Mixed emotions permeated the launch of this year’s emancipation festivities as the usual excitement by the Festival and Fairs Committee to reveal the 2017 lineup was briefly intertwined with remembrance of Mr. Neil “Melee” Blyden this year’s Road Town Festival Village Honouree.
Festival 2017 will be celebrated under the slogan A Colorful Kaleidoscope to be Seen Creating a Cultural Scene for Festival 2017. The winning slogan was created from the combined submissions of Kayasha Mactavious and Tiana Hewit. Both young ladies were on hand at the 4 July press conference to receive their prize.
However, the main feature of the event was the unveiling of the 2017 entertainment lineup — which unfortunately only featured the main headliners.
The Festival and Fairs Committee announced that two new festival village entertainments are being added to the list of activities for the 2017 Emancipation Festival Celebrations that will be officially starting on 31 July.
In fact, Chair of the Festival and Fairs Committee, Trefor Grant announced that for the first time this year there will be a Latin Night at the Village. He also said that this year the Soca Monarch competition which was previously a privately held event will be falling under the festival banner.
While it was noted that the village will officially open with a torch-light procession and a ceremony the only part of the festival lineup that was revealed for the Road Town village was that of the international weekend. However, it was noted that even the roster for those nights is incomplete as artistes are still be added.
Nonetheless, it was confirmed that for the International Reggae Night which is scheduled for the 4 Augustperformers would include the So Strong Family featuring Pressure, Revelation, Ras Imo and Drastic, and Tarrus Riley. For the International Soca Night on 5 August the lineup includes Roy Cape All Stars, featuring Blaxx, Rupee, Tizzy, Orlando Octave, B’more, Monae and Rock City.
The East End/ Long Look festivities will kick off on 8 August with entertainment by Linky First, Bunji Garlin and Fay-Ann Lyons, and Rock City. Entertainment will continue on 9 August with performances by Cool Sessions and Destra Garcia, along with other local bands and acts.
The East End Rise on Shine tramp will take place on 9 August and it was announced that there will be two trucks on the road this year. One truck will feature BDJ Band, while the other will feature a collaboration of musicians from the BVI, the USVI, and Asa Bantan of Dominica.
The 2017 Carrot Bay Cultural Fiesta begins on 10 August and will feature performance from Triple Kay, Stylee Band, and T-Vice, a Haitian band based in Florida that will be performing in the Territory for the first time. On 11 August entertainment will be provided by Patrice Roberts, and various other performers who the Committee promise will be revealed at another time.
The festivities will return to Road Town for closing night entertainment on 12 August, however there is no confirmation of who will perform.