It appears that the Discover Dominica Authority (DDA) is sticking to its decision to stage the 2014 edition of the World Creole Music Festival (WCMF) on new dates
Earlier this month the DDA announced that the festival will take place from October 24 to 26 this year.
The decision was met with opposition in some quarters and an online petition was posted asking for the festival to be hosted on its original dates of October 31st to November 2nd 2014.
But speaking on state-owned DBS Radio on Wednesday, chief executive officer of the Discover Dominica Authority (DDA), Colin Piper, sought to clarify the decision for the date change.
According to Piper there are two reasons for the new dates.
“One is, November 3, which is our Independence day will fall on a Monday and typically at 8:30 am there will be the military parade,” he explained. “That military parade will take place at the Windsor Park Sports Stadium which is the same place where the World Creole Music Festival will take place …and so if we were to keep the date of the 31 (October), November 1 and 2, we will have Sunday night’s event running into probably 2, 3, 4 am, then we will have have three or four hours to get the grounds prepared for the military parade, which was not possible.”
Piper further pointed out that the new date will favor the large number of nationals from the neighbouring French islands who attend the festival.
He stated that the DDA was alerted by the ferry service that November 3 is All Saints Day in the neighbouring islands which, according to him, is heavily patronized in the French markets.
“And so when they look back on their records they realized there is quite a bit of traffic between Guadeloupe and Martinique happening on those dates,” Piper said. “And so they advised us that if we wanted to get maximum patronage from Guadeloupe and Martinique in terms of availability of the ferry we should consider the 24th to the 26th…”
He stated based on those two reasons, a meeting was held between stakeholders, “and it was decided that those concerns would be put forth to cabinet and cabinet made the decision to take up the recommendation of the 24 to the 26.”
The official launch of the Festival is scheduled to take place in July.