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Pierre: ‘SLP pledges to return Saint Lucia Jazz to its former glory’

By St. Lucia News Online

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Crowd at Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival 2014. Opposition Leader Philip J. Pierre (inset photo) pledges to restore the event to its former glory when SLP returns to government.

Opposition Leader Philip J. Pierre believes the Saint Lucia Jazz event has been turned into a failure under the United Workers Party (UWP) government.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, May 16, Pierre said the Saint Lucia Labour Party will make the event great again when the party returns to power.

“The Saint Lucia Labour Party pledges that on its return to government, it will take all necessary steps to restore Saint Lucia Jazz to its former glory and return the benefits of that musical festival to the largest number of people as possible,” he told the media.

Pierre said when the UWP government came into office in June 2016, the renowned jazz festival was rated among the top five festivals in the world and attracted thousands of visitors, including scores of international journalists to Saint Lucia yearly, which generated significant financial benefits to small vendors, artists, musicians, taxi drivers, small and large hotels, guest houses and many other ancillary businesses.

He went on to say that many rural and urban communities benefited economically “from bringing jazz to the people concept”.

“Saint Lucia Jazz was the envy of many Caribbean islands,” he noted.

But Pierre said Prime Minister Allen Chastanet changed up the event without thinking about the livelihoods of the hundreds of people who would have been affected.

“On December 12th, 2016, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet, in yet another act of short-sightedness, immaturity and haste, announced to the world that there would no longer be Saint Lucia Jazz.

“He did not care with the single mothers or vendors who sold souvenirs to the visitors. He did not care about the taxi drivers, minibus drivers or hotel workers who are employed during what was usually a low occupancy season for the hotels. Instead, the prime minister preferred to have Saint Lucia Jazz as an event hosted mainly in large hotels and venues where visitors and locals would no longer be able to enjoy the wonderful natural ambiance of our country,” Pierre said.

Without question, the opposition leader said the central attraction of Saint Lucia Jazz was the staging of the main-stage events at the iconic Pigeon Point National Landmark, arguably one of the most breath-taking venues in the world for such an event.

“Instead the government,” Pierre said, “chose imported tents costing millions of dollars, most likely sourced by friends of the government, to stage the shows. By so doing, the government removed the thrilling natural backdrop which had become a major feature of Saint Lucia Jazz.”

He added: “Remember that is the same government that withdrew the subvention from the Saint Lucia National Trust, and in a further act of vindictiveness, denies the Trust an opportunity to generate much-needed revenue from the rental of Pigeon Island National Landmark for Saint Lucia Jazz. It is obvious the Allen Chastanet and his government intends to stifle the National Trust out of existence. This is a travesty crying to heaven for mercy.”

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  1. Pierre no disrespect but you really feel all Lucians are dumb or what? I heard you once talking about Jazz and you admitted that the only show that made the most money at Jazz was the opening at Marchand which cost $50 at the time for entry and you were making noise because they removed the opening from Marchand. Now tell me if the opening wasn't even Jazz but a music show wouldn't it be better to have 5 festivals spread throughout the Summer for the cost of one grand show. All that has to be done is the proper marketing and for the right people to be interested and bingo you have things following. But no you want to make noise about it because you haven't seen anything yet. My brother you are fool just trying to score political points by arguing about everything the government does. Do you know about the build it and they will come or even planning ahead for changing times? I want to know if you start back with Jazz at 14 or 15 mill what are you going to do for the additional funding that Carnival and the Creole festivals has gotten? Man relax and watch things pick up. Oh and PLEASE TELL CHAZI HE CAN"T MESS UP MERCURY FEST AGAIN WITH HIS BAD PRESS in Martinique this time around cause they would already be here for the carnival and just have to stay extra days to enjoy it. I have a strong feeling this years Mercury Fest will be Epic. No Brainer Politician Get outta here.

  2. ON THE REAL !! I don’t know why you all be hating on Pierre like that. You have guys up in there that not qualified doing Bobol with contracts and in government and giving preference to his friends...and causing all types of ruckus in the parliament ... But you all like it, I don’t hear you all speaking up about it... matter of fact you all be enjoying the BS!!

    Fact is Pierre is a qualified politician in his last job he wasn’t a bus driver and, I don’t know any corruption that Pierre been involve in. So it my conclusion, when it comes to Pierre you all are serious HATERS, or you all just to damn IGNORANT and you all just like running your jaws anytime you all get an opportunity to talk shit about PIERRE !!

    SERIOUS HATERS...Qualified accountant, the man have finance experience the man is a cool man... if you ain’t voting for the man don’t vote but stop talking shit.... HATING ON PIERRE FOR NOTHING !!

