In an attempt to give some answers, Tourism Minister Lindsay Grant said that the St. Kitts Music Festival generates in the region EC $2.5 million over its three-day period annually, and gate receipts for the three-night affair is said to be around EC$800,000.
Speaking at a press conference on April 23 to promote the country’s largest musical gathering, which takes place the last weekend in June, Grant hailed the festival as a “world class musical product…that satisfies the musical tastes of all patrons.”
“The festival continues to attract a following from within the region and also from the continent,” Grant said. “Our goal going forward is to set higher standards of excellence and attract an even larger following.”
The recently appointed tourism minister said that having done a “serious analysis” of the St. Kitts Music Festival, it has the “potential to increase the length of stay-over visits, increase visitor expenditure, improve destination awareness, increase civic pride, and community solidarity.”
While quick to point out the positive economic impact that the music festival has had, Grant said that there are several challenges to hosting the premier event such as “the increase in travel fares and high performance and production fees.”
He hailed the festival as a “magnet in our tourism industry” and an “impressive and expressive way to elevate Kittitian and Nevisian culture and tradition.”
According to Grant, the festival “provides a platform for the development of new and upcoming local musicians and artists, as well as the enhancement of skills through organized workshops facilitated by renowned visiting artists, musicians, composers and producers.”
Over 18 years, the festival has seen 114 local acts, 148 regional acts and 120 international acts, according to organizers of the event.
The festival, which takes place this year from June 25-27, has a line-up of several artistes that have been contracted for the big event. Others will be announced at a future date
The artistes include Roy Cape from Roy Cape All Stars out of Trinidad, Soca Monarch Ricardo Drew from Antigua, Kirwin DuBois, Patrice Roberts, Christopher Martin and Bounty Killer among others from the French and Spanish-speaking Caribbean.