Barbados Gospelfest 2010, the Caribbean’s premier gospel festival, was launched on Saturday, May 8, 2010, at Jubilee Gardens in Bridgetown, Barbados. Gospelfest has been designated “one of the Magnificent Seven” festivals in Barbados and is promoted as the premier gospel show in the Caribbean. During the launch there were performances by Frederick Powlett, Lilian Lorde, and the Barbados Gospelfest Mass Choir. Gospelfest’s performances will take place at various venues between May 23 and 30, 2010.
Minister of Community Development and Culture Steve Blackett, delivering the feature address at the launch of the festival on Saturday, said his ministry was proud to continue its alliance with Gospelfest and that this event is critical to positive cultural development in Barbados.
According to the Blackett, his Ministry is proud to continue its alliance with the event since it “can make a very valuable contribution to the moral fabric of our society, particularly at a time when one of our major challenges is, to some measure, one of balance and focus in the lives of our people.” Blackett also underlined that the festival, which is celebrating 18 years of excellence, provides the opportunity for Barbadians to celebrate their religious freedom, adding that “in many parts of the world, such a freedom is a rarity. Certainly, it was a rarity right here in Barbados in the 1800s when our National Hero, the Right Excellent Sarah Ann Gill, fought valiantly for the rights of slaves to worship.” Recalling the long tradition of choral singing in Barbados, the Minister stressed that it is something that the community needs to return to, and that “there is a need to encourage our young people to sing and join choirs, as we must not lose our own brand of gospel and choir singing.”
Festival producer Adrian Agard, says that the headliners of the festival will be Jamaican artist Papa San and the U.S. Virgin Islands group Shine The Light, “both of whom have swept the Caribbean with their music.” Other performers include Shane Forrester (Barbados), Kevin Downswell (Jamaica), Linda “Chocolate” Berthier (St. Lucia), Sista Michelle (United States), and groups Kenny Mayo and Godz Praeiz (United States) and Praise with Steel (United Kingdom), among others.
For more information on artists, venues, and full program, see http://barbadosgospelfest.com/
For full articles, see http://www.barbadosadvocate.com/newsitem.asp?more=local&NewsID=10201 and http://www.nationnews.com/news/entertainment/Barbados-Gospelfest–amp-quot-Awesome-amp-quot–2010-copy-for-web