Rupununi Music and Arts Festival promises an eclectic mix

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The third Rupununi Music and Arts Festival, which will be hosted at the Manari Ranch, Rupununi Lethem from February 16-18 is promising an eclectic blend of music and arts.

Gavin Mendonca, Organiser/Artiste of the Rupununi Music and Arts festival.

Organiser/Artiste, Gavin Mendonca, in an interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI), explained that this year’s three-day festival will be an environmental and an eco-oriented event, celebrated under the theme, “One People, One Place, One Experience”.

According to Mendonca, patrons will enjoy camping, a festival of music from different countries, dance, yoga, spoken word, arts and crafts displays, performances, workshops, plus opportunities to explore nature. “The festival is more than just musical performances. It is a weekend of community-based activities designed to bring people together.”

He explained the festival will commence on Friday, February 16, with a cultural performance by Guyanese. That opening night will conclude with a bonfire and storytelling activity for persons camping in the area.

The following day will proceed with group meditation, Zumba, yoga, and tours around the village, which includes a popular waterfall in the region, among other activities.  One of the festival’s aims is to bring friends, family, and Guyanese closer to the flora and fauna of the interior.

“It’s a camping festival, so we really want you to come out with your friends and family in groups. Bring tents and sleeping bags and camp out for the weekend. Leave the technology behind and get more in touch with nature,” Mendonca remarked.

The management committee for the festival will be arranging special travel and accommodation packages for persons who are interested in attending, according to Mendonca, who also noted that travel will be either by bus or air.

Mendonca expressed optimism of patrons’ attendance to the event in light of the tremendous support received from both the government and private sector.

Poster for the 2018 Rupununi Music and Arts festival.

“This time we are expecting a lot more patrons because we are now closer to Lethem and the Brazilian border. We have had tremendous support from both the government and the private sector, since year one. They believe in our vision and our vision is unique to Guyana. We all believe that it is a bright and bold step to a more cohesive nation,” Mendonca opined.

To this end, he encourages Guyanese to take the opportunity to travel within the country’s borders and support local festivals.

Additionally, he explained, the Rupununi Music and Arts Festival has a concept to create a festival site in the Manari Ranch location, to promote indigenous structures and exhibit local arts. Training in various fields like cooking, arts and crafting skills among others activities will be conducted at the site to further preserve Guyanese culture, once the project is completed.

In December 2017, the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs presented a $5M cheque to the organisers of the festival. The festival is a collaborative effort between the government, the private sector, and NGOs. It was first held at Rock View, North Rupununi in 2014. The activities were later taken to Georgetown in March 2016 for persons on the coast to experience the festival.


By: Crystal Stoll


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