ferries, taxis, hotels, supermarkets, restaurants… especially the outer islands, cruising and national parks permits, fishing licenses, charter companies, marinas, boat yards, laundry facilities all depend on a robust charter industry.

  7. VG Tolian says:

    As far as I am concern ALL festivals this year needs to be cancelled. Some looking at revenue but for who?? There isnt much accomadations and electricity on Tortola nor VG. Where are the street lights etc, roads are in a mess jus to name a few. I beg the govt take their head out their A$$ and lets get the place fix.

  8. Saddened from afar says:

    I say cancel it, just because for lack of originality. Alright now, don’t everyone boo me at the same time LOL! Majority of Carnival entries in the parades thorough out the Caribbean has become a cookie cutter assembly line, same silly ass skimpy costumes but just different in colors. Where is the originality in that? Since originality does not prevail and there are more pressing issues, CANCEL IT!!!

  9. Pond apple says:

    If the people of Virgin Gorda vote against the festival, then maybe it should be canceled. On the other hand $100,000.00 is not a big amount. Sometimes people need a little time to celebrate, consider the fact no one was killed during this horrendous hurricane season and enjoy the festivities and thank god for life. You are a strong people do not give up.

    • Carbon life form says:

      @ pond Apple – $100 k not much you say? When ppl have lost jobs, damaged homes, families displaced etc. I find it insensitive that you make that comment. Look the damn fire station is a mess – schools are sh!te and the laundry list can go on. Yeah a ‘stress relief’ would be great – but at what opportunity cost(s)? Maybe you can come up off of your spare change ($100k) and throw a concert/fete for free for all.

      • Pond apple says:

        I’m sorry it was not my intention to think that $100,000.00
        Was small change when many people are in dire need, of course there are more important things needed, however I do think that the people of VG vote on this issue, and maybe use this money to help the most needy.
        My sincere apologies, if you felt it was insensitive, it was not how I wanted this to come out.

  10. Retired says:

    A better decision would be allocate the $100k to repairing/rebuilding the VG infrastructure. The Easter Festival should proceed from 31 March to 2 April(3 days or $33.3K/day)) without the $100K from the BVI government.

  11. Gumption. Official says:

    It’s best not to listen to the people. It’s not Wize for us to do so now. Fun wize or business wize. That money can fix our leeward road etc.

  12. XYZ says:

    Go to church and pray

  13. Diplomat says:

    The optics is poor! The VI has a kerosene pan out to the local and international communities begging/pleading for help. Yet it is splurging $100K+ on an Easter Festival. The devastation by Hurricanes Irma and Maria and the recovery needs dictate effective governance, smart choices and good stewardship of scarce resources.

    Some are making the case that the show should go on to boost tourism. However, the world recognizes VG as a top small destination, ie, the Baths is a wonder……….etc. The world also knows that VG and the rest of territory was decimated by Cat 5 Hurricanes Irma and Maria and it will take time and resources to get attractions up and operating at a safe, high quality standards.

    Moreover, will forging ahead with the VG Easter Festival cast doubt on the territory’s priorities and seriiudness? Will the international communities and agencies take the VI seriously? Will moving bud speed ahead with the jump up, the bacchanal cause the donor agencies, lending institutions…….etc to take pause? Did not a historic flood on 07 August 2017 cancelled the annual Emancipation Festival?

    Did Virgin Islanders understand and got on with their lives? Is politics being played with the VG Easter Festival, ie, politician refusing to cancel it unless VG residents agree to cancel it? WTF! Is this strong leadership or pure politics? All politics is local quipped Thomas “Tip” O’Neill, former speaker of US House of Rep.

    What is the Premier’s take on the Festival? Why does the Premier seems to outsource so many leadership issues? Is this too much delegating? Let’s not slaughter forward progress on the altar of a likle wuk up! In this time of crisis, strong, take charge and forceful leadership.

    This is not the time for participative leadership; it is a time for bold, no nonsense and strong leadership. It is time for a Mandela, Joseph, Eugenia Charles, Barack, Churchill, MLK, FDR, Harriet. ……to step out and forward. What a great opportunity to lead, make a difference and leave a lasting legacy.

    • Disinterested says:

      “Let’s not slaughter forward progress on the altar of a likle wuk up.” Lol! “This is not the time for participative leadership; it is a time for bold, no nonsense and strong leadership.” Bravo…….Zulu!

  14. BVI TO THE BONE says:

    Don’t waste the money of no festival please. Fix some roofs and roads. Let the community celebrate giving Thanks to God for his goodness towards us. Pack a picnic bag and go to the beach or better yet help some body. If they don’t need the money to fix up there are lots of roof in Tortola need fixing. Drive through East End spend the money there. People need help all over.

  15. Fool says:

    This is my vote hell noooooooo

  16. VG says:

    162 of the entire population??? Really??? We are talking about jobs? Easter Festival is a major economic booster for VG. While we may not have all of the accommodations we NEED to have festival. So many people including the 9th district Rep DID NOT want BVI Lobster Festival to happen in Anegada. IT was the biggest one ever. While I understand that we need to recover FESTIVAL is a BIG PART of our recovery. WHO was interviewed??? VIRGIN GORDIANS?? EXPATS??? VISITORS??? Where is our proof that who you interviewed knows ANTHING about the BVI and VG FESTIVAL?? We need to understand what makes VG tick. I guess we should cancel BVI Spring Regatta, Jazz at the Pier Park, Christmas in July, BVI Emancipation Festival and every other event the government sponsors solely or in part. Mr. Minister we NEED to explain to persons in simple terms what these events do for the economy. The same persons that don’t have jobs will get work. The island will come alive and grow as a result. I know persons may not agree but we NEED TO BE REALISTIC!!!!

    • VG Tolian says:

      Please note the Anegadians put on Lobsterfest not the government. The bvitb only helps to market the event. No big $100,000 or waever funds it is puts on that event. All entertainment is paid by the individual establishments. Do not compare Lobsterfest to Easter Festival.

  17. Well Sah says:

    This story along with this hoax survey was fabricated. 162 people can NEVER reflect the views of neither Virgin Gorda nor the Territory. All this is is a story to gain readership and sound the alarm button. In the end, the whole long and short is had the district rep and the government done a better job, or any job whatsoever, in helping the people post Irma we may be having this debate. SMH.

  18. Concern says:

    For those voting to cancel VG festival, is that fair to say you are also voting to cancel Tortola own come August?

  19. Another VG @ VG says:

    Please explain to us the second to last sentence. The persons out of jobs will get jobs? where and when? the island will come alive? the spirit of the island is the people. The people are staying alive as it is busy trying to get their homes, businesses and properties in good standing before the next hurricane season in a few months which everyday we are hearing its going to be a more active season. Where do you live? VG as in Virgin Gorda or VG as in Venezuela Gulf? Not having a wuk up celebration this year will not take away from the culture nor heritage of VG or BVI as a whole. When our tourism product is completely rebuilt and rebranded with the new, stronger, greener resorts, hotels, yacht clubs, Quality Customer Service, etc Homes rebuilt, businesses restored, new job creation, stressfree families, Then and only Then the island can boast of being alive. For now, we are barely Surviving. We need to be Thriving.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

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