Vendors will be prohibited from operating outside the Road Town Festival Grounds or its surrounding areas on June 14 and 15 for the Buju Banton’s Long Walk to Freedom concert.
City Manager Janice Brathwaite-Edwards said the decision was collectively made by several institutions including the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force.
“We’ve never experienced anything like this – 8,000 people inside festival grounds. From a National Security standpoint, we have to ensure that our visitors are protected and residents are protected,” the City Manager explained.
She further said: “We don’t have sufficient area to turn around to encourage people to vend outside of the compound. The show is one entry, once you’re in, you’re in. It’s not a situation where you can go in and come out, so the vending that they have allowed is inside the compound.”
The City Manager however said persons who already possess the necessary documentation to vend will be allowed to do so once it is not infringing the restricted area.
“It is not that we don’t want to let people do business but we can’t afford to. If something happens outside the grounds, then technically we will be responsible,” she said.
“If there is a street vendor that is already in his/her location, we are not preventing them from vending. We’re just preventing vending from along the streets, on the highway stretch of the venue. For instance, there are people who vend on a normal basis in the city who have permission from us to vend. That’s ok. But, anybody else trying to vend, we are not granting any permissions and we are not granting any temporary trade licenses for these events.”
The Buju Banton ‘Long Walk to Freedom’ show is expected to generate close to half-million dollars in revenue for the BVI.
Reports from tourism officials are that most accommodations are fully booked ahead of the June 15 event.