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‘Fully vaxxed’ 2021 Nine Mornings Festival moves to Victoria Park

‘Fully vaxxed’ 2021 Nine Mornings Festival moves to Victoria Park
Orande Bomani Charles

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Victoria Park is the venue for one of St Vincent and the Grenadines’(SVG), most unique festivals; Nine Mornings. 

The change in location was announced this week during a press conference, where Orande ‘Bomani’ Charles, the chairman of the SVG Nine Mornings Committee outlined the various measures being put in place to facilitate a fully vaccinated event. 

Charles said the committee has spent several months working with the Ministry of Health and the Police to ensure that the festival will be executed behind the lens of health and safety, all while safeguarding and showcasing as much as possible, the unique cultural and traditional elements. 

“All production cast and crew members as well as vendors, are required to be fully vaccinated to be allowed into the venue,” the Nine Mornings committee chairman announced. 

Because the festival is being executed as a fully vaccinated event, the decision was made to host all activities in the Victoria Park, which will allow for the necessary controls to be put in place both inside and directly outside of the location. 

Charles said the committee is promoting that persons receive their vaccination QR codes from the Ministry of Health. 

He explained that the two major entrances on either side of Victoria Park will be utilised for entry and that patrons will be greeted by representatives with the requisite technology to scan QR codes. 

“It’s easier if you have your QR codes, you just scan, all the information comes up. You are given a pass and you are on your way in…what that does hopefully is reduce the amount of congestion that is normally associated with that type of thing; so ease of access is one of the things we are focusing on,” Charles said. 

The protocols established also allow for the park to accommodate 75 per cent of its capacity during the Nine Mornings festivities. 

According to the chairman, Victoria Park at full capacity allows approximately 10,000 people to be comfortably accommodated.

There are at present just over 23,000 fully vaccinated persons in SVG.

Charles said he is hoping that “at some point in the Nine Mornings, all of those persons will join us here”. 

While vaccinated persons are allowed to be present for Nine Mornings activities, the festival will be broadcast via VC3 and various social media platforms to the rest of the world. 

“All of the major elements in terms of programming will be there. You’ll have pan music from various pan sides on mornings, fun and games activities. We’re trying to package in a way that is conducive to streaming most of the traditional elements and cultural elements of Nine Mornings that can translate well over the live streaming, which we intend to be broadcast globally through various social media platforms and locally here on VC3 television,” Charles explained.

“ So it will be an entire technical production in terms of the streaming and the performances.”

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, one of the challenges faced by the Committee has been engaging the other communities in the festivities. 

The chairman said discussions are ongoing to see how it may be possible to replicate the Victoria Park model in the wider communities. 

“We want to err on the side of caution where this is concerned, so we’re being very careful…and hopefully within the next few days, we’ll have some definitive information for you on that,” he said.

“Nonetheless, we are not entirely leaving the rural communities out of it this year. We are providing an opportunity for practitioners, cultural artists from those communities to come to Victoria Park and be part of the programming there as well.” 

The Nine Mornings 2021 theme is “A festival of lights: Hope in a darkened world”.

And Charles has assured that the Lighting competitions will be maintained this year, with even more prizes in the various
zones.

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