BVI News

Fewer booths at festival village this year, Gospel Fest tonight

Booths being constructed at the festival village in Road Town.

Patrons planning to attend the annual emancipation celebrations this year are being told to expect fewer food and beverage options at the festival village in Road Town.

Vice Chair of the VI Festivals and Fairs Committee (VIFFC) Xayrna Samuels told BVI News there are at least five fewer booths this year.

“We have a total of 17 booths, 15 of which are sale booths. The other two will be for the [VIFF] committee and the other one is for the police,” she said.

“The numbers have gone down [this year]. We would normally have 23 or 24 booths.”

Samuels said there are reasons behind the reduced numbers.

“We as booth owners had lost a lot during the hurricanes and are trying to rebuild not only their homes but their finances.”

She said many of the booth owners would recycle their building materials. However, due to the hurricanes, it was destroyed.

“A lot of them really couldn’t put their selves in the expense of getting new materials for this year,” she continued.

“And the number of days has cut down as compared to the two weeks, so some persons didn’t see the need to come in for a period of seven days.”

She further said all of the booth owners who will be in operation this year are those who have been on the grounds religiously year after year.

Different layout

Samuels also mentioned changes to the usual layout inside the festival village this year.

Samuels said in order to accommodate the fewer number of booths, the VIFFC decided to ‘try something new’.

The stage is no longer positioned in a central location, but it is now located towards the back near the mangroves.

Notably, the amusement rides will be available for the festival, she said.

Importantly, vendors will only be charged $500 to set up booths at the festival village this year. The figure represents a 50 percent reduction when compared to previous years.

The festival village officially opens on Friday, August 3.

Due to the lingering impacts of the 2017 hurricanes this year’s festivities have been significantly scaled back.

Gospel Fest

Several gospel artistes are down to perform at gospel festival scheduled for Thursday night.

Among the artistes are Gabrielle Denae, High-Frequency Band VI, New Level Praise, Joy Praise, Oneyke, Chiomzy and Kendra Penn.

The event begins at 7pm and there is no admission fee.

The Virgin Islands Heritage Month Committee is presenting the gospel fest this year.

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  1. The hill says:

    There was absolutely no consideration given to the many persons living on the surrounding hills. Noise, Noise, Noise.

    Like 18
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  2. Decos says:

    I am not seen any flags or decos in town to bring us at least a little bit into festival spirit

    Like 13
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  3. Wow says:

    Shouldn’t of have festival period point blanket!!

    Like 19
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    • hmm says:

      exactly. How fast they building wooden structures for drinking but some old shipping container as a ferry dock. So bad.

      Like 14
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  4. Brad Boynes says:

    @Wow. Put a sox in your mouth and go back under your rock for heaven sake.

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  5. ndp heckler says:

    Why not half price at the gate too?

  6. Shoddy says:

    The Festival will not cover its costs this year, just like every year. The ticket price is too high for what you get. Festival and Parade could be a massive tourist draw if some more thought was put into it. Better scheduling, better booths, better food (sorry but the food isnt great and there isnt any variety).

    A little creativity would be great: story-telling of folk-lore of the islands for kids; literature festival of Caribbean artists with book readings and interviews; international art prize & exhibition for art of the Caribbean/BVI; cook-out competition for best funghi, fry-fish; demonstration of local traditional craft skills (hat-making, basket-weaving);car-show etc etc. There is a way to make us celebrate the past and the current culture of the BVI, we dont just need to do the same thing we did last year, and the year before last.

    How about hosting in the lot by the Pier Park so that people can enjoy that facility (and restrooms)? The Festival Village is one of the most unattractive places in the whole of these beautiful islands, those restrooms are gross.

    Participation in Festival is low: locals, expats, tourists. Hardly anyone takes part. Its because it just isn’t that good. People travel, people have tv, internet. Their expectations are much higher than in the old days.

    I support the spending of the money and the importance of celebrating the Emancipation but only if it is something where there is widespread participation and which acts as an economic driver more generally. Better to take that $750,000 and divide up that money to every child, woman and man who is a Belonger and let them spend it how they choose than carry on with the current program of events.

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    • Truth says:

      This thing doesn’t know what it is. When nonbelongers including tourist take part in numbers “dey taking over our culture” and when they don’t “dey not integrating in society and doing their bit for the community”. It’s never clear what is happening where and when other than the headline “music” acts. Then there’s always the split of those that say it is all about Dutty wine and not about emancipation while others argue the celebrations express our freedom. Either way, kids are exposed to sexually aggressive filth which they inherit or stay away. Big artists from abroad then it’s selling out on our own, no big artists from abroad and there’s not enough of a draw to get people out.

      The mood is rarely jouyous, inclusive or celebratory or reverent.

      Maybe rebuild a committee with a view to making sure the biggest event of the year is enjoyable, inclusive, culturally enriching and positive for BVI financially and spiritually.

      And remember, there is no emancipation without good education, schools and apprenticeships

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