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Garifuna Collective Gets Ready for WOMEX

Garifuna Collective Gets Ready for WOMEX
August 22
15:09 2018

By: Benjamin Flowers

The Garifuna Collective, one of Belize’s most renowned music groups, received $30,000 in donations this week to help with their expenses in attending the World Music Expo (WOMEX), being held in Las Plamas de Gran Canaria, Spain this October.

Of the donations, $20,000 came from Belize Telemedia Limited (BTL) while $5,000 came from the Belize Tourism Board and $5,000 came from the Office of the Music Ambassador. Shyne Barrow handed over the donations to the Garifuna Collective at the Bliss Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday, accompanied by representatives from BTL and the BTB.

The donation leaves the collective still searching for funds as the estimated total cost for their trip is around $80,000. Barrow noted at the handing over that the amount should cover at least the travel expenses for the group.

Marconi Leal, Deputy Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at BTL, explained that the company has the development of music as one of the pillars of its civil outreach programs and decided to partner with the Garifuna Collective, having worked with them before.

Sam Harris, guitarist with the Collective, explained that the group has attended WOMEX before, when they played alongside Belizean music legend Andy Palacio. He noted that the band is striving to refine their stage presence and is producing new material for the event given the amount of international exposure to be had at WOMEX.

“Normally you have the writers that write for places like VIBE Magazine and World Beat Magazine – they’re the ones that really tell you if you made it or not. So our goal is to make sure that when we get there that those magazine writers are on our side,” Harris said.

WOMEX, scheduled for October 24-28, is one of the largest and most important music festivals in the world, gathering over 2,500 delegations from 90 countries worldwide. The event draws a crowd in excess of 20,000 people each year, with tickets being sold almost a year in advance.

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