‘Mercury Beach’ back in Martinique, Saint Lucia to do its own ‘Mercury Fest’

By SNO Staff

Tourism Minister Dominic Fedee.

(SNO) – It is confirmed: Mercury Beach will be held in Martinique this year as a result of a fallout over developments in Saint Lucia. In fact, Mercury Beach will be held on Grand Anse beach in the city of Anses-d’Arlets, Martinique from July 27-28, 2018, according to French media reports and the event’s Facebook page.

It is also a fact that Mercury Beach in Saint Lucia will be replaced by Mercury Fest which will take place this August at Pigeon Island, with the only differences being the name change and a new promoter, according to Tourism Minister Dominic Fedee.

He made the announcement this week on a radio talk show with host, Andre Paul.

“It is still on, as you know Mercury Beach; the people who are doing Mercury Beach have changed. The concept is the same: the same staging of Pigeon Island, the same Bikini Beach Party is still on, the same Martiniquans coming over is still on, but the promoter has changed,” he told Paul.

But what led to the ‘split’ and the controversy?

According to Fedee, the fallout stemmed, allegedly, from several issues, chief among them, an alleged disagreement over brand rights between the Martinique promoter and his Saint Lucia partner, a request for a 150-percent increase in funding from government for the private event, and concerns over the payment of Value Added Tax (VAT).

Fedee alleges: “When Saint Lucia said listen, we are willing to consider but please, can you tell us what has really changed to justify the jump from 200,000 (dollars) to 500,000 (dollars), which really represents a 150-percent increase that the promoter was asking the Government of Saint Lucia to outlay on his private event, which is his business. Do you follow me? So this is not an Event St. Lucia event. This is a private promoter that is going out to do his business.”

The minister added: “Now, Event St. Lucia, which is the government’s own public sector statutory body, pays VAT for its events. So at carnival, at jazz, it pays its VAT on ticket sales, but the promoter did not want to pay VAT for this event. And there really isn’t any legislation that I could think of that could have allowed a waiver of VAT to an event.”

Fedee said his ministry intervened in the issue after his ministry’s help was sought.

However, with thousands of dollars on the line in the form of hotel bookings, Fedee said his ministry had to do something.

“We have hotel bookings and we felt that it was important to come in and help to resuscitate the event and we have, and I am happy to say that the event is on at the same date. My information is the guy who does the boat from Martinique to Rodney Bay Marina, not Express des Iles, the other one. He placed the flyer on his website and in two days on Facebook he had 11,000 people or so. I saw it. He had 2,000 likes and there’s a lot of interest. In fact, people are requesting tickets before the tickets are booked,” he told the talk show host.

According to the HTS report, the 2018 Mercury Fest organiser will allow vendors to sell drinks and the event is expected to feature popular artistes from Martinique and Jamaica.

Meanwhile, news that the event was returned to Martinique has been well received by many residents and citizens of Martinique because of the economic value of the event, according to French media reports.

Though a petition – which collected several thousand signatures – was launched by advocates against the hosting of the event at Grand Anse, due to security and environmental concerns, the promoter/s still got the green light from the relevant authorities to host the event at their desired location, providing they abide by the stipulated rules.

Martinique last hosted the event in July 2013 on a beach in Sainte-Anne. Pigeon Island, Saint Lucia hosted the following four editions.

“This great return to Martinique soil was highly anticipated,” states one French publication.

Another described it as a “long-awaited event” by nationals of Martinique.

In 2016, according to The St. Lucia Star newspaper, the event attracted 7,000 visitors and 600 speedboats and catamarans from Martinique, Guadeloupe, Barbados, Trinidad, Puerto Rico, Africa, France and Canada. That year the direct economic impact stood at EC$12.1 million, according to the local partner in the same newspaper report.

The event reportedly gets more popular every year.

(9)(69)
Copyright 2018 St. Lucia News Online. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

14 comments

  1. ConcernedCitizenz

    After Mercury Beach has passed and the HIV/AIDS TOLL DOUBLES, ensure that the photos of the ministers who implemented it are added to the statistics so that everyone to see and people can congratulate them for finding innovating ways to sky rocket AIDS, STI, STDS and infectious disease in St Lucia. Why die painlessly when you can suffer.

