With a noticeable decline in major shows, promoters and the clergy are agreed that a combination of a depressed economy and a leaning towards spirituality have been responsible for the fall-off this Lenten Season.
The only big show this long weekend of Easter – the climax of Lent – is the Digicel Reggae Festival that starts on Monday. Its promoter Al Gilkes said the festival was planned about three years in advance, and every effort made to ensure it always fell outside the Lenten Season, since “we don’t want to cross with the church”.
Anglican priest Rev. John Rogers said it was “heartening” to know that the promoters of the Reggae Festival had shifted their beach party from Easter Sunday to Monday.
“Someone is conscious of the necessity for the society to settle itself.
“There is a time for everything, and it’s heartening that the organizers see the need for a time of partying, but also a time of reflection,” Rogers, who is rector of St Luke’s Church, said.
But fellow promoter Peter Boyce feels the economic hardship is the reason for the decline in partying – in and outside of Lent.
“I honestly think the economy and rising prices have everything low-keyed.
“It’s hard to get upbeat about anything when you can’t put gas in your car, and your light bill keeps going up, and bread keeps going up,” he stated.
Promoter and veteran artiste Richard Stoute saw it from a more metaphysical perspective, however. He said the pressures of life in general are taking a toll on Barbadians and they’re seeking spiritual things.
“I’m seeing a turnaround in people’s understanding as they see what’s happening in Japan and so on. More people are praying, I’m sure.
Rev. Cuthbert Edwards, who heads the Methodist Church in Barbados, agreed that the spiritual aspect could be causing the fall-off in secular activity, especially at this time.
“During recessionary periods people become more circumspect about how they live their lives.
“More people turn to God as they realise that material things are transient. They try to grasp more of the eternal,” he explained.