Grenada Monday announced the cancellation of the 2019 Pure Grenada Music Festival with the organisers blaming lack of government support, increased expenditure and reduce earnings over the past years.
“The Pure Grenada Music Festival has been a great financial responsibility and expense that I have undertaken for the past three years, and although I have been happy to do what I can to ensure the success of this event, because I truly believe in it and the opportunities it could bring to the people of Grenada, I am unable to shoulder the financial risk a fourth time,” said Dieter Burkhalter, chairman of the board of directors of the festival.
“We have been putting a great effort in to curb this obstacle, but with just seven months left before the next scheduled festival, I have to make the difficult but necessary decision to cancel next year’s event,” he said in the statement issued by Music and Beyond, the registered non-profit organisation that has been organising the event that started in 2016.
Burkhalter said he remains committed to music and to the development of music here “and will for sure find other ways to inspire growth and progress among the aspiring Grenadian musicians.
“Perhaps in the future we would be able to overcome our current difficulties and the Pure Grenada Music Festival will return to shores if Grenada, but for now, this is the course of action we must take,” he added.
Burkhalter said that the annual budget for the three-day event featuring local, regional and international musical entertainers is estimated at one million EC dollars (One EC dollar =US$0.37 cents) and a request had been made to the Grenada government for assistance.
“‘We wrote to Government in June and informed them that we will need a reply by end of September, but we are yet to receive a response, we were requesting its support of EC$300,000 as was provided for the 2018 festival,” he said.
“Early planning will require certain guarantee and if we are not sure or given a commitment that the financial support will be provided, we cannot move forward, so in the absence of this financial support, we had to make a decision,” said Burkhalter.
“For the second year we received EC$200,000 after discussion with Government and in for the third year it was increased but we really want to be assured that we will receive it for the fourth festival because it’s become more and more costly to run the festival,” he said.