Grammy-winning musicians Sting and Shaggy will headline the Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival in May. (Photo courtesy of Steve Cerf for Sting.com)
The Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival will return to the Caribbean destination’s historic Pigeon Island National Park on May 5 and run through May 14 following a three-year absence due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLTA) officials announced today.
The Festival’s lineup of headline performers will include iconic, multiple Grammy Award Winner Sting and legendary multiple Grammy Award Winner Shaggy, plus more than one dozen globally recognized stars of jazz, gospel, soca, reggae, zouk and pop music, SLTA officials said at a January 25 media briefing.
Other featured performers will include two-time Latin Grammy Winner Gustavo Casenave, 16-time Grammy Award Winner Kirk Franklin, Jamaican dancehall stars Barrington Levy and Buju Banton and Saint Lucian artist Luther Francois.
Pigeon Island’s open-air setting will offer attendees an inspiring landscape for the seaside concerts, said officials. Tickets for the week-long series of performances will be available beginning February 15.
First launched in 1992, St. Lucia’s Jazz Festival is among the longest-running of a growing variety of Caribbean music festivals. St. Lucia’s Jazz Festival has since emerged as an island-wide series of events showcasing island music, performing and fine arts, culture, cuisine and artisan craftsmanship.
Those events will continue in 2023, said Lorine Charles- St. Jules, SLTA’s CEO. “This year, we are focusing on creating even more experiences around the destination,” she said at Wednesday’s briefing.
Community-based events focusing on the local jazz and arts scenes will be held across St. Lucia beginning May 5. Under the theme “Art and the City,” visual and literary art, theater and fashion events will be held at the Derek Walcott Square, William Peter Boulevard, Constitution Park, Pointe Seraphine, and Serenity Park, officials said.
Craft and souvenir markets, visual arts, and theater events are also planned. Many events will be free to the public. SLTA is also coordinating local transportation options for concert attendees, said Charles St. Jules.
“We are working with the Air and Seaports Authority so patrons who come to the Festival will have the opportunity to ferry to the [event] from where they are located,” she said.
“Ferries will be placed all over the island, and we will shuttle [guests] back and forth. We anticipate this is going to help us and it’s also good for [traffic] congestion, so everyone won’t be placed in one area,” she said. “This will add significant value.”
Charles St. Jules called the Jaz Festival “an economic driver” for St. Lucia. “For five consecutive years, we noticed people who come to St. Lucia [for the event] spend an average of $750 on activities outside of purchasing tickets. So the economic impact of the Jazz Festival can be seen very clearly,” she said.
Charles said SLTA is working with Events Company, a St. Lucia-based agency to create “a unique festival for all audiences.”
“Once the artists get out, it helps us with our global marketing,” she said. “The imagery, the artists [and] the music extends our global market.”