Chairman of the Dominica Festivals Committee (DFC) Colin Piper claims that based on studies, in terms of consumer spending during the event the World Creole Music Festival (WCMF) returns nine times the investment that is put into it.
Piper was speaking at the official media launch of the WCMF, last evening, where he pointed out that despite the Festival being profitable only on two occasions, in 1998 and 1999 when the WCMF recorded profits of $16,000 and $500,000, respectively, the festival still remains relevant.
“The question of the relevance of the Festival is posed every year around this time and we respond again, in advance, with the response that we have given before, which is that on two occasions, we have done a value for money audit and the results have indicated that the return to government on its expenditure is up to nine times. So we will continue to speak to the relevance of the Festival economically,” Piper affirmed.
Government subvention for the WCMF for the last three years has remained constant at $700,000, despite fiscal challenges, but Piper says that the WCMF needs a budget of some $3-million but maintains the need for fiscal responsibility, as challenges loom and linger.
He said, “The Festival needs a budget of $3-million but every year we have about $2-million that we can count on, $700,000 in government subvention, $300,000 in sponsorships and we also project about $1-million in gate receipts, for which we are thankful to the patrons. That means that we are in search of another $1-million in kind sponsorships. So when patrons ask why can’t we afford a [Carlos] Santana or Shakira, or a Ziggy Marley, I would just say that it is not for the lack of wanting to bring such fine artistes to Dominica but we have to be fiscally responsible in these times.”
Much to the delight of WCMF patrons, Piper also announced that ticket prices for the Festival will remain the same as last year and the DFC will, again, offer season tickets at $250 during the month of August, $300 during September and will not implement the full $325 price until October.