Carnival vendors may get payout

Visitors at the Cultural Village for Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival - but some vendors may be compensated after failing to make money.  Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff

Visitors at the Cultural Village for Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival - but some vendors may be compensated after failing to make money. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune Staff


Tribune Staff Reporter


BAHAMAS National Festival Commission Chairman Paul Major said around 40 vendors “will most likely” be reimbursed for their losses after they experienced a severe let down in sales during the three-day Junkanoo Carnival event.

Mr Major told The Tribune yesterday that during the festival, he with other commission officials observed “low volumes” of people patronising vendors who were stationed on both the eastern and western ends of the carnival site.

As a result, around 30 to 40 vendors did not pocket the kind of money they had anticipated, Mr Major said.

According to a commission official, food vendors paid $450 to operate during the festival, while craft vendors paid $300 to sell items at the cultural village. An estimated 200 vendors rented booths during Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival.

Mr Major said the commission was considering refunding the booth fee along with factoring in some kind of reimbursement for the loss of perishable goods.

“It is true that we are reviewing the situation and looking at the circumstances,” Mr Major said.

“These are people who were on the eastern and western extremities of the site. It just happened that they were not at the centre of the attraction as the stage was at the centre and people tend to buy in the main area that they congregate in.

“We walked around and we observed what was happening. So we are looking at refunding the fee they paid and give some consideration to the loss of product.”

The Tribune spoke to two vendors, on the condition of anonymity, who were adversely affected during the festival.

One vendor who was stationed on the eastern end of the site said she was disappointed by the way the event turned out for her. On Thursday, the first night of the festival, she said she was forced to give away the majority of her food to a single mother with several children.

“I had hoped to at least get the money back that I spent on the booth rent,” she said. “Finding $450 to spend just on a both to sell food out here was a sacrifice.

“By the second night, although I was disappointed, I came back and things picked up a little. But all in all I didn’t pocket the kind of money I had anticipated. This was disappointing. I think the commission should look into having a different set up next time.”

Another vendor said he lost several thousands dollars after purchasing hundreds of conch to sell conch salad.

However, he said, the positioning of his stall placed him at a great disadvantage.

“On top of the $450 for the booth,” he said, “I had hundreds of conch because we anticipated selling a good amount of salad out here. But it didn’t happen. So I was at a loss.”

Mr Major said yesterday that discussions are continuing to find the best remedy for this situation.

Earlier this week, police said that an estimated 90,000 people attended the inaugural festival.

On the first day of carnival, Mr Major predicted that it would inject more than $50m into the Bahamian economy. Officials have not revealed the economic impact of the event.


asiseeit 9 years, 2 months ago

This is a joke, right? Is this man serious, is he doing drugs? So now they are using PUBLIC FUNDS, our money to pay vendors because they did not make money at BJC. Who is putting crack in this mans food? This is beyond ridiculous and tells me that for all the hype BJC was indeed a failure if the vendors need to be paid at the end of the day. How they can say that BJC created all this economic activity and then say the vendors did so bad they have to be given back their stall fee's AND given a money for their losses. This stinks to high heaven. What a waste of money The Bahamas DOES NOT HAVE!

Tommy77 9 years, 2 months ago

Agreed.http://s04.flagcounter.com/mini/kfoW/bg…" style="display:none">http://s05.flagcounter.com/mini/WUu/bg_…" style="display:none">

proudloudandfnm 9 years, 2 months ago

Subsidized the costume makers, subsidized the vendors. They never marketed the thing so there was practically no tourist.

And people are saying this thing was a success?!?!?!?

Only the PLP can call this a success. In their ignorance I'm sure they believe this was a success.

I would never hire a PLP to work for me.....

duppyVAT 9 years, 2 months ago

So, if we follow this logic .................... if native registered vendors at any government-sponsored/subsidized festival (home-comings/regattas/music festivals etc) feel that they were adversely impacted by the position of their booth in relation to the main band stand .......... that they can seek reparations from the MOF?????????? ........................ this is a dangerous precedent

BoopaDoop 9 years, 2 months ago

WTF??? NO NO NO!!! If tax payer's money "will most likely" be used to reimburse vendors then Bahamians should "most likely" remove the government.

Any business venture has risks. No business owner gets compensated when they experience "low volumes", why should vendors?

killemwitdakno 9 years, 1 month ago

Because they came to vend to a crowd and the event wasn't organized to send a crowd their way so they were then ripped off.

