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Elton’s Expected to Play 2006 Jazz Fest
Posted by editor_usa

Thursday 18
August 2005 @ 16:48

Elton JohnEntertainers like Elton, Celine Dion and Prince should be at Tobago’s second jazz festival next year, according to the Trinidad Express.

Tobago House of Assembly Tourism Secretary Neil Wilson said yesterday that these artists were to be contracted to perform while some of the performers in last weekend’s show would also be included in the cast for next year.

However, Stevie Wonder, the star of last weekend’s show, although he would be present, would be an invited guest and may even be the show’s patron, Wilson said.

Taking all things into consideration, Wilson said the First Tobago Gourmet Jazz Festival was an “excellent show” when one considered that it achieved a number of objectives the THA had fixed.

He said the positives for staging the festival at the Plymouth Recreation Ground included the involvement of the villagers of Plymouth, the generation of visitor arrivals, a permanently fenced recreation ground, paved roads, a park for 60 vehicles to serve future sporting and cultural events, the showcasing of local artistes on an international stage, employment generation for craft and food stalls, shuttle services and the creation of a cleaning company.

Wilson said he had not seen so many people in Tobago in his lifetime and the fact that over 30,000 people attended the event was an indication of the level of success of the visitor arrival objective. He said every hotel, guesthouse and villa was fully occupied while a number of visitors were able to find accommodation in private homes.

Wilson however admitted to a number of glitches, which he promised would not recur next year.

He explained that the traffic arrangements fell down on Sunday because the police changed them and implemented their own, but “we have to take blame for it. They didn’t tell us.”

He said visitors had problems in getting to and from Tobago on the airbridge, but finally nine charter flights to ease the situation were added, and these were immediately taken up.

Wilson said there were also complaints about the length of time taken between acts and admitted that in some cases it was over done. He said gate control was not particularly efficient and there was some measure of scalping. He also said he suspected that the Assembly’s plan to provide free tickets to cultural groups backfired. He said this was one area that the organisers would be looking at very closely next time around.

He said there were also complaints that it was a jazz festival and should have had a greater jazz input.

He said he had also received complaints about the pricing but pointed out that a similar show in the USA would cost twice as much. He said a tiered system for admission would be considered for the next show to provide different packages.

“These are small things we have learnt. It is a learning process and we have to look at the complaints and shortcomings seriously,” Wilson said.