By: Precious Mills

BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Monday 3rd June 2019) – The Chairman of the St.Kitts Music Festival Artiste Selection and Production Committee, Jonel Powell, has disclosed this year’s host venue- The Kim Collins Athletic Stadium located in Bird Rock- can comfortably accommodate over 10,000 people for the upcoming well-anticipated annual festivity which features headliners such as Buju Banton, Smokey Robinson and Ella Mai.

“In terms of the capacity of the new venue, we have come up with a layout which actually increases the general admission. For example, it almost doubles what we would have had at the Warner Park Cricket Stadium last year. So we’re looking at a general admission area which can accommodate as much as ten thousand people. By the time you include, the pavilion and seating areas and VIPs, we can easily and comfortably hold up to twelve thousand people up there.”

He was at the time responding to a question posed by this media house during a press conference held at the Ministry of Tourism located at the Pelican Mall held this morning.

Powell went on to indicate: “I say this after consultation with Fire [and Rescue Services] and all the other essential services; all of whom are represented on the Music Festival management team so when it comes to the venue layout and different things, it is truly a team effort, a consultative effort which includes doctors, Fire [and Rescue], police- just everybody.”

Additionally, he highlighted that while many locals are excited to see Reggae superstar Buju, many of the other acts are appealing also.

“I know that a lot of us are getting caught up in the Buju Banton epidemic so to speak but one of the things I don’t think a lot of us appreciate is the fact that when you look at the Saturday night in particular you have somebody of the caliber of Smokey Robinson [and also] Ella Mai who is just on fire right now, winning Grammys and all kinds of things. These are persons who have a tremendous appeal to a lot of our visitors coming in and so when we on the ground are really caught up on Buju, outside of St.Kitts and the region, people are really excited about some of these other acts, and it shows the diversity of the festival and our ability to really appeal to just everybody.”

He also shared that some of the artistes themselves want to experience the festival.

“Our St.Kitts Music Festival has had such an impact that we have had requests from a number of artistes who are coming to perform to actually come early and stay later. Many of the artistes have indicated especially those who are coming early they want to stay for the rest of the weekend because they want to come to the rest of the festival themselves, and so that to say that in the week particularly of the concerts, you can expect to see some of your favourite artistes at some of these events particularly when you think about events like Escape which is on Wednesday 26th at Salt Plage, I know for a fact that there will be a number of our artistes over there.”

Powell continued: “A few years ago, you had ‘Cat’ [Stephen Coore] and those guys from Third World who just got so caught up in the vibes that they took away the mic and just did an impromptu acapella and had the crowd going on bad. This year we will have artistes over there and I know we will get one or two special treats. “White Sands, a number of artistes who will still be here who’ve indicated that they want to attend that event so it’s not just appealing to us but it’s appealing to the artistes themselves, and I think it says a lot for industry people like that to want to be a part of our Music Festival…”

Meanwhile Festival Chairman Damion Hobson is urging interested festival goers to get their tickets early.

“We have sold sixteen hundred (1600) tickets online. When you compare that to last year, it’s over a hundred per cent growth. We obviously started selling tickets earlier this year than last year and that is why I keep encouraging persons to go online and buy your tickets. There will be no special this year so the price is $135 so go and buy your ticket now.”

“Mr. Powell spoke about the capacity at the stadium so bearing that in mind again, go and get your tickets early,” he noted.

Hobson said physical tickets are available at various locations in both St.Kitts and Nevis including Valu Mart, FLOW Store, The Cell, Gold Standard, St.Kitts Tourism Office and Harper’s.

The 23rd annual three-nightly concerts of the St.Kitts Music Festival will be staged from Thursday 27th to Saturday 29th June.