TalRussell 9 years, 2 months ago

A Paul Major Carnival 2016 Advance Alert Food Vendors!
If at next year's Carnival 2016 you does decides buys "more than" dozen conchs, two 2 lb chickens, large box Uncle Ben's rice and one 6-pack cream sodas, you is goin be on ya own .... cuz no matters how much the erosion in sales does makes you poorer than before your Carnival 2016 vendor ship of learning expexperience - you is goin be looking after your financial owns out pockets monies.
Come me once cash, shame on the tourists for not showing up; fool me twice, shame on PM reappointing we same Carnival 2015 bunch to Carnival 2016?


Economist 9 years, 2 months ago

But wait, the Police say that 90,000 attended Carnival sooooo...how did they lose money???

Something doesn't sound right.

professionalbahamian 9 years, 2 months ago

The "best remedy" is for government to stay out of it. Period.

Stupidity really!

No accountability ... Just hand out some more money to crying vendors.. was that part of their agreement when renting the spot? ..what was the rent amount? Why not give away the rest of the budgeted funds right? NO!

Why should anyone believe in leadership that graduated from our public school system? Think about it!

themessenger 9 years, 2 months ago

Way to many vendors all selling the same thing........ jerk chicken, jerk pork, or more jerk chicken or jerk pork.They call that Bahamian food? No variety, no quality and worse.............. no imagination, and now I gatta pay fa food I een even eat? Melanie I comin' fa one a yuh new cards dem, I need some free lunch too.

Alltoomuch 9 years, 2 months ago

90,000 may have been in attendance but did they spend any money??

TalRussell 9 years, 2 months ago

Comrade Alltoomuch, the Tribune and all other print media sources would have been flooded courtesy of Bahamaland Information Services with dozens of amazing full colour pictures showing this 90,000. Didn't The Tribune send their own photo journalist to capture da pictures of proof for readers. If not, why not? With 90,000 people in attendance and lots cell phones, you'd think at least one cell phone camera would've snapped just one picture? Good Lord Almighty this PLP cabinet would've been snapping crowd photos from helicopters flying above the 90,000.

realfreethinker 9 years, 2 months ago

" I am vindicated" which village idiot said that oops my bad Perry said that. If this is his barometer of success,I can see why the country is going down the toilet.

asiseeit 9 years, 2 months ago

yep, the clown with the purple hair said that.

Well_mudda_take_sic 9 years, 1 month ago

The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce had better wake up soon.....net VAT payments made by struggling private sector businesses to government are being used by Christie and his bandits for any and everything that will buy votes for the PLP as opposed to the stated intended purpose of paying down our national debt in an effort to reduce our debt to GDP ratio. Those who believed Christie would do the right thing with net VAT revenues collected by the PLP government are now left with much egg all over their faces.

TalRussell 9 years, 1 month ago

Okay Comrades since the most important questions are not being asked, I might as well get on to ask. Did Carnival 2015 directly handle the collection 100% of ALL Nassau and Freeport revenues from ALL ticketed events and if not, who did they contract out tickets collection to, and what percentage gross ticket sales did Carnival 2015 receive? What about booth rentals to vendors, etc, etc? Is it the intent of Carnival 2015 to lay before taxpayers a preliminary expenses accounting listing by the exact dollar and showing who got what, for what, and how much?

Economist 9 years, 1 month ago

They said that they would account but did not say that it would be accurate. Also they did not say when they would account.

This crowd have to be treaded like the kid that is always playing smart. You have to tie them down. They are like snakes.

killemwitdakno 9 years, 1 month ago

Sounds like the problem is they didn't get any promotional vendors. Wow event marketing fail. A few booth handing out free stuff is what drives the crowd. Ever heard of experiental? For 9 million, no excuse. Clearly you had a crap event commision.

There's a whole science and a whole industry dedicated to just vending at events of this magnitude. If Carnival is to be on par with other festivals , "Come rent a boot" is beyond poor. That's not how it works today, upgrade. Better vendor management is a must.

White_Massa 9 years, 1 month ago


killemwitdakno 9 years, 1 month ago

Maybe there was no roster to tell who else would be there selling the same thing, I'm really somewhat shocked.

Advertise some unique products , top vendors, and popular attractions on the site. Allow some inclusive products with the ticket sales, ie some vendors may contribute coupons. Integrate with the show if need be, could give fair tickets for purchases and use those to enter into raffles to be called on stage ,or for an autograph, ect. Have large table areas around the food vendors, with screens maybe. Line up featured performances in different blocks as instrumental performances giving people a chance to mosey around where they won't feel they're missing a concert. Take cards and mobile payments because people deliberately leave their cash at home to avoid spending.

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