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Still No Headliner For Carnival

Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe

Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

LONG Island MP Loretta Butler Turner said she is surprised by the government’s apparent struggle to secure a headliner for the inaugural carnival, adding that this reinforces her belief that efforts should have focused on capitalising on Junkanoo, the country’s greatest cultural expression.

Her comments came after Tourism Minister Obie Wilchcombe said yesterday that officials are “still working” on securing an international headliner for the event concert, which will take place in Nassau on May 7-9.

According to media reports, Paul Major, the head of the Carnival Commission, has admitted that the delay in announcing a headline performer for the event will compromise the commission’s efforts to secure international business.

Nonetheless, Mr Wilchcombe stressed yesterday that he is not concerned about the delay, adding that the goal has never been to let an international artist dominate the festival.

“The fact is it’s a Bahamas event featuring Bahamian artists,” he said. “International artists will not dominate the show. We want Bahamian culture and artists to dominate simply because we’re trying to attract people to the Bahamas to attend the event.”

When asked about the matter yesterday, Mrs Butler-Turner expressed disappointment with the whole initiative.

“It’s a sad thing because I think the government could have effectively capitalised on the known cultural event, Junkanoo,” she said. “When you look at the origins of this carnival event, you realise that it was something in my opinion that was not fully thought out. I remain flabbergasted to learn we would take $9m to spend on something culturally unknown to the Bahamas when we have a longstanding cultural tradition here.”

“I do find it surprising that they haven’t secured a headline act; I do because essentially this whole mantra of believing in Bahamians is being pushed aside in favour of needing to have a headliner to attract people to the Bahamas. I think they could have more effectively emphasised the Junkanoo experience.

“ . . .Jamaica didn’t bring in a foreign headliner for people to appreciate reggae. Why bring in a foreigner to achieve this objective? Why use carnival for which we have no historical basis? That’s a question mark.”

The Carnival Commission initially wanted American singer Janet Jackson to headline the event, however the government rejected this proposal.

It has been reported that the government was in talks to get Barbadian singer Rihanna as the event’s main act, however it is unclear if that deal is still on the table.

Comments

thecynicalone 4 years, 4 months ago

Janet Jackson?? Are they serious. Like first of all, I don't think she has put out anything recent in years. And she is supposedly the headliner they wanted to attract international attention. The last I heard of her she had to do a wardrobe malfunction to get attention and this was at the superbowl. It is obvious these people are out of touch and just wasting up our hard earned money on foolishness

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asiseeit 4 years, 4 months ago

Even with obscene amounts of the peoples money, these twits can not even throw a party. No wonder the country is steadily going downhill. If I was not so worried about the future of this country i would laugh but I am closer to tears for my poor country.

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B_I_D___ 4 years, 4 months ago

The only true talent out there worth while is BEYONCE!! Where is Kanye when you need him!! LOL

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TalRussell 4 years, 4 months ago

Comrade BID there sure ain't no visible talent sittin around that cabinet table or on 2105 Carnival Committee. If so, I need a Jesus healing, cuz Comrade Tal is gone blind.

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asiseeit 4 years, 4 months ago

Well that is one thing these twits do well, spend. They are like crackheads when it comes to spending, it all must go.

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SP 4 years, 4 months ago

..................................................... NO JANET JACKSON! ...............................................

Janet Jackson knows NOTHING about carnival, and has no association with Bahamas or the region.

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duppyVAT 4 years, 4 months ago

I have no problem with Obie negotiating with Beyonce (who has Bahamian roots). In the long run, if we can have Beyonce to headline Bahamian Carnival ......... it will be the bomb!!!! Not that I support carnivalizing Junkanoo but if we gonna try this thing we might as well do it big one time. I think we should have someone who has some ties to the Bahamas ........ SIGH

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TalRussell 4 years, 4 months ago

Should I even bother thank you for shortchanging my childhood memories, Mr. Crackerjack?
Comrades remember when we were kids how we'd rush down to corner store all eager blow a sizable portion of our weekly spending budget to capture that fantastic Crackerjack Box prize, only to experience yet another totally disappointing prize? Welcome to Carnival 2015!

