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Sunday, May 29, 2022


Hotelier Nick Pourzal said Wednesday it looks likely St. Thomas will be the site of Sinbad’s Soul Music Festival over the Memorial Day weekend in May.
The event could bring up to 8,000 people to the island.
Pourzal, managing director of Frenchman's Reef Hotel, said his resort had worked out the details with Sinbad and only awaited the OK from the other major player, the V.I. government, to seal the deal.
The festival includes live musical performances, comedy concerts, music jamborees, beach parties and shopping, and would be an economic shot in the arm for the island.
Barbados has been vying for hosting honors too and is offering a competing package.
The promoters say the festival could mean as much as $40 million for the local economy.
Richard Doumeng, president of the St. Thomas-St. John Hotel and Tourism Association, said earlier this week that one challenge was to get enough complimentary rooms to house the entertainers and production people involved in the show. Additionally, the island has to be able to accommodate visitors.
St. Thomas and St. John have about 4,000 hotel rooms. One idea under consideration is chartering a ship and anchoring it in the St. Thomas harbor, Doumeng said.
Acting Tourism Commissioner Clement “Cain” Magras said efforts would have to be made to organize taxi drivers, plan beach jams and coordinate with downtown merchants to create a “destination downtown” and keep stores open late. In addition, some legal issues — including insurance — must be addressed.
The event has been held successfully on other islands, including St. Martin, Aruba and Jamaica.
The decision is supposed to be made this week and will be announced on the Tom Joyner Morning Show heard locally on KISS 101.3.

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