While some might complain about the lack of and difficulty acquiring sponsorship for their events, Virgin Atlantic Holders Season can boast the contrary.
In fact, this morning at a media conference ahead of this Saturday’s opening night, public relations director AJA said that sponsors desire to be linked with the Holders Season.
He stressed that this was due to the festival establishing itself as a unique, high-end brand.
“Even people who probably never come to Holders Season, when they hear the word Holders Season it is a positive image in their heads because they know it is doing something positive for Barbados,” he said.
“This is the brand that Holders has created, this is the atmosphere the Holders created. It is a tremendous brand that people, corporate entities want to be associated with. The brand is such a unique brand, the only of its type not only in Barbados but the entire [English speaking] Eastern Caribbean, [that] once sponsors get attached to the Holders Season . . . they tend to hang on.”
The patronage of sponsors as well as audience is so based that ahead of the official start of the 2014 programme three nights have already sold out. Wednesday’s Dining With The Divas was so well supported that it was repeated on Thursday night. Saturday’s One Night With Joan Collins is booked, and so too is Comedy Night on Monday, March 24. An estimated 600 attendees are expected to attend the ten-night festival.
Also speaking at today’s briefing executive producer Stewart Collins said this momentum augurs well for the continuity of the festival.
He said when the event was created by Wendy Kidd more than 20 years ago, she did not anticipate it would exist for so long, giving credence to its quality.
“It is a landmark. It is quite a special thing because festivals come and festivals go. Times are hard and we have been through a horrid recession but somehow this festival kept going, weathered the storm and actually grew from strength to strength.
“The momentum behind this festival has become quite extraordinary [and] each year we have raised the bar. Quite often I am asked, so what is new about this year? The thing about Holders is that there is a formula that we repeat, the actual ingredients are always different. It is the thing that people love. It is in this incredible garden and just the pleasure to be here,” Collins said.
This year there will be a kaleidoscope of performances including: Classical Night With Lesley Garrett And Emma Johnson, The Sinatra Jukebox, Indian Night–Bollywood mix, The Play That Goes Wrong on theatre night, and 100 Years Of Jazz And Gala Night.
Local artistes such as The Barbados String Quartet, Andre Forde and Anthony Hood will as well be given an opportunity to showcase their range.