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Apr 9, 2014

Band Fest 2014 moved from Orange Walk to Corozal

Earlier we told you about the decision by organizers to move the popular Band Fest from the People’s Stadium in Orange Walk to the Santiago Ricalde Stadium in Corozal. There’s been anger, frustration and confusion over the decision, so today Mike Rudon went north to the People’s Stadium and has the story.

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Mike Rudon, Reporting

Imagine hundreds of youths in every colour of the rainbow, from sparkling white to brilliant reds and blues – cymbals shining and drums pounding. Then imagine them doing it all on this filed at the People’s Stadium, which is covered with a thick black, ash-like material. Those images don’t gel, and that’s why the decision was made to move the event. It wasn’t a popular decision, and much wrath has been aimed at the Orange Walk Sports Council.

 

Kevin Bernard, Mayor, Orange Walk Town

Kevin Bernard

“The Orange Walk Sports Council is to be blamed directly for this issue because the condition of the field is not only right now. They knew exactly when Band Fest was coming. I am very sure that the organizers of Band Fest made this decision a long time ago and they would have informed the respective authorities there at the Sports Council and at the Ministry that they wanted the Band Fest to come to Orange Walk, and as such that field should have been well prepared. I can understand the condition of the rain prior to the situation, but since January man, we could have gotten work done on the field so that by the time Band Fest comes we would have had a beautiful, successful Band Fest here in Orange Walk.”

 

Sports Council coordinator Dwight Wade says that it’s not like they didn’t want the event there…but there was a communication and timing foul-up. By the time they got the call about Band-Fest, they had already dumped material on the field.

 

Dwight Wade

Dwight Wade, Coordinator, Sports Council

“When we received the call that we would be hosting the Band Fest here, that was after we placed the material on the field, so that is basically why the field wasn’t ready for the Band Fest. The main reason is that the coordinating from whoever managed the Band Fest…we didn’t have that straight flow of information, so we placed our material to upgrade our field, then I get the call here that Band Fest would be hosted here.”

 

Mike Rudon

“And at that point there’s nothing you could do?”

 

Dwight Wade

“Nothing we can do…and the field was in a really terrible state. We had huge holes due to the rain, and that’s nature. We couldn’t do anything about it. Even the Football Association couldn’t use the field, so we had to place our materials to try to uplift the field.”

 

Minister of Sports, Herman Longsworth, doesn’t blame miscommunication. He says it was just bad timing and Mother Nature holding back at the wrong time.

 

Herman Longsworth

Herman Longsworth, Minister of Sports

“The field was in terrible condition, and they took the initiative to try to level the field and to try to put material on there that would encourage the growth of the grass, which is that bagasse stuff that they put on which is supposed to be some kind of a fertilizer. It was done just around the time that the rains were finishing, but they, I assume, anticipated that it would rain a little bit more. They put it on hoping that the rain would come and the grass would grow a little more quickly. It didn’t grow at the pace they wanted it to, and so we end up with what we have there right now.”

 

But according to Longsworth, it just is what it is. He’s not losing any sleep over Band Fest, and isn’t concerned at all by the condemnation coming from the Orange Walk Town Council.

 

Herman Longsworth

“I am a little bit amazed at all the hoopla, all the hullabaloo that has been created over this thing. The truth is that that is a football field. Its main purpose is for football. The National Sports Council, through the Orange Walk Sports Council, simply was trying to make it the best quality football field that they could make it. It just so happens that Band Fest wanted to use there. It was not primarily for Band Fest. We do the best we can to try to work with Love FM because we believe that the Band Fest is a good thing, and so we try to work with them. But we have to do what we have to do to promote sports in this country, which is our primary goal and primary reason for being here and that is what was being done with the field.”

 

Kevin Bernard

“I could tell you that there are hotels that had booked rooms, there are people who had already said they were coming down in busloads, they were bringing friends, they were coming to Orange Walk. It’s an influx of economic activity that would have been created for the local economy here in orange Walk. So you would have seen a lot of people benefitting…the shops, the vendors, the taxi operators…everybody would have benefitted.”

 

According to Sports Coordinator Dwight Wade, the field should be ready for football in a few weeks, and that’s what they’re focused on. Mike Rudon for news five.

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4 Responses for “Band Fest 2014 moved from Orange Walk to Corozal”

  1. Been There Done That says:

    Make sure after the Band Fest you hop the border to Chetumal for a fun evening at the nightclubs, mall, movie theater, good food, great hotels and good streets that will not wreck your car like the ones in Corozal also known as Hoyozal.
    And no fear of being jacked.

  2. melinda says:

    that short crotch man cant stop talk. what the hell he have to do with the stadium and band fest? why he no fix the bloody streets and shut up! never put a boy to do a man’s job.

  3. the voice says:

    @Been There Done That You are right I hear that Al Buey, Monkeys,and rock shots are having promotions for Belizeans. You dont even have to drive they have taxis in Chetumal 24/7.Everything at the boulevard.

  4. Belizean Pride says:

    i like band fest but the reality this field is for sports purpose and i agree with the people in charge that time was not adequate and it should be understood and not take thing political man. every damn thing people tend to take it political. mein no wonder we can’t progress due to this bad habit people have.

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