Third Rupununi Music and Arts Festival successful
DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, February 20, 2018
After three days of exciting activities, the third annual Rupununi Music and Arts Festival hosted at the Manari Ranch in Lethem was considered a successful event by the organisers and many patrons.
The three-day festival began with a Guyanese night which saw a number of vibrant performances by several local artistes and dancers including Jackie Jaxx, Abel Stokes, Trevaun Selman, Ruquyyah Boyer, Buxton Drummer, Chucky, Steel Pan, Lyndon Cupidore, Nachgana Academy of Dance and the Surama Culture Group among others.
Festival Director, Bob Ramdhanie said with continued support from the government, he believes the festival will be an excellent tool to market Guyana internationally.
“This is a Guyana’s thing, promoting the Rupununi. So, the government, tourism department, Business Ministry, Social Cohesion, Indigenous Affairs there has to be some synergy between the three of us to make this a success,” Ramdhanie said.
Noting that this was the first time the festival was hosted at the Manari Ranch, the Director added, “very simply, if on a pilot project we can get over 500 persons on a Saturday night, there must be a guarantee that when we would have settled for two or three years, we are going to get thousands of people here.”
Ramdhanie explained, going forward, the organisers will work towards making the camping experience more memorable by constructing traditionally styled benabs at the camping site opposite the ranch.
Over one hundred and forty persons from Guyana, Venezuela, and Brazil camped out at the ranch in tents provided by the organisers.
On the second day of the festival, the large number of patrons that poured in were entertained with a cultural exchange of music and dance performances by troupes from Jamaica, Venezuela, and Brazil. The curtains came down with a bonfire, Chinese lanterns being lit and folk songs sung by persons camping in the area.
Department of Public Information (DPI) spoke with several patrons who shared their experience of the festival.
Artiste and camper, Jackie Hanover said, “This is a different stage than what I usually perform on. The setting is very intimate…It’s a very fun experience and it’s also a great opportunity to unplug. Social media takes you away from every single thing…I have met so many friends and they helped me with my camping experience.”
Patron, Jean-Claude Cournard explained he travelled from Trinidad specifically for the event to gain the experience and promote it in his country. Cournard hopes to visit next year for the festival with a team representing Trinidad.
“This has been one of the most fulfilling trips out of all the places I have been in the world. Coming down to the Rupununi and discovering the vastness of Guyana and the culture…my approach to the camping is I want to learn to live outside…the tent is well constructed and the village is secure and quiet,” Cournard said.
Venezuelan Yoga Instructor, Erick Balbás shared that it was his first time in Guyana. “I am very excited for the festival because for me it’s an interesting opportunity to share cultures and experiences.”
On the final day persons were engaged in crafts and art sales, sculpting and wood carving, capoeira and samba dancing, Zumba, and yoga sessions to name a few. The festival close with stirring collaborative performances by groups from Guyana and the visiting countries.
The event saw patrons from all walks of life from Russia, Germany, Canada, the United States, Ireland, the Caribbean and South American countries engaged in the activities; travelling to the Rupununi participate in the festival.
By: Crystal Stoll