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by TalRussell

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Cornel 4 years, 4 months ago

We need to start a petition. . . Get Yellowman to perform. . . . . "Nobody move, Nobody get eerrtt"

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TalRussell 4 years, 4 months ago

You just can't make this stuff up, it the real thing, happening in real taxpayers time. Comrades if it weren't for the 9.5 million of taxpayers dollars, the natives could sit back to enjoy a big laugh at the excuses now starting to flow, why Carnival 2015 can not be expected to open to the world, with its much promised bang. Talk about overselling and under banging.

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henny 4 years, 4 months ago

I would not travel to Nassau to see any American artist to perform at a carnival atmosphere. The only person suitable living in the US would be Rihanna, she knows carnival. Beyonce may be a good performer but she does not know carnival. You'd be much better off getting Machal Montana, Iwer George, Sparrow or other calypsonian Then you would have a carnival. All in all though I would prefer you keep it BAHAMIAN!! Don't humiliatae them by making them feel you don't appreciate your own artists.

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mossdehav 4 years, 4 months ago

Tourism Minister, Obie Wilchombe said he is not concerned about the delay in naming Carnival's headliner adding that "the goal has never been to let an international artist dominate the festival".

Pardon the interruption but isn't Carnival in May. How are we going to effectively market this event and get a good return for our dollar if we don't effectively market the "prime carnival performer"?

Isn't this person supposed to get at least a million dollars of our money? I would say that whoever this person is, they are going to dominate the festival whether it be by performance and discussion by the Bahamian public and the attendees to this event. So are they just going to show up on the day in question and perform? I don't understand the minister's rationale.

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jusscoolin 4 years, 4 months ago

There's a lot of Clowns and Jokers in the house to go around . Why do they need a headliner ,much less carnival!

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John 4 years, 4 months ago

The premis of advertising is getting a message out there that will draw customers to your business. The purpose of having a headliner at a carnival event or concert is to use that person's fame or popularity to draw the crowds. Obie's assertion that they never intended for the headliner to dominate the event shows why the planning for carnival has run afoul. If the headliner is the most expensive item on the budgets then it better dominate. Big time. Janet jackson's fan base has dropped by almost 50 percent in five years. She has no new material and is almost unknown 'musically'. With the younger crowd. But your options diminish as every second ticks off the clock.

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Sickened 4 years, 4 months ago

The problem is that all of the talent agents that they have approached are unwilling to give any kick-backs to the party in power.

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asiseeit 4 years, 4 months ago

That makes more sense than anything else. It is so sad that the Bahamian people most certainly believe our politicians to be crooked and corrupt. If I was a politician I would do all in my power to show I was not corrupt. Meanwhile the ones we have just go with the flow, I guess if the hat fits one should wear it with pride.

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bandit 4 years, 4 months ago

I have never heard of any pop or soul artist being a headliner for a carnival anywhere in the world. Whose brilliant idea was this?

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duppyVAT 4 years, 4 months ago

Obie................... of course!!!!!! He is our brilliant Minister of Tourism now running Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival ................ didnt you hear?????????

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realfreethinker 4 years, 4 months ago

Obie a real idiot. this shit is going to blow up in their face,and we the Bahamian people are going to be the ones to clean up the stench.

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jackflash 4 years, 4 months ago

We are you people messing in matters of National Security.

This is all top secret - top secret!

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thomas 4 years, 4 months ago

Why not just make a gift back to the people of what is left of the 9million, it would be greatly appreciated. Accept that money in lieu of VAT on medical services. I am sure "We the People" would be happy with it.

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asiseeit 4 years, 4 months ago

You fools are paying interest on that 9.5 million so by the time you pay it back it will have cost you 12 million.

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willvacainmaybutscared 4 years, 4 months ago

Are they trying to attract a crowd from OUTSIDE to come to carnival? I am from the OUTSIDE (States) and we would NEVER book a trip to Bahamas to see a US headliner. Why on earth would we want to go there when we can see them here? And for cheap?

Also, unless they are trying to just be a local event ( 9 million is ALOT for a street festival), I would not go to the Bahamas during carnival out of FEAR of getting stabbed in the crowd, mugged, raped or murdered in the street- and with all that noise, who would come to my aid?

I think Junkaoo when I think of Nassau, Bahamas....but I don't think carnival. Carnival belongs to New Orleans and Brizal .........Junkanoo is your marketing tool outside of your country. My first Junkanoo was over 35 years ago on my honeymoon....that might be why I think the way I do. yes?

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