Minister Skerritt promises Music Festival will remain affordable for all

Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 02, 2013 (SKNIS): The 17th annual edition of the St. Kitts Music Festival will remain affordable to allow the ordinary man and woman an opportunity to witness world class performances.

This commitment was made by the Minister of Tourism Honourable Richard Skerritt during a media launch and artiste roster release held at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort on Wednesday (May 01).

“It’s about trying to keep the event affordable and making sure that even persons who are earning minimum wage will have an opportunity to go to the event,” he stated. “… We want everybody to feel that the Music Festival is theirs. It is just how we do it in our Ministry and … [that] has always been the intention of the event by our Government.”

The value for money aspect of the St. Kitts Music Festival has traditionally garnered favourable ratings over the years. The price for the June 27 to 29 event remains at US $40.00 or EC $100.00 nightly. With confirmed participation from top musical acts including Shaggy, Beres Hammond, Bunji Garlin, Super Blue and Lionel Richie for the 2013 staging, this trend is likely to continue.

“There’s nowhere else in the world, where this year you can pay US $40.00 to see Lionel Richie,” Minister Skerritt added. “Lionel Richie will be attracting in any concert, in any year in the world, in excess of US $80.00 and those would be in markets where you’re going to have 15 to 20,000 people in the audience.”

Chairman of the St. Kitts Music Festival Committee Faron Lawrence explained that the cost of contracting artistes to appear at the show continues to rise. He cited R&B singer Chris Brown, who performed at the show in 2006, as an example.

“Five years ago we would have paid Chris Brown [approximately] US $50,000.00,” Mr. Lawrence revealed. “If you’re looking for Chris Brown today it’s like $400,000.00 and obviously the EC $100.00 that we charged five years ago … doesn’t cut it.”

Minister Skerritt emphasized that this point makes the contributions from the public and private sector even more vital and encouraged local fans to do their part.

“In St. Kitts, we have a saying that we like champagne but we only have mauby money,” the tourism Minister noted, referring to a popular inexpensive local drink. “… So if you like champagne and you only have mauby money, there is no better way to experience that added value than the St. Kitts Music Festival.”

The 17th St. Kitts Music Festival will be held at Warner Park. A host of popular local acts are also slated to appear including Carnival Road March Champions Small Axe Band, Dejour, Charles Emanuel, Kore Band, Dagah, Cayon Pantastics, Grand Masters Band and the NuVybes Band International.

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