    (0)(1)
  2. ConcernedCitizenz

    If only St lucians would understand what really goes on at Mercury beach..the nastiness that goes on there especially when night falls..apparently they have not read the statistics of AIDS/HIV in St Lucia.. 700 persons and counting...AIDS taking them down one by one..yet they continue..what a shame..what a waste

    (0)(0)
  3. Hey!! Are there hospitals on the island? Like real working hospitals with state-of- the-art technology??? Its all well and good to have activities for us tooreeest but what happens if I get sick while on vacation?? All I see is Sandals Sandals and more Sandals ...flipflop nation....

    (4)(0)
  4. I THOUGHT SLU WOULDA COME UP WITH A NEW AND BETTER EVENT BUT NOT COPY AND PAST ONE. SERIOUSLY IM DISSAPOINTED NO IMAGINATION AT ALL. WHAT ASHAMED. SLU IS KNOWN FOR PARTYING SO THEY COULDA COME UP WITH SOMETHING BIGGER AND BETTER. SEEMS LIKE THEY DONT HAVE TIME FOR THINKING ANYMORE. ITS ALL ABOUT THE (FAST) PAPER ?!!

    SO DISSAPOINTED

    (6)(3)
  5. oh so thats what happend the french promoter got greedy. we right not to deal with him cause these french people most of them are thieves and very greedy and does lie alot

    (0)(5)
  6. Good luck to Martinique for hosting its bacchanal on its own turf. St Lucians who enjoy that kind of entertainment can head there and pay through the nose for their orgiastic pleasures.

    (8)(5)
  7. That Guyanese rat looking for some hero award. If IT aint broken y fix it. RUBBISH.

    (7)(17)
  8. That is a load of crap. You have an establish event yeilding 7 million and you scrap it because the promoter requested 500,000?
    The dates were set the people were locked in. No imagination from the Minister, cancel the contract and then use the concept even using as much of the name as possible.....but the realities....the dates are new, theere is no marketing that could be done between now and August that would bring the numbers and revenues that was recorded by the original event.
    It would be good to try something original and authentic. The Minister basically used his authority to cancel the event and steal the concept. Why should we support? Are we not enablers if we support ? Are you telling me that’s the best we can do? Sad thing is people will try to justify the deceit. When will we stop playing politics and start building and growing and standing on our own feet. Using our imagination and using our talent and brains? Waiting for the financial report on “Mercury Fete”

    If we can match the 7 million, which I doubt, does it mean it’s an idea well stolen?

    (18)(12)
    • As a taxpayer, I want to see my tax dollars going to paying fisherman their overdue payments, supporting farmers, and providing healthcare. Not subsidizing profit-making events by promoters who are too lazy to raise the funds needed from private sources.

      (27)(5)
      • Here we go with Trump reasoning. When it comes to this event you think of the "poor fishermen" but when subsidizing Ojo Labs and DSH y'all are "f%$k all Lushans". Go figure!

        (7)(3)
  9. A cheap imitation

    (16)(1)
  10. I knew that was coming? I wonder who the sponsors are? Sandals? They were not profiting from the event so now they want to make deals and cut deals....are you aware that the foreign clientele is what made the event a successcul one. The people marketed thier product in Martinique so that thier product can be well known. You all should be sued.

    (11)(6)
  11. That person was trying to get rich. Why are they so dependent on gov't. Dam leeches. They always want to tell you in bringing more tourist they spending more but where the money going? Chupse

    (8)(6)
  12. Am pleased with the decicion to our own and keep all of our profits. Theone thing that I am very hopping is that the stage entertainment, side attractions (tumboo) and every single thing is the same FOAM SAND AND SEA HOPEFULLY NOT SEA WEED THOUGH.This I have got to see if LUCIA trying a ting then lets give em a chance but they got to deliver.

    (40)(12)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.