LETTER: The Festivals Commission Must Pay Its Debt And Stop Galavanting


Dear Editor, 

I am fed up with the Festivals Commission and their mismanagement.

In the last month alone, they have sent staff to the Uber Soca Cruise costing tens of thousands of dollars by a conservative estimate.

The festivals minister sent himself to London and was having a ball on tax payers money.

They went to New York for Labor Day with a large team to do so-called promotions for a carnival that they cannot afford by their own admission.

After that they were in Miami and God knows where else?

They are spending these large sums to party and have a good time with their big per diems in their pocket. 

They stay in the best hotel rooms and post pictures on instagram of the views.

They eat steak and lamb and even travel first class. Zamoni seems to be on every trip and I don’t know why.

All this is costing tens of thousands of dollars if not more, while the festivals commission has outstanding bills for the most recent carnival.

They cannot even pay the smallest invoices for $1500 and $2000 so where are they getting money to travel?

When people call to inquire about the prize monies and monies for provision of services, they tell you “we will call you.”

Some of us will die waiting for that call.

I am disappointed with Daryl Matthew. He must give an account of where all these monies coming from to travel with all these people and live the good life.

Whose paying for those trips. Everyday I see a different one on ANR.

Where is the value for money? If Antigua was a real place we would not provide any services and participate in any shows next carnival.

Stop galavanting and pay your debts.


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  1. Tell them pay the soldiers that move the heavy stage off the field like how they was harassing them to move it quick why they couldn’t harass to pay them .

  2. Response to Letter to the Editor Re: The Festivals Commission Must Pay its debt and stop galavanting
    13th November, 2018

    It has come to the attention of the Antigua and Barbuda Festivals Commission of a letter to the Editor of the AntiguaNewsroom captioned: The Festivals Commission Must Pay its debt and stop galavanting. The Commission wishes to place on record that the information outlined in the letter are totally false and it is unfortunate that the editor did not attempt to seek the facts about the statements made in the letter from the Commission before publishing.

    First the Commission wishes to advise its partners to include vendors and performers that every effort is being made to settle all outstanding payments. The Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda has given the assurance that prize monies will be paid before year-end and all other outstanding invoices are being processed and sent to the Treasury for payment. A large number of invoices have already been presented to the Treasury for processing. We thank our partners (vendors and performers) for exercising patience as we work towards making payments.

    Marketing Trip to London and Leicester
    The Festivals Commission in collaboration with the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Insane Carnival and Myst Carnival mounted a marketing campaign with over 200 promoters, bloggers, travel agents, hotel partners, airline partners, media personalities, carnival promoters and tour operators, with market reach of over 50, 000 persons. Immediately, partnerships were secured with the organizers of the largest Caribbean carnival in Europe; Notting Hill Carnival and we are certain that the excitement shown by the influencers in attendance at the events would result in increased travel to Antigua and Barbuda and in particular attendance at our Carnival 2019 festivities. Two individuals represented the Festivals Commission during the event which was 75% sponsored.

    Uber Soca Cruise 2018
    The Antigua and Barbuda Festivals Commission participated in the Uber Soca Cruise this year in partnership with Premier Beverages/English Harbour Rum which fully sponsored our participation. We were exposed to a clientele of over 3000 soca lovers and carnival goers. We believe that this event will also result in increased travel to Antigua and Barbuda for participation in Carnival 2019. We remind readers that a promotion was executed in Trinidad and Tobago in 2017 which resulted in every single trip by LIAT to Antigua for Carnival 2018 being sold out. We expect the results of our marketing campaign on Uber Soca Cruise (which was fully sponsored) will produce positive results for Carnival 2019

    Miami Carnival 2018/Zamoni
    The Antigua and Barbuda Festivals Commission did not participate in Miami Carnival 2018 nor did we send anyone to the event. In addition, at no time during our 2018 promotion was Zamoni a member of the Festivals Commission Marketing Team

    New York for Labour Day
    The Festivals Commission has long partnered with Ms. Tyra Mason in putting on a celebration in New York on Labour Day weekend which has over the years produced significant benefits to the tourism industry and carnival in general. We anticipate continued collaboration with the Mason family in New York and look forward to a bigger and better event in 2019.

    The Festivals Commission strongly believes that the marketing of Antigua’s festivals internationally, regionally and locally is vital to their survival and development of our festivals and culture and at all times exercise prudence in the execution of same, always cognizant that we have a responsibility to spend our scare resources wisely.

    Once again, we thank our stakeholders for your patience and look forward to meeting our obligations with you in the shortest possible time and thank you sincerely for your continued support.

    Antigua and Barbuda Festivals Commission
    13th November 2018

  3. Drag them into the high court and also the Human rights court under Protocol 1, Article 1, Protection of property. If you did the paid work you OWN the money.

  4. We should forget about having carnival because after 60 years it still can’t pay for itself and the people who participate in the event annually. From reading several articles over the years stating the carnival committee owed this-and-that, Either the money not being manage properly or it just not a profitable annual event.

  5. I Am Still Waiting For The Respondent To Identify What Information Was Wrong As Stated By The Complainant. The Providers Completed Their Work, WonTheir Prizes Since August 7th, And All You Can Say Is By Year End; Bearing In Mind There Are Persons Still Owed From 2015/201/62017.


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