The buzz is already in the air as the Saint Lucia Tourist Board (SLTB) and indeed the people of Saint Lucia get set to welcome the world to the 24th edition of the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival. And although the event has been primarily a marketing tool, to woo visitors to the island, Saint Lucians are also caught up in the frenzy of this year’s event.On Thursday evening the SLTB held a special function in honour of another group of very important persons to the festival: the sponsors. The annual sponsors’ cheque presentation was held at the Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort. There, Tourism Director Louis Lewis told the media that despite trying economic times, the event was able to attract a wider pool of sponsorship in 2015.
The special events manager at the SLTB, Dahlia Guard also expressed her delight in the level of sponsorship the event had been able to attract noting that Thursday’s event was a meaningful one to celebrate the partnership between the SLTB and the sponsors. “We are delighted to continue hosting the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival as it fits right in to the tourism product and our marketing strategy. Without all of you here today supporting the festival, the event may not have achieved all of the success that it has. The additional revenue, products, the fresh ideas and support continue to enhance the efforts of the Saint Lucia Tourist Board every year and we are indeed very grateful,” Guard said.
This year Digicel, a gold sponsor, is once again one of the main sponsors of the event as is Heineken, one of the original sponsors of the festival. Heineken is not only a gold sponsor but also provides the official beer of the festival.
King Ocean, LUCELEC and Columbus are three other gold sponsors.The festival has also been able to attract a number of media sponsors including the Wave 94.5 – platinum media sponsor, DBS, HTS Radio 100, Kairi FM and MBC, all gold sponsors. Silver media sponsors include Choice TV, Hot FM and RSL.
Silver sponsors overall are Bank of Saint Lucia, Coco Palm Resorts and Windjammer Landing Villa and Beach Resort.
The list of bronze sponsors includes LIAT, a first time sponsor, as well as Bay Gardens Resorts, Chairman’s (the official rum of the festival), Excel Signs, Royal by Rex Resorts, RJB and The Landings.
Collateral sponsors are Avis Rent a Car, Blue Waters, Duty Free Caribbean, Guardsman, Guys Rent A Car, Johnny Walker Black, JP Chenet and Landmark Events with one associate sponsor, Banana Boat.
The 2015 Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival opens on April 30 with a Caribbean party featuring Soca Star Destra and new Reggae ambassador Chronixx. The event will culminate the weekend of May 8-10 with a number of main stage performers including Beres Hammond, Chrisette Michele, John Secada, Robin Thicke and Jimmy Cliff. (T.N.)