In just over two weeks’ time, international and local musicians will perform in what is billed as the first world musical festival in the Rupununi.
The Rupununi Music & Arts Festival will kick off on Valentine’s night, February 14th at Rock View Lodge in Annai, North Rupununi and runs until February 16th. “This will be a golden opportunity in which local and international artistes from around the world will have the opportunity to share in a weekend of performances, workshops, discussions, and of course, sample Amerindian culture and have some real fun,” Bob Ramdhanie, Festival Director, was quoted as saying in a statement from the organisers.
“The idea of this first camping music festival in the Rupununi is both novel and challenging and demands a new creative approach. We have to convert the space around Rock View Lodge into a festival village and we are doing so in an eco-sensitive manner with benabs, washrooms and showers all being built from local materials. We want to make sure that visitors and the local communities enjoy a truly, positive musical Rupununi experience,” Ramdhanie, who is a frequent visitor to Guyana, said.
The festival was “designed to complement the natural beauty of the Rupununi grasslands” and musicians from Africa, Europe and North America, along with a diverse range of ‘home grown’ musicians, are expected to perform.
International artistes include Namvula (Zambia/UK), Keith Waithe (Guyana/UK), Iryna Muha (Ukraine/UK), Pavel Váne (Czech Republic), Ramon Goose (UK), Aref Durvesh (UK), Drew Gonsalves (Canada), Chris Murtagh (UK), Filligar (USA) and Marc Mathews (Guyana/UK). They will be joined by several of Guyana’s most exciting artistes including Ras Camo, Indus Voices & Dance Worqs, Surama Cultural Group, Buxton Fusion, Raghu’s Tassa & Tadja drummers, Trevor Rogers, Desmond Atherly and Desmond Atiwell.
The statement said that artistes will offer performances and workshops and visitors will also have the opportunity to listen to stories from the custodians of traditional Amerindian culture and to participate in a range of traditional workshops in basket weaving, arts and crafts, costume making and food preparations.
“The setting is peaceful; the moon will be full and it will be a superb family oriented musical weekend with live performances, a range of workshops, film shows, BBQs, airplane rides, local arts & crafts and food stalls,” it said.
“For us Valentine’s Day will never be the same again,” said Colin Edwards, the founder of Rock View Lodge. “Bob has a wealth of experience and his vision, supported by a range of sponsors…will help us make this weekend a very special treat.”
The organisers are offering various packages with weekend tickets being US$140 per adult and a day ticket costing US$50. For persons from 13 to 18 years, a weekend ticket is US$65 and a day ticket is US$25.
In terms of accommodation, apart from the rooms of the resort, camping facilities as well as benabs using air beds or hammocks are offered, at varying prices.