Home News Local news NO SINBAD 2000 FEST FOR V.I. – OR ANYPLACE ELSE



Sinbad gave the funk fans — especially those in the Virgin Islands — the news they didn't want to hear Wednesday: There will be no Soul Music Festival this year on St. Thomas, or anywhere else.
In a "Dear Familee" message on his web page, Sinbad confirmed what some folks had suspected for a while: "Due to circumstances beyond our control. . . we will not be having a festival this year. The massive amount of support (sponsors, television exposure, etc.) that is needed to make this event possible is not available this year."
The announcement made no mention of the Virgin Islands, site of last year's fifth annual festival. In part because Aruba had hosted both the third and fourth festivals, and in part because of the huge local turnouts for the three nights of mainstage music last Memorial Day weekend, many Virgin Islanders had hopes that Sinbad would bring the event back to the Lionel Roberts Stadium for a second year.
Sinbad said that cancellation of the 2000 festival "does not mean that there will be no more soul festivals, it just means that there will not be one this year."
As an alternative, he said, he's "working on finding some other cool music festival somewhere that we all can go to." And he noted that many funk fans have already signed up for the Tom Joyner Soul Cruise this year.
Joyner, whose nationally syndicated radio show is carried locally on KISS-FM, did a live broadcast from St. Thomas last year during the soul music fest.
Already, Sinbad said, his organization — with brother Mark Adkins as business manager and sister Donna Adkins as publicist — is "working on getting something together for the year 2001."
In general, the local hospitality industry appeared to fare well during the week of last year's festival, which attracted some 7,000 visitors to the islands. Most St. Thomas hotels reported strong bookings during a normally slow period, and virtually no complaints about the festival organizers or attendees were heard, either during the fest or in its aftermath.
However, there have been no official public accountings of the economic impact of the festival from either the private sector or the government.
Sinbad, in his announcement, appeared to be taking potshots at both Pay-per-View and at least some of the talent featured at former festivals.
"We are currently working on getting last year's festival broadcast again" sometime during Black History Month, he said, but "not Pay-per-View," which was one of the festival's two major sponsors last year (the other was Kmart).
"I am also working on making all five festivals available on CD, videotape and DVD," he said. "It is an issue of music clearances and rights — money — that has to be worked out. . . You just don't know the nightmare of dealing with artists, their lawyers and some publishing companies and what we have to go through."
To read Sinbad's entire website message, click here.


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