Sites set to stage shows
Director of FAS Entertainment, Al Gilkes, has a “Plan B” for the staging of this year’s Reggae on the Hill, the crowning event in the Digicel Barbados Reggae Festival 2012.
He made the revelation yesterday during a site visit to the three locations, Brandon’s Beach, Kensington Oval on the outskirts of Bridgetown and the Farley Hill National Park in St Peter.
Gilkes said the move was recommended by the National Conservation Commission (NCC) after inclement weather and heavy flooding last year forced the postponement of the event – usually held on the Sunday closest to April 28, National Heroes Day – to the following day.
“They [the NCC] have said that if there is notice, within 72 hours of the start of the show and there is evidence that there is going to be weather on the levels that we saw last year, they will give us notice that we wouldn’t be able to use the eastern part of Farley Hill,” Gilkes said. “This would mean that we would have to come up with a contingency plan.”
Gilkes said that after much searching, the organisers have decided on using the eastern end of the park in such an eventuality – a decision which has the support of planners.
“We looked around Farley Hill and we recognised that that area is never used for any such events,” Gilkes added. “It is mainly used as a car park and a picnic spot. But it has more room than the area that we normally use. In this case, we would use the car park as the area for the stage and to the left of that would be the VIP area.”
The FAS director said the transition would be somewhat easy as the move would not affect the northern part of the area where the vendors would be set up – meaning that patrons would be able to assemble and enter the park as they normally would.
Gilkes also revealed that they have also taken out pluvius insurance which is specially designed to insure the event against the rains.
“Last year, we never looked into it, although we thought about it. The cost of it will be significantly higher than regular insurance, but it will [be a] safeguard that if you have a total washout, then you are able to recover a significant part of what would have been your expenditure up to that point and ease the pressure of losing a couple hundred thousand dollars as was the case last year,” he explained.