By L.K. Hewlett

St. Kitts Reporter

The St. Kitts Music Festival Committee has confirmed that the four-night festival will be reduced to three nights this June.

A member of the committee told The Observer that the fourth night, which usually features Gospel, Soul and Jazz music, has been removed from the schedule.

“Sunday has always been our toughest night in terms of ticket sales and finding suitable artistes to perform. The idea of not having Sunday night as part of the festival is something we’ve been toying with for the past few years,” the official said.

He revealed some of the acts that festival goers could look forward to for the 11th annual St. Kitts Music Festival. He explained how the lineup would run now that the event would be staged over a shorter period.

“We always try to have something for everyone, from the teeny-boppers to the more mature audience. I think this year’s blend will continue that trend and maybe even surpass expectations. The festival will start on Thursday night, as is the norm and feature Soca and Calypso acts. Friday night will be Dancehall/Reggae night and Saturday will be R&B and Hip Hop night. The formula has proven to be quite successful so we plan to stick with it,” he divulged.

The tentative line up includes local, regional and international performers including Jamaican Dancehall artistes Sean Paul, Baby Sham, Mr. Vegas, Movado, Lady Saw, and Tessanne Chin. The committee member said that people had been clamouring for a particular artiste ever since he exploded on the Jamaican music scene last year and that they have been trying ferverently to sign the international phenomenon to the line up for this year.

The Grammy award winning Damian ‘Jr. Gong’ Marley achieved international acclaim with the release of his single ‘Welcome to Jamrock’, which spoke to social issues plaguing the underclass in Jamaica. The official said he could not say if the singer was one of the artistes who had been confirmed but said that the legendary Maxi Priest was a definite.

Not much has been altered for Thursday night as the line-up continues to feature local and regional bands and calypsonians such as road march champs Small Axe Band, Legends Band, Royalties, Queen Anastasia and reigning national calypso king Konris Maynard. Machelle Montano and Crazy out of Trinidad will join the local acts in brining the energy levels to a crescendo on Soca night.

International acts include the young R&B sensation Neo, KC and the Sunshine Band, Outkast and the first international artiste to sign on, Soul crooner Michael Bolton.

The festival official said that based on meetings thus far, it appears that ticket prices will remain around the EC$100 per night.

A four member delegation including Committee Chairman Allistair Williams, Marketing and Communication Manager Clement ‘Juni’ Liburd, and Ministry of Tourism officials Christine Walwyn and Unoma Allen will soon be leaving the federation for a one week promotional and marketing tour. The delegates will host Music Festival press conferences in New York, Miami and Toronto, Canada and will communicate with nationals on general tourism related issues. A press conference to announce the official line-up and other festival news is scheduled for St. Kitts within the coming weeks.