The Barbados Reggae Festival and Fas7Star held their annual press launch, revealing some changes to the show along with quelling some concerns. A panel consisting of the FAS Promotions team, representatives from Magnum, Liat & the Barbados Tourism Management Inc. (BTMI), as well as Barbados based artist Buggy Nhkente, took turns discussing various aspects of the show.
One of the Directors of Fas7Star, Al Gilkes, cleared the air about the notable absence of festival staple Reggae On The Hill (ROTH). He informed the press that it would be impossible to host both the Buju leg of the reggae artist’s tour as well as ROTH. He continued, saying that the infrastructure of Farley Hill would make it impossible to hold the crowd expected for the Buju show, and that even the Kensington Oval may not be able to hold everyone that wishes to go to the event. He urged those who have not gotten their tickets as yet to do so, as they are currently more than 50% sold out with more than 2 months left until the big day.
Security will obviously be a concern, not only with the seeming rise in crime on the island, but also due to the sheer number of people expected to attend the event. By employing four private security agencies and the Royal Barbados Police Force, the event promoters have ensured that there will be more than enough security at the venue for the protection of patrons. Additionally, multiple entrances and exits will ease the flow of the masses in and out of the Oval. To combat parking issues there will be a park and ride taking patrons to and from the venue. “Rest assured. You will get to and from the event safely.” Al Gilkes said.
Ronnie Tomlinson, publicists for Buju Banton, shared the exciting news that Buju, along with his original band – minus one member – are rehearsing for four days a week, preparing to bring us an awesome show and historic performance. She also briefly touched on Buju’s youth foundation, aptly named The Buju Banton Foundation, which helps at-risk youth.
Allison Hunte another Director of Fas7Star informed the press that a vast number of online ticket sales are from international customers, bringing a huge boost in the tourism industry and the Barbadian economy as a result. She briefly touched on the VIP experience for the Buju show, noting that they’re in talks with several expert chefs who will bring a wide variety of treats for the VIP patrons, ranging from vegan cuisine to sushi. Continuing, she mentioned that there will be no VIP at the Magnum Xplosion Reggae Beach Party, bye that they are advertising private cabanas which can hold ten to twelve people, at a cost of $2500, with some premium bottles included.
The dates for the festival havve changed a bit compared to previous years. The festival commences with the “Long Walk To Freedom” tour on Saturday the 27th of April, followed by the “Magnum Xplosion Reggae Beach Party” on Sunday the 28th and ending with the “Vintage Reggae Show And Dance” on Tuesday the 30th, which fortunately comes after and is followed by a national holiday.