Things may not be so sweet financially for the four-year Honey Jam showcase, but producer Ebonnie Rowe is insisting that the show will go on.
Speaking to Bajan Vibes last night at the Divi Southwinds Hotel where the artiste reveal was held, Rowe said there was an unexpected shortfall in funds this year as some sponsors reneged on their commitments.
“Every year it has been a challenge financially with Honey Jam. We keep getting much better at what we do, but the economy gets a little bit worse so sponsors tighten up their budgets. This year we had quite a shortfall of about $40,000 that we were not expecting,” she said.
“There were sponsors who had originally committed and then things changed in the economy and they changed and slashed their budgets. That was particularly challenging because we had already committed to doing the events. So we decided that we would take a leap of faith and move forward. Since we put out the call that this had happened, we did get some support from CDB [Caribbean Development Bank] and Massy Properties, in addition to the other sponsors we already had. We still have a shortfall but we are still going to do the best we can with what we have.”
Rowe added: “The show is just weeks away now. I’m not sure that anything is going to happen between now and then, but not for a lack of trying because I would just be pounding the pavement all the time on that grind, trying to make it happen. A lot of people are in this position. You have to decide ‘are you going to cancel or are you just going to have to do some cutbacks?’. We are choosing to do the best we have.”
The organizer said she would continue to do everything possible to secure sponsorship to keep Honey Jam going because she believes it is essential to young singers and the entertainment industry, in general, in Barbados.
Rowe last night introduced 13 of the 15 ladies who will take part in the showcase on November 8 and expressed satisfaction with the amount of talent she was seeing.
“I was a bit concerned when we held the auditions. [I wondered] if after going on four years now, have I already seen all the artistes in Barbados? After the auditions there were about 30 artistes that I had never seen before, and really talented young women, so we are super excited that we’ve got lots of fresh faces. We do have a couple of [alumni] who are returning but most of the artistes are doing Honey Jam for the very first time.”
Rowe has encouraged the public to come out and support the performers.
“. . . It’s basically what you have come to expect from Honey Jam, which is all female artistes, all different genres of music. We have some amazing young talent this year. We are expecting a fantastic show. Stay tuned; there might be a couple surprises but you won’t know unless you come to the show,” she added.
Soca queen Alison Hinds also attended last night’s launch and offered some advice to the ladies who were looking to make it big in the industry, telling them they had to “have that fire in your belly”.
“Dont let the business make you jaded; it has the ability to. But you have to have the passion for it, that is what will keep you going. People will try to pull you down from all angles but keep focused, keep striving and remember that no one can sell you better than you,” she encouraged them.