Published On: Wed, Mar 27th, 2024

Promoters withdraw events from Carnival-venue

PHILIPSBURG -- The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) is facing a tough contest now that several promoters have withdrawn their Carnival-events from the Jocelyn Arndell Festival Village.

Minister of Justice Anna Richardson revealed in a radio-interview with Lady Grace why the promoters are upset: The SCDF tells them that they will have to recoup their expenditures “at the gate” (so from paying visitors) but many who attend these events get in for free because they have a season pass. As a result, some promoters end up with a negative financial result.

Mr. Rude (Berteau Fleming), promoter of the Night of the Hitmakers withdrew his event from the Village and he was not the only one and now shows like Soca Rumble, Bacchanal Sunday and Caribbean Flag Fest will all take place at other venues. II Brothers Entertainment followed suit by cancelling their Reggae Night show.

The SCDF is now upset with Minister Richardson because she gave the promoters permits to hold their events at other venues. The minister is not impressed. She said in the radio-interview that she cannot be expected to support bad behavior (by the SCDF) by withholding permits from  the promoters.

“We hear the SCDF on the radio and they post on social media and it is all disrespectful,’ the minister said. “The SCDF does not own carnival. My question is: do you dictate where people go to enjoy themselves? Everything I do is based on the law and there is no reason not to give these individuals their permits.”

Promoter Skelet stands behind the minister, given his comments on social media. “Stop mixing up politics and blame our minister of justice. If Roxy Beach Bar brings Cardi B the same weekend would you ask the minister to shut it down?”

Skelet encourages the SCDF to read the Dutch competition legislation.

The SCDF-website suggests that it is business as usual. In the news section it does however mention that the Night of the Hitmakers, Caribbean Flag Fest and Bacchanal Sunday are “missing from the schedule.” As a reason, the SCDF suggests “that the promoters indicated that they would not host a show or that they missed the deadline to express their interest in hosting a show.”

In a press release issued on March 20 the SCDF announced the cancellation of the senior carnival queen pageant, saying that two of the three remaining contestants could not get enough sponsoring.

The SCDF also stated that two international shows have cancelled, citing financial risks “created by the granting of permits to entities to host events during the Carnival period.”

“That decision is not sitting well with sponsors and Carnival and its stakeholders are suffering as a result of the confusion and uncertainties it has created,” the press release states.


Interview Lady Grace with Minister of Justice Anna Richardson
Interview Lady Grace with SCDF board members
Statement Skelet on Facebook

Opinion piece

A sense of entitlement



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