Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
February 07, 2008
The St. Kitts Music Festival Committee is continuously exploring ways to boost private sector involvement and fan experience. Unoma Allen believes that the addition of two new attractions can achieve both.
During an SKNIS interview, Allen, who serves on the Media Relations Committee of the Music Festival, said that the recent organized visit to the Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival provided the inspiration for what she thinks can be a hit locally.
The first idea is the introduction of a secondary stage. This stage will be strategically positioned to draw the attention of fans during band changeovers. The showcase of local talent – which is one of the goals of the festival – on this stage, makes the prospect even more appealing.
“The intention is that those individuals get a chance to experience the Music Festival and hold the opportunity of actually transferring themselves on the bigger stage,” Ms. Allen said, noting that the added exposure will add to the confidence of the local groups and provide added scouting opportunities for visiting music industry officials.
“Do you know how wonderful it would be for a business to sponsor the secondary stage, brand the stage with their [product or service], do the talent auditions and book the acts,” she stated. “When people come to that stage between changes, they will not only be seeing great talent but they’re also seeing your brand.”
Another appealing aspect of the layout of the site was the inclusion of booths that were utilized by companies and clubs. Ms. Allen explained that a number of corporations paid top dollar to own and decorate their booths which are somewhat similar in design (but on a smaller scale) to the ones at the Frigate Bay “Strip.” The friendly rivalry between the groups was obvious as each company tried to out do the other with creative attractions in the bid for customers.
A local club used a booth to host decade-styled parties during stage changes at the Jamaican festival and Ms. Allen thinks that this will be an excellent addition here.
“They had a DJ on the outside, a bar on the inside and a little platform to dance on. They had free drinks, people were dancing and having a fantastic time,” she explained while adding that the music was kept at a controlled level so as to not compete with the secondary stage.
This idea seemingly paid off for the dance club as persons sought out the establishment after the show to continue partying.
“I would love to see that happening in St. Kitts [sometime soon] but it is dependant on the business community’s willingness to go out on a limb and try something new,” Allen stated.
The media relations committee member was accompanied by colleagues Allister Williams and Vincent Fough on the organized visit to the Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival. Pictures captured the many inventive features at the January 24 to 26 event and ideas will be presented to local stakeholders.
Ms. Allen encouraged local businesses to follow the lead of Government by sending representatives to various regional festivals to get a sense of the potential that can be tapped and implemented locally.