Categorized | Features, Local, News

…And If I Come?

By Warren Cassell :

For the past several months we have been hearing what appears to be an invitation by the Montserrat Festival Committee to be a part of festival 2013.  That invitation came in two simple words – “Jus Come”.  I’m still not quite sure whether such invitation is for residents and citizens of Montserrat or whether in fact it is for those in the diaspora or tourists who are yearning for some island festivities.  Nonetheless, given that I do reside on Montserrat, I am contemplating R.S.V.P, but a few questions began lurking in my mind.

Why are we not feeling the vibe? Even the members of the Festival Committee (made up of volunteers) admit forcibly, that this time of year is normally buzzing with excitement, as several Calypsonians would have normally released their songs for the season.  Nonetheless, the first week of December met only one calypsonian’s song on the radio.  In that same week, listeners to ZJB heard callers on Basil Chamber’s breakfast show discussing how Festival should be run and debating whether the culture of Volunteerism could continue to work.

Well I use to move speaker boxes myself and I had no problem,” one caller stated, while trying to canvass support for more volunteers.  But wait…., this is Festival right? And,… Festival falls under show business.  Do we understand that show business is 10% show and 90% business? Are we neglecting the business aspect of the festival?  The Festival is perhaps one of, if not the only marketable intangible products of Montserrat, yet it is treated like a family backyard barbeque where persons are invited to bring along a dish and expect nothing in return but a fraction of what they brought.   The heavy reliance on volunteers demonstrates the level of belief in the potential of the Festival – Oh yes! The Festival does have potential.  In fact it has the potential to generate revenue beyond the allocated budget.

It must first be recognized, that the Festival is a product with potential.  There must be vision to see that the Festival does not have to cease generating revenue after January 2, 2014 but rather it is the beginning of revenue through what those entertainment industry refer to as “residuals” – CD compilations, DVDs and downloads are just a few examples.  If I come, will these be available so I can share my festival moments with friends and family members, who were not able to make it?

If I come, would I want to return again the following year?  Many are counting on having such a good time that they would endeavor to return the following year.  Everything need not be perfect but the experience should be one which encourages me to want to return knowing that improvements will be made.  Sure, most don’t mind waiting 20 minutes for the power to come back on but they will be reluctant to be present at a show that was billed for a 8:00 p.m. start, if it starts at 9:15 p.m. or for a show that is primarily for Calypso and showcases Reggae.

You tell me “Jus Come”, and so here is my “R.S.V.P” – “I’m coming!”.  My ultimate question is, “If I come, will I be happy?”.

 

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

By Warren Cassell :

For the past several months we have been hearing what appears to be an invitation by the Montserrat Festival Committee to be a part of festival 2013.  That invitation came in two simple words – “Jus Come”.  I’m still not quite sure whether such invitation is for residents and citizens of Montserrat or whether in fact it is for those in the diaspora or tourists who are yearning for some island festivities.  Nonetheless, given that I do reside on Montserrat, I am contemplating R.S.V.P, but a few questions began lurking in my mind.

Why are we not feeling the vibe? Even the members of the Festival Committee (made up of volunteers) admit forcibly, that this time of year is normally buzzing with excitement, as several Calypsonians would have normally released their songs for the season.  Nonetheless, the first week of December met only one calypsonian’s song on the radio.  In that same week, listeners to ZJB heard callers on Basil Chamber’s breakfast show discussing how Festival should be run and debating whether the culture of Volunteerism could continue to work.

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Well I use to move speaker boxes myself and I had no problem,” one caller stated, while trying to canvass support for more volunteers.  But wait…., this is Festival right? And,… Festival falls under show business.  Do we understand that show business is 10% show and 90% business? Are we neglecting the business aspect of the festival?  The Festival is perhaps one of, if not the only marketable intangible products of Montserrat, yet it is treated like a family backyard barbeque where persons are invited to bring along a dish and expect nothing in return but a fraction of what they brought.   The heavy reliance on volunteers demonstrates the level of belief in the potential of the Festival – Oh yes! The Festival does have potential.  In fact it has the potential to generate revenue beyond the allocated budget.

It must first be recognized, that the Festival is a product with potential.  There must be vision to see that the Festival does not have to cease generating revenue after January 2, 2014 but rather it is the beginning of revenue through what those entertainment industry refer to as “residuals” – CD compilations, DVDs and downloads are just a few examples.  If I come, will these be available so I can share my festival moments with friends and family members, who were not able to make it?

If I come, would I want to return again the following year?  Many are counting on having such a good time that they would endeavor to return the following year.  Everything need not be perfect but the experience should be one which encourages me to want to return knowing that improvements will be made.  Sure, most don’t mind waiting 20 minutes for the power to come back on but they will be reluctant to be present at a show that was billed for a 8:00 p.m. start, if it starts at 9:15 p.m. or for a show that is primarily for Calypso and showcases Reggae.

You tell me “Jus Come”, and so here is my “R.S.V.P” – “I’m coming!”.  My ultimate question is, “If I come, will I be happy?”.