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May 23, 2022

The Belize International Music and Food Festival

The Belize Music and Food Festival will arguably be one of Belize’s biggest musical events to date. With a packed line up, including some of the biggest names in Soca, Dancehall, and Afrobeat, the festival promises to provide international exposure for Belizean musicians, as well as Belize’s culinary experience. The event is scheduled for the thirtieth and thirty-first of July. A host of musicians converged upon the Biltmore today for the official launch of the event. News Five’s Paul Lopez reports.


Paul Lopez, Reporting

The Belize Tourism Board is investing seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars in an International Music and Food Festival, scheduled for July thirtieth and thirty-first in San Pedro. Minister Anthony Mahler, the Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations, spoke about the value of music created by Belizean artists to the country’s tourism product.


Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations

“From we got into the Ministry of Tourism and Diaspora Relations and the Belize Tourism Board, we have been talking about a music and food festival. Music has created a tremendous platform for a lot of people internationally.  Music is important for Jamaica. Music is important for Trinidad. Music is important for the continent of Africa with afro beats, reggaeton out of Puerto Rico, and I believe with the creative environment we can use punta and other music from Belize to create an international music where people can embrace it internationally. And, this is how you build an economy.”


The line up for the two days of festivities includes local and international artists, including Grammy award winning dancehall recording artist Koffee.


Josue Carballo

Josue Carballo, Director of Industry Development, B.T.B.

“We will have international performances from Saturday, includingKoffee, Timaya, Demarco, Barrington Levy, and D.J. Supa Twitch, and yes, all of them ion just one night.  And, they will be supported and headlined by some of our biggest and best names in Belizean music, including Stig, J . Cas, Yas Thalia, King Rome, Done Doe, Den Z, Dajah, and a host of other Belizean D.J.s Sunday we move on to a little bit of soca and Latin kumbia, including some reggaeton, with international performances from Patrice Roberts, Ricardo Dru, Farmer Nappy, Tedison John, Little Natty and Thunda, and Dj International Steven. Our local artist will be highlighted with performances from Supa G, T.R. Shine, Ernestine Carballo, Flacko Leslie, T.L.C. Band, Prince Kevin, No Fear, and a host of other D.J.s, all backed up by Centa Stage band.”


Each artist will be required to put off a world class performance, displaying masterful stage presence and choreography. Each artist signed a contract with B.T.B. to that end.


Yas Thalia

Yas Thalia, Belizean Musician

“This is an event to promote Belizean and international artists as well. So, I think that the focus should be promoting us and not focusing on the marketing aspect, but us you know.”


Supa G

Supa G, Belizean Musician

“I must say, I want to thank the Minister. Quickly, I have to thank John for inviting me to be a part of this major event. I think this event very important to promote artists. We have been performing for many years. We have never been set on a stage of this magnitude at this level. So, I just want to sya thanks again B.T.B. for inviting us.”


John Marsden

John Marsden, Event Consultant, Mars Productions

“I truly feel like it is going to be a great performance on behalf of Belizeans. We know international people normally bring it but I am especially excited for my Belizean artist. To me they can go there. The music is already hot in Belize. Performances have been great, so I expect nothing left from you guys but your A performance.”


The culinary aspect of the festival will see twelve booths by a diverse selection of Belizean dishes and beverages. Minister Mahler estimates that the investment can yield financial returns in the millions.


Anthony Mahler, Minister of Tourism and Diaspora Relations

“You look at it on different aspects, the growth of our artist, and industry that have gotten support for many years, and two you can look at the direct financial returns on the investment. So, you sell one tickets for this and you have revenues generated from bars and ticket sales. But, you can also look at the economic activity in a certain area. When people come in to the festival they could visit other areas. There is economic activity from having such a festival. It is done all over the world and this is the first of its kind for Belize. We are working out the numbers right now, but we believe that any event like this can be in the millions. But, we are looking at it right now and maybe we can provide that information for you.”


Reporting for News Five I am Paul Lopez.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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