BVI News

Deputy Premier disagrees with Music Fest

Deputy Premier and Labour Minister Lorna Smith

Deputy Premier Lorna Smith is the latest elected leader to speak out against the upcoming Music Fest, which the Dr Natalio Wheatley administration is getting ready to host amid widespread criticism.

Some have dubbed Premier Wheatley a “party Premier”, saying his focus on entertainment festivals is misplaced. In an interview with ZBVI Radio on Tuesday, Smith said she doesn’t support everything the Premier does and expects receipts of expenditure and expected profits for the Music Fest.

“I support the government’s agenda but I don’t think that the Premier expects me to agree with everything he does,” Smith said. “I expect that the Premier will give a full account of the cost, the anticipated revenues and why the Music Fest is being afforded such a high priority.”

It’s unclear whether Smith – the Minister for Financial Services, Labour and Trade – has already lodged her disagreement with Premier Wheatley and the rest of the government.

However, she may find favour with a growing section of the community that believes much-needed funds are being wasted on the Music Fest event. Public figures such as Cindy Rosan and Bishop John Cline have called for people to boycott the event. Territorial At-Large Representative Stacy ‘Budda’ Mather hasn’t joined the call for a public boycott but said he won’t be attending.

There have been numerous calls for the government to prioritise infrastructural upgrades such as those related to roads, water, electricity, and port facilities as well as problems in health and education. Residents, elected leaders and tourism stakeholders have warned that infrastructure breakdowns will soon have a negative impact on the tourism product, which many depend on for survival.

Despite the dissenting voices, the Premier continues to maintain that entertainment events will provide the revenue needed to address the infrastructure woes in the territory. 

Premier Wheatley also received similar backlash last year, when he hosted the Non-Stop Concert in honour of the resumption of direct flights to the BVI.

However, that event was well-supported by the community.


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  1. Lost says:

    I support the government’s agenda. So why you di not run on the VIP ticket

    Like 14
    Dislike 13
  2. Really! says:

    These festivals don’t even bring in much tourism

    Like 35
    Dislike 2
  3. Good for Lorna says:

    The festival is a waste of money and a distraction. Better drainage is needed now – the pictures of flooded Road Town have damaged our tourist reputation and a music festival won’t fix the issue.

    Like 45
    Dislike 1
    • Wuave together says:

      Luarna in the Corna trying to distinguish herself from the group she jump the isle to join up? It’s because of her that we have this administration.

      It’s like she wearing a 60lbs gold chain with a 30 lbs pendant with the words: VIP For Life.

      Whilst she trying to say that she have a different perspective on its leader’s position. She is the dumb one if she think she can pull a rope a dope and say she have a different view

      Like 11
      Dislike 2
  4. Ducking for cover we don’t blame her says:

    Blatantly siphoning off government funds which again will remain unaccounted for unaudited , a cynical attempt to grab the cash before the electorate or the UK punt him to the sideline.

    Like 31
  5. Powerhungry says:

    First cracks begin to appear in government so prepare for political earthquake to come, Mr Premier

    Like 22
  6. Guest says:

    I feel an earthquake loading….
    With the exception of Karl Dawson, Luce Hodge Smith and Stacey Mather, all the other current elected members have held ministerial portfolios in the past. With only 5 ministerial posts to share the aftershocks will be more traumatic and devastating than the earthquake itself.

    Like 16
  7. What? says:

    Governments shouldn’t run music festivals. Find qualified private sector entities and support them. IU believe there is a competing music festival. Why not just support them? The real issue- and this is prob the issue LS has- is this gov’t can’t seem to get its priorities right. here we are planning this and our guts overflow because they are uncleaned and further damage our deplorable roads. And we still burning garbage!

    Like 21
  8. Styles. says:

    So wait….

    The premier can organise and assign government funds when he doesn’t have a majority of the HoA behind him?

    So he really is trying to be a dictator.

    BVI = fake democracy

    Like 21
  9. Power Ball says:

    The power ball hit in Miami Shores and a VIslander won it.

  10. LoernaInDeCorner says:

    Good to hear that Deputy premier but unfortynately you created this mess. You migh be the only one with some competence riding in this ship of clowns but Captain, oh Captain the ship sinking. the country ccan’t take 3 more years of this, now planning to spend 3/4 million $ on a music fest while the infrastructure gone to hell (with people in yesterdays flooding wading through raw sewerage. Help granny!

    Like 14
  11. Big Dix says:

    So Luarna in the Corna get some D3 vitamin, get up from her nap and decide to talk up. Well Sah!

    Like 10
    Dislike 2
  12. Spirit says:

    Ferry Service.
    Should be higher priority than parties.

    Like 15
    • VG Needs Hep too says:

      Exactly. Subsidize and airline or a the same bank to give scheduled flights from PR and 5 days of financial service. Both of which would cost farrrr less per year than an 3 day festival that will barely make $30k in ticket and drink sales. Who’s advising these jokers?

      I guess that is what we get for putting a history teacher to run a $500m budget.

  13. ITS OBVIOUS NOW says:


  14. Fundamental Sin. says:

    Increments paid.

    Cost of living adjustments via social security and pension should be number one and two priorities, especially for seniors, retirees and oldpeople without no income worthy of the name.

    The disadvantage and lack of compassion by this Wheatley led government is astounding.
    It is completely devoid of compassion, empathy and good will for the people.

    Their old age suffering will not be pleasant to behold, neither will they escape the karma they have and continue to create.

    Eating from the table and not sharing is a fundamental sin that never go unpaid.

  15. A Capitalist Who Loves the BVI says:

    What do you expect from a government that has a “Festival and Fairs Committee?” This evidences an embedded “let’s party” mindset and not the ethos of a serious government.

  16. Herbs power says:

    Only one has to cross the floor and the change is on.

  17. Eyesontheprize says:

    This minister is undermining her caucus and setting the government up fo a no vote of confidence. Sack her and put on on the back bench Premier. Let her have some respect or go work with Julian, and the others she couldn’t bring herself to form a government with for the want of power.

    Like 2
    Dislike 2
  18. Redstorm says:

    Look how far we have move away from the Lord.

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