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‘Mercury Beach’ back in Martinique!!



‘Mercury Beach’ back in Martinique  

It is confirmed: Mercury Beach will be held in Martinique this year as a result of a fallout over developments in Saint Lucia. In fact, Mercury Beach will be held on Grand Anse beach in the city of Anses-d’Arlets, Martinique from July 27-28, 2018, according to French media reports and the event’s Facebook page.

It is also a fact that Mercury Beach in Saint Lucia will be replaced by Mercury Fest which will take place this August at Pigeon Island, with the only differences being the name change and a new promoter, according to Tourism Minister Dominic Fedee.

He made the announcement this week on a radio talk show with host, Andre Paul.

“It is still on, as you know Mercury Beach; the people who are doing Mercury Beach have changed. The concept is the same: the same staging of Pigeon Island, the same Bikini Beach Party is still on, the same Martiniquans coming over is still on, but the promoter has changed,” he told Paul.

But what led to the ‘split’ and the controversy?

According to Fedee, the fallout stemmed, allegedly, from several issues, chief among them, an alleged disagreement over brand rights between the Martinique promoter and his Saint Lucia partner, a request for a 150-percent increase in funding from government for the private event, and concerns over the payment of Value Added Tax (VAT).

Fedee alleges: “When Saint Lucia said listen, we are willing to consider but please, can you tell us what has really changed to justify the jump from 200,000 (dollars) to 500,000 (dollars), which really represents a 150-percent increase that the promoter was asking the Government of Saint Lucia to outlay on his private event, which is his business. Do you follow me? So this is not an Event St. Lucia event. This is a private promoter that is going out to do his business.”

The minister added: “Now, Event St. Lucia, which is the government’s own public sector statutory body, pays VAT for its events. So at carnival, at jazz, it pays its VAT on ticket sales, but the promoter did not want to pay VAT for this event. And there really isn’t any legislation that I could think of that could have allowed a waiver of VAT to an event.”

Fedee said his ministry intervened in the issue after his ministry’s help was sought.

However, with thousands of dollars on the line in the form of hotel bookings, Fedee said his ministry had to do something.

“We have hotel bookings and we felt that it was important to come in and help to resuscitate the event and we have, and I am happy to say that the event is on at the same date. My information is the guy who does the boat from Martinique to Rodney Bay Marina, not Express des Iles, the other one. He placed the flyer on his website and in two days on Facebook he had 11,000 people or so. I saw it. He had 2,000 likes and there’s a lot of interest. In fact, people are requesting tickets before the tickets are booked,” he told the talk show host.

According to the HTS report, the 2018 Mercury Fest organiser will allow vendors to sell drinks and the event is expected to feature popular artistes from Martinique and Jamaica.

Meanwhile, news that the event was returned to Martinique has been well received by many residents and citizens of Martinique because of the economic value of the event, according to French media reports.

Though a petition – which collected several thousand signatures – was launched by advocates against the hosting of the event at Grand Anse, due to security and environmental concerns, the promoter/s still got the green light from the relevant authorities to host the event at their desired location, providing they abide by the stipulated rules.

Martinique last hosted the event in July 2013 on a beach in Sainte-Anne. Pigeon Island, Saint Lucia hosted the following four editions.

“This great return to Martinique soil was highly anticipated,” states one French publication.

Another described it as a “long-awaited event” by nationals of Martinique.

In 2016, according to a  St. Lucian  newspaper, the event attracted 7,000 visitors and 600 speedboats and catamarans from Martinique, Guadeloupe, Barbados, Trinidad, Puerto Rico, Africa, France and Canada. That year the direct economic impact stood at EC$12.1 million, according to the local partner in the same newspaper report.

The event reportedly gets more popular every year.

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Art & Entertainment

Dominica’s 2020 World Creole Music Festival, Cancelled





Dominica’s 2020 World Creole Music Festival, Cancelled 

Roseau, Dominica – (September 9, 2020) The Ministry of Tourism, International Transport and Maritime Initiatives, through the Discover Dominica Authority (DDA) has been monitoring the situation across the globe in relation to the spread of COVID-19.  

A decision has been taken to cancel Dominica’s top signature event, the World Creole Music Festival. The event, which was carded for October 23, 24 and 25, 2020, would have been the 22nd edition. In 2019, the World Creole Music Festival recorded over 20,000 attendees and has served as a robust economic stimulant for the island. 

The Minister for Tourism, International Transport and Maritime Initiatives, the Honourable Denise Charles, during an interview on August 28, 2020 officially announced the cancellation of the event stating “We would have loved to have the World Creole Music Festival, but as you know these are challenging times and the health and safety of our citizens is priority and, as a result, the government has taken the responsible decision to cancel the World Creole Music Festival for 2020.” Miss Charles also reminded patrons of the importance of the established protocols for COVID-19, “We have to adhere to the protocols, as a government, we cannot encourage mass gathering activities until things are under control,” the Honorable Minister asserted. 

