By anguillian November 21, 2016 12:49



Tourists visiting Anguilla now have a new attraction to look forward to each year. It is a musical festival called ‘Livin in the Sun’. The annual event has been introduced by the Connor family of Blowing Point, operators of Sandy Island, Anguilla – an attractive and popular offshore cay offering a variety of pleasurable activities – and lying just west of Road Bay.
‘Livin in the Sun’, from November 11-13, had its debut at the newly-opened Reef By CuisinArt. It was that resort’s first public event following its official opening on November 10. The delightful function, with an all-white dress code, was held at the poolside in the centre of the property in the approach to the expansive Merrywing Bay.

Chaired by public relations personality, Ms. Lisa Rey, the first programme item was an introductory address delivered by Ms. Simone Connor, one of the leading organisers of the event. “As you can imagine, planning this festival has taken up a very large portion of our time, and I just want to say thanks to all of you for coming out and supporting us in our very first event. Your presence means the world to us,” she told the gathering.

“It is our goal that ‘Livin in the Sun’ will be the premier music festival in the region. I say premier because I think Anguilla is the region’s premier destination. Because of this, I think we need to put on events that require and demand the respect of the world. In so doing, we decided to invite only the best artistes from around the world. Each DJ, who is participating in the ‘Livin in the Sun’ festival, was chosen because of their style, reach and spiritual communication. We chose DJs who, in our mind, create music that drinks on the waves of the ocean and the mind and connect with us as Anguillian people.”

Ms. Connor said she was aware of the risks that the DJs had taken to participate in the first ‘Livin in the Sun’ festival, “and the difficulty to fly half-away around the world, to an island in the middle of the Caribbean, to be part of a festival that no one had ever heard about.” She added: “It is our job now to ensure that they have an experience they will enjoy – and then return to their countries and let everyone know that we, in this tiny part of the Caribbean, know how to throw a party.”

Chief Minister and Minister of Tourism and Economic Development, Mr. Victor Banks, said in part: “It gives me a good opportunity to witness an event which, based on its presentation and class which I see here, promises to be one of the premier events on the tourism calendar in Anguilla. I believe that Anguilla must pride itself in striving for excellence in all we do. You heard the Albena Lake-Hodge Comprehensive Band and Choir make their presentations. This is a group of young people that I am so proud of because they represent a centre of excellence. I want you to give them and their teachers a round of applause.

“I must congratulate Mr. Rizzuto for this great addition to the Anguilla tourism plant. It is an excellent venue for a lot of things and the Anguilla ‘Livin in the Sun’ event must be proud to have had the opportunity to start its function at this place. I want to wish Simone and her team much success with this project going forward. It is courageous that they would undertake this project at this time. I am sure that there are a lot of challenges that they are facing, but I am certain that at the end of the day, with everybody’s support, that the event will be a success. I also welcome all those persons who came from all over the world to be here. Anguilla is a place that you will always remember and we are grateful to you for making the effort to be part of this event.”

Chairperson of the Anguilla Tourist Board, Mrs. Donna Banks, congratulated Simone and her team for what is expected “to be another great addition to our events calendar.” She continued: “We welcome the timing of the event: the beginning of our winter season as it will provide fanfare excitement, and a good time, for people looking for more than a beach and a bed on Anguilla. Great events have proven to lure non-traditional visitors to destinations. The Anguilla Tourist Board has collaborated with the ‘Livin in the Sun’ producers because we recognise the opportunity the event offers to attract more visitors and new customers to Anguilla – as well as provide an exciting opportunity for our traditional visitors to experience, if they desire, another side of Anguilla – our island – where we, the residents, have fun living in the sun.”
Mrs. Banks further stated: “The Anguilla Tourist Board is committed to partnering with established brands that add value to the destination, and we are committed to collaborate with developing and emerging brands that can bring value to the destination as well. We will continue to partner with those events and festivals that have regional and international recognition as we recognise the benefit and the value that comes to the destination.”
Mr. Delroy Lake, President of the Anguilla Hotel and Tourism Association, said: “There has been much talk about using festivals to boost tourism on the island especially during traditionally slow periods. I must commend Simone and her team for not only coming up with the idea of this music festival, but also bringing it to fruition…This year’s music festival is the start and it will be very challenging, but the challenges encountered in organising and managing it will be lessons that will ultimately make this festival even greater in years to come.”
Mr. Lake urged the Anguillian public and business community to support the festival. “Your contribution is an important investment in assisting to boost tourism on the island at a time when it is usually soft,” he stated. “This investment will in turn assist in getting Anguilla’s name out in the world, bring additional persons to the island who support many businesses when they are here, improve employment and boost spending among residents.”
Mr. Keithley Lake, President of the Anguilla Chamber of Commerce and Industry, also joined in commending the organisers of the event. “Ms. Simone Connor exemplifies the spirit of entrepreneurship that the Chamber seeks to encourage, support and promote,” he observed. “For those who know Simone, failure has never been her concern and, as we can see, she has been constantly rewarded for her vision and courage.

“Tourism is the only viable business on this island. The Chamber has long sought to encourage its members to explore new and innovative ways to leverage tourism to their advantage. The ‘Livin in the Sun’ musical festival is a great example of leveraging that industry and exploring new and unique tourism ventures.

“Ms. Connor and her team ought to be congratulated and she is a sterling example of what entrepreneurship means. The Chamber wishes to remind everyone that success and failure are two sides of the same coin, but those who persevere success will be theirs.”

Mr. Lake expressed the hope that ‘Livin in the Sun’ would become a landmark event in Anguilla.

By anguillian November 21, 2016 12:49


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