Caribbean Life Brooklyn/Staten Island, 27 August 2008, page 3
By Bert Wilkinson
Authorities in Guyana made a valiant
attempt at the weekend to try to correct a
major blunder regarding ticket distribu-
tion for Carifesta events that made it virtu-
ally impossible for visitors, relatives and
friends of performers and the general pub-
lic to access the plethora of simultaneous
events being held around the country.
Early signs that the tenth staging of the
Caribbean Festival of Creative Arts was in
trouble, surfaced at midweek last week,
when 300, 000 free tickets that were due to
be distributed around the country disap-
peared in half a day, sparking widespread
criticism as to the wisdom of handing out
tickets to free events.
By Sunday, exasperated officials
announced they had abandoned the ticket-
ing system for all events barring super con-
certs sponsored by commercial entities
seeking to recoup their expenses for rent-
ing the year-old national stadium and
bringing in international artistes to per-
Some events, like tne performance
involving a national steel orchestra from
Trinidad on Saturday night played out to a
half-empty 2,000-seat National Cultural
Center largely because organizers either
held on to the tickets or gave them to peo-
ple not at all interested in such a perform-
Some patrons, fearing they may get
none at all, collect unwanted tickets as to
barter with others, dumping them later
after failing to get tickets for preferred
shows. Officials say that explained empty
seats at some venues, particularly those
with limited accommodation.
In the end, management had to throw
open the doors of the theater to allow peo-
ple who had been told that tickets had dried
up to enter. Similar scenes played out at
other venues, in part because the public is
unaware of what is going on where as well.
Guyana, the original host of Carifesta in
the summer of 1972 is home to the 10th
after the new Bahamas government
announced a pull out mid last year, citing
financial problems. It is due to host the
next one in two years.
Artistes from about 20 countries have
come to the festival with Suriname,
Trinidad and Tobago and the Bahamas
bringing the larger delegations.
One of the highlight events of the 10-day
event has much to do with a stellar per-
formance of jets from the Brazilian Air
Force whose smoke squadron thrilled a
huge audience to a Sunday evening air
show, the likes of which have never been
seen in the country.
Carifesta X ends on August 30.