The decision to cancel the World Creole Music Festival was extremely comprehensive. The Dominica Festivals Committee engaged in thorough consultation with members of the Dominica Festivals Committee and approximately forty diverse stakeholders, all of whom have played a critical role in the implementation and success of the festival over the years. Given the current world pandemic, an assessment was done of the status of the current source markets to include Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Lucia, Antigua, St. Maarten and by extension Europe (France, England) and North America. The analysis encompassed the number of COVID-19 active cases, boarder restrictions and overall ability of individuals to travel. It was concluded that there is much uncertainty as it relates to airline frequency and capacity, and that new protocols for travel and mass gatherings may hinder the experience for patrons significantly.  Consideration was acutely given to the fact that travelers may have less disposable income and that generally, businesses who usually invest in the event may not have funds available for sponsorship due to their own challenges related to the pandemic.

The World Creole Music Festival has increasingly met its annual objectives as a signature event in Dominica by creating awareness for the destination and, along with other signature events held annually, contributing to approximately 10% of annual stay-over arrivals in Dominica. The event records performances of over fifteen acts across the three nights and in many cases showcases up to ten different genres of music. Therefore, this decision was not easy or straightforward. Stakeholders were presented with up to four options regarding the augmentation of WCMF 2020, and the pros and cons of each option were carefully weighed. The ability of the event to fulfil its overall objectives, especially where economic activity is concerned, was given measurable consideration, hence leading to the decision to cancel.  

We wish to take the opportunity to thank all patrons of Dominica’s World Creole Music Festival locally, regionally, and internationally for their continued support and understanding. Look out for the next edition of Dominica’s World Creole Music Festival, scheduled for October 29, 30 and 31, 2021.

For more information on Dominica, contact Discover Dominica Authority at 767 448 2045. Or, visit Dominica’s official website:, follow Dominica on Twitter and Facebook and take a look at our videos on YouTube.


About Dominica: Dominica (pronounced Dom-in-EEK-a, and not to be confused with the Dominican Republic) is a haven for adventure travelers seeking a unique vacation that includes: hiking and adventure, cultural events/festivals, diving and water sports, whale/dolphin watching and canyoning adventures. Dominica lies south of Guadeloupe and north of Martinique in the Eastern Caribbean. Air travelers can connect to Dominica on Air Antilles, Air Sunshine, Caribbean Helicopters, Coastal Air Transport, Hummingbird Air, LIAT, Seaborne Airlines, or WINAIR from the surrounding hubs of Antigua, Barbados, Guadeloupe, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, and U.S. Virgin Islands.  If travelling by sea, travelers can connect to Dominica on L’Express Des Iles ferry service from Guadeloupe, Martinique, and St. Lucia.

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Art & Entertainment

FRC tribute to Michael Aubertin 1948-2020





Tribute to Michael Aubertin

The Msgr Patrick Anthony Folk Research Centre (FRC) wishes to extend its condolences to the immediate family and the wider cultural fraternity on the passing of Michael Aubertin.

Michael “Mike” Aubertin had been a close associate of the FRC since his stint as Director of Culture from 1998. This Relationship continued over the years as he provided assistance to the FRC with its cultural education programmes lecturing to students and adults on the history St. Lucia as it relates to the Nèg Mawon (Brigands). The Brigands were black freedom fighters. In the mid 1790’s they won major victories against the British in their fight for freedom from slavery.

Mike was a multitalented individual involved in several aspects of the Arts and culture of St. Lucia. He was an accomplished calypsonian, fiction writer, playwright, comedian, radio presenter.  

As a popular calypsonian singing under the name of Mighty Mighty he won the first St. Lucia Independence calypso crown in 1979. He was a good singer and composer.

His novel Nèg Mawon: Freedom Fighter was published in 2000 by the Caribbean Diaspora Press of the Medgar Evers College in New York. It is highly regarded as a historical novel. 

His short story Calypso Finals won a BBC Caribbean Magazine prize in 1977 and was broadcast by them. The story was later published in the popular anthology The Sun’s Eye in 1989. In 1978 the Lithographic Press had published his short stories Mighty Laughs. He had also recorded a long-play album of the same name.

His play Invocation was produced by the Creative and Performing Arts Society in 1972 alongside plays by Kamau Brathwaite and Stanley French.

Aubertin wrote and directed a film based on his novel Neg Marron. 

In 1987 he graduated from the University of Manchester with a M.Ed in Mass Media. His thesis was titled “Patterns of gender socialization in Saint Lucia.”

As Director of Culture in 2000, he led Saint Lucia’s delegation to Carifesta in St. Kitts. He served as the last Director of Culture from 1998-2001. In 2002, the Cultural Development Foundation replaced the Department of Culture and the Director of Culture was replaced by an Executive Director.

He had also worked for many years with the Catholic Television service. He was very involved with his wife as Catholics in counselling and teaching and was licensed to perform weddings as a status officer.

Just as the Cultural Icons before him Mike will be sadly missed. His legacy will be etched in the annals of St. Lucia’s history and should be an inspiration for many young and upcoming artistes. Over the years FRC has consistently called for Saint Lucian culture, history and literature to be part of our schools; curricula. The works of Michael Aubertin both as a writer and calypsonian would be required reading in such educational programmes.

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Art & Entertainment

Invader – Keep The Borders Closed (V.O.P. Performance Video)




Live performance of Keep The Borders Closed by Invader at Voice Of The People.

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