St. Lucia, whose claim to global reputation for quality entertainment is built on 25 years of experience hosting the island’s annual Jazz & Arts festival, has launched SOLEIL–a series of six summer festivals taking place from May through October.
A simultaneous launching of the festivals which will include what has become known as St. Lucia Jazz, was held both in Castries and in Nassau, Bahamas Thursday during Caribbean Marketplace and will have another launching in London next week Tuesday.
“With the new season of festivals, St. Lucia aims to increase tourism arrivals while also creating opportunities for local artists and businesses that will enhance the visibility of the island as a vibrant and diverse cultural destination,” explains Minister for Tourism Dominic Fedee to an audience of regional and international journalists and leading tourism officials here.
“We look forward to not only celebrating St. Lucian traditions, but also serving up a summer of fun and entertainment to visitors and locals alike,” Fedee noted.
The Summer Festival series will kick off May 12 -14, 2017, with St. Lucia Jazz, a celebration of Caribbean and international jazz music. Events will take place across the island with three major concerts taking place at Pigeon Island National Landmark. Jazz climaxes on Sunday, May 14 with Star-studded headliners include Grammy nominated singer and actress Vanessa Williams and multi-talented Rachelle Ferrell. Confirmed headliners Rupert Lay, steel pannist Victor Provost and Malavoi, hailing from Martinique, will also take the stage.
In its first year The St. Lucia Summer Festival will also feature: Roots & Soul (June 16-18): Dedicated to new trends in reggae, conscious hip-hop, Afropunk and R&B, an event that will also mark the launch of St. Lucia Carnival to be held mid-June through mid-July.
TheSt. Lucia Tourist Board said that Lucian Carnival gives revellers the opportunity to fête throughout the island in true Caribbean fashion.
Also on the cards is a return of the Saint Lucia Food & Rum Festival to be held August 24-27, while A Country & Blues Festival is planned for September 15 – 17 reflecting “the diversity and modernity of the genres of music that act as powerful storytellers of the past and draw strong parallels to Saint Lucian folk traditions”.
An Arts & Heritage Festival is planned for October, building on Jounen Kwéyòl celebrations. “This month-long festival will celebrate St. Lucia’s cultural, ethnic and artistic heritage with a variety of performances, seminars, lectures, culinary experiences, street parties and art exhibitions.”