There are many music festivals held throughout the world, but the World Creole Music Festival is one of the newest and most exciting. This annual celebration of music, art and culture is one of the newest music festivals in the Caribbean, and so far the response has been impressive. The World Creole Music Festival has already hosted some of the best known examples of Dominica music in the world, as well as artists and craftspeople from throughout the region.
Many observers see the World Creole Music Festival as one of the only truly indigenous musical events in the Eastern Caribbean. While many competing festivals are organized and run by outsiders, the World Creole Music Festival is run by the Dominica Festivals Commission – a local organization with deep roots in the region.
The World Creole Music Festival grew out of a need to provide local Dominican musicians and artists with an outlet for their considerable talent. The festival organizers also hoped that their new endeavor would help to increase the visibility and enhance the reputation of the island among tourists from outside the region. So far, the World Creole Music Festival has succeeded on both fronts, brining in the best local talent to perform on its stages and giving tourists great experiences as well.
While many people are just now learning about the World Creole Music Festival, the roots of the celebration actually stretch back more than a decade. The first festival was held in 1997, seen as a way to boost tourism to Dominica and increase revenue from visitors. Organizers hoped that the festival would also serve to broaden the appeal of the island for visitors by providing new things to see, do and hear.
In its relatively short history, the World Creole Music Festival has already attracted and showcased some of the best known and most renowned musical acts from the Creole world. A short list of past performers includes such luminaries as Tobou Combo, Kassav, Exile One, Grammacks/New Generation, First Serenade, WCK, Magnum Band, Zouk Machine, Taxi Creole, Zin and many others. In addition to these great bands, the World Creole Music Festival ahs also featured some of the best solo artists in the Creole culture, including Ophelia Marie, Sakis, Franky Vincent and Tanya St. Val.
Many different musical styles have taken the stage during the World Creole Music Festival, but from the beginning the emphasis has been on the Creole culture. The organizers of the festival have designed it as a showcase for musical genres that are popular in the Creole-speaking world. The hope is that the widespread exposure of those genres will enhance their popularity with the wider world and help them spread beyond their countries of origin. Over the years, the World Creole Music Festival has featured music styles as diverse as Zydeco, Bouyon, Zouk, Kompa, Soukous and Cadence-lypso.
While the festival continues to focus on presenting the best in Creole music, in recent years it has also provided a showcase for local culture. Two of those newer cultural activities are Creole in the Park and Zouk on the