A massive congregation turned up for worship at St Mary's Anglican Church for the Gospelfest 2018 Hymnspeak. (FILE)
After 26 years of bringing the best in gospel music to stage in Barbados, executive producer Adrian Agard says Gospelfest is here to stay.
While reflecting on the event over the years, Agard told the Weekend Buzz he was in awe at how much it has grown.
“This edition of Gospelfest went very well. We had a wonderful week. The festival has changed a lot. It started out as what was initially an American television show recorded in Barbados and produced by Dr Bobby Jones. Today it’s produced by myself and an executive team and managed by Gospelfest Barbados Inc.,” he said at the recently concluded Courts One Awesome Day held at Farley Hill National Park.
Agard said the festival was now much more attractive than whenit first began.
Wide variety of artistes
“We now feature a wide cross-section of artistes from across the world. In terms of the output of the festival and the content, there’s a wide variety of artistes compared to what we started with. This festival has evolved into a truly Barbadian/ Caribbean festival, still embracing the top acts of the world. There’s a huge transformation for this festival.
The executive producer said not only did the festival change for the better, but he was proud to see how the artistes had evolved over the years.
“Some of our artistes were mere spectators in 1993 or 1994, they are now our headline acts. John Yarde, for example, we first heard him on stage at our sunset concert, now he is a headline act . . . . Neesha Woodz as well. Many of the musicians you see onstage backing the international artistes are Barbadian. They are skilful enough to do so.
“One of the things we have also seen developed is a lot of collaborations among our artistes. We had Alethea Sweeting out of The Bahamas who had a powerful song when she came here and then she collaborated on another track with John Yarde which is doing very well,” he added.
With regards to what’s next, Agard said “the sky is the limit”.
“We would like to see and we hope to be able to develop a facility with the festival which assists the artistes more. How can we get these artistes touring and getting into other countries? They may need an initial push or some assistance, we want to get everyone on board to help our artistes,” Agard stressed. (DB)