Barbados Jazz Festival 2011
We at Totally Barbados are feeling the blues upon hearing the announcement that the 2011 Barbados Jazz Festival has been cancelled due to the economic climate.
The Barbados Jazz Festival has been successfully running for 18 years and has nurtured local talent, whilst attracting thousands of tourists worldwide. It has showcased the likes of Chrisette Michele, Kenny G, Erykah Badu, Luther Vandross, Alicia Keys, Patti LaBelle and Anita Baker, whilst supporting The Barbados Jazz Academy (children’s workshops given by some of the most renowned jazz masters).
Consumer wealth has declined across the globe as a result of the economic crisis which is in turn affecting Barbados. The Barbados economy is based on tourism, banking and financial services. In order to protect Barbados’ economy, the recent financial statement and budget state that some taxes and user fees will increase. You can read more here:
However, the tourism marketing budget is set to increase from $10 million to $16 million, and a $20 million grant service for the refurbishment of small hotels has been promised which will be run by the Enterprise Growth Fund. In addition, the Government is planning to launch a Tourism Loan Guarantee facility, which will facilitate borrowing for working capital purposes.
The importance of tourism in Barbados and the contribution that The Barbados Jazz Festival has made was noted by Show producer, Gilbert Rowe of GMR International Tours Inc who revealed that:
“Our delay in making this announcement is rooted in the fact that we were exploring all possibilities which may have resulted in our being able to produce the festival for 2011 especially at this time when our nation requires all assistance possible with regards to tourism related events.
“The good news is that Gilbert and his team are working to bring the festival back in the future, which is music to our ears.”
“We look forward to finding the solutions which would return the festival to its rightful place among the best jazz festivals in the world and the premiere jazz festival of the Caribbean.”