Monday 21 May, 2018

Improvements for General and V.I.P patrons going on The Hill

Director Alison Hunte, FAS Director Al Gilkes and Festival Production Coordinator Adisa ‘Aja’ Andwele spoke to sponsors and security personnel as well as the media at Farley Hill today, April 18, 2018.

Director Alison Hunte, FAS Director Al Gilkes and Festival Production Coordinator Adisa ‘Aja’ Andwele spoke to sponsors and security personnel as well as the media at Farley Hill today, April 18, 2018.

Fourteen years in and the organizers of the Digicel Reggae on the Hill event are still tweaking the formula to better cater to its patrons in all sections.

Believing that they have a solid product which over the past three to four years has seen an average crowd size of 12,000 persons converging at Farley Hill to enjoy the culinary and musical offerings, according to two of the Directors, they are going another step beyond to further enhance the experience.

Patrons, in General, will be pleased to learn that this year an additional gate has been added. Noting that in the late afternoon on the day of the event there is a bottleneck and long line as patrons entering the General section seek to enter the venue, FAS Promotions Inc. Director Al Gilkes told the media today:

“When the crowd really gets massive we have problems trying to get them through the gate, this year instead of having four regular entrances and one V.I.P, from the start, from the morning, we’re going to open five, so that there will be an additional General entrance on the other side of where the V.I.P entrance is at the main gate. So this will help us very early to be able to channel persons coming into General through that extra gate and relieve the pressure on the regular gates.”

Meanwhile, Director Alison Hunte spoke to the changes coming to V.I.P and she said that they have worked on bringing the live acts closer to the patrons in this section. “A walkway” of sorts will extend from the main stage towards the V.I.P patrons to help them see better.

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On the sidelines of the site visit at Farley Hill this morning, she further told some media persons that the aim overall is to improve the visuals and audio around the venue. She said the extension to the stage will improve the line of sight, but they will also add more screens. At the time, however, she could not say how many more screens.

But she assured that efforts are on to “make it an overall, general experience, where everyone has line of sight or this is feeling like they are in the same event because sometimes there, it feels kind of distant… So we’ve added and increased the amount of sound we have just to give everyone that experience.”

Furthermore, Hunte promised that in V.I.P. the food stations offering various styles of cuisine and flavours including the Trini and Jamaican stations will return, though some of the sponsored bars and treat stations have changed with new sponsors coming on board such as Absolut and Häagen-Dazs. Beyond that, the layout will be nearly the same according to Gilkes.

Reggae Festival Production Coordinator Adisa ‘Aja’ Andwele took sponsors and police personnel on tours of the venue and said that he met with the Barbados Water Authority (BWA) ahead of today's site visit.