  3. Stop this foolishness!......................... EMBRACE the parts that worked and FIX the parts that didn't.................. I for one enjoyed my Mother's Day Gospel Jazz. The food was plentiful and that Garden was beautiful!

  4. Politicians and supporters on both sides, particularly the present crop, are always crying for their supper. Those in power are on the defensive and those out, are on the attack. When will we begin to see things for what they are ?

  5. Jazz simply sucks!!! What a shame! I support cutting back on the money that was spent but my gosh, the crap we have now, any cent spent on it is wasted. This jazz festival is utter crap!! This was one of the top 5 festivals in the world, now not even St. Lucians can tell you when jazz is on, smh.

  6. Thanks Mr j pierre! I'M very happy you will bring happiness back to St.lucians.i will have to inform you out of office right now you will offer honey and milkshake, but when you come in office it will be another song you Will sing some of us Lucians are not political blind.Sing for your bread.

  7. Can someone please tell the public what profits the Jazz festival in its original form was bringing in?
    What profits???????????

    Let's talk numbers. Produce it.

    When you can show me the numbers THEN come and talk about whether it is a dismal failure now.

  8. Ppierre awa. you still talking about coming back into power. you mean you cannot work no where else other than in Government. What is your profession?. Is it politics, we are fed up with recycled politicians
    it is time the you move on, retire and sit down at home, write a book of go and do some farming, stop thinking about coming back in government. you all have no fresh ideas. you just want to capitalize of the Jazz festival
    for some mileage as though because of that you will be in Government come next elections. Pierre you will not be prime Minister never we do not want you not now not never in case you want to hear it in creole Nou Pa Vle Ou

    • Speak for yourself, who is we?

    • The man has his business for years now, tell that crap to Mr.King and Mr. Pierre name has never been involved in any scandal or borbol can you say that about the government ministers right now.

  9. Philip J Pierre seems to forget a very simple fact..It was Allen Chastanet during his tenure as Director of Tourism in the early 1990's who conceptualized and started the Jazz festival in St. Lucia. Therefore who better to see it's short comings and try to remedy them but Allen Chastanet????

    • Trumpism at its finest. because he conceptualized it means he is the best mind out there to fix it.....rubbish! Edgar your logic is infected with maggots!

  10. Concerned Citizen

    Phillip J Pierre you are Lying!

    I was asking the same questions before I asked the right people. The St. Lucia Jazz Festival still exists as part of the Summer of Festivals.

    They are operating on a budget which is significantly less than the 1 week festival but has benefits far greater.

    The events are St. Lucia Jazz, Carnival, Roots and Soul and Creole Festival each of which are bringing more benefits to the people than just the 1 festival which had become a mess that had very little to do with Jazz and was just a government sponsored fete where free tickets were distributed (over 11,000 in 2016) to prop up the numbers.

  11. the jazz has not turned into a failure. i used to think it was until i realized that the majority of the free jazz shows like on the square was payed for by the government with our saint lucian money and you know a lucian like a freeness.

    the way that jazz is going it is helping the government save alot of uselees money spent that can be allocated to much more important things. just imagine for example there are six free events and government is the one that has to cater for all of that, you know how much money that could be saved? and you piere will say you for this country? when you try to bring the jazz back to its former state its just going to waste more money. i mean am sure it is not going to remain like this for ever but if we can do things to save a bit of money to get out of this debt we are in then why not.

    the same way people was vex when the fisheries was closed down. the people in there were ripping off the government by selling stuff to their friends at ridiculous prices and pocketing the money so the company makes no profit. so if it makes no profit and yall stealing from it whats the sense in keeping it open? people really need to open up their eyes and see who is really for them.

    the majority of people will want to back piere to bring back jazz to its former state because they are ignorant. piere is using this as a tactic to get people to turn against the uwp cause every one wants to go to the freeness and not spend money to even buy a ticket to see a show but they are so blind that they wont see this being used against them. i say leave jazz as is for some time cause it saves a bit of money after all the international artist when they come here to perform they leave with all of our money cause they have to be paid

    • I agree with your response 1000%. And my problem is our people don't do their own research. What ever their party say...thats the gospel truth. We ate so blinded by this thing call red and yellow.

      Wake up people.
      And mr pierre self, he needs to sit down and give someone with sound judgement that position. Its time for him to take off this cap.

    • So it's better for friends of the PM to get 2 million in tent rental fees instead paying the national trust 100k for pigeon island for 3 days? And no money is being saved the some money spent on Jazz is now shared for the summer festivals. Which are all flops so far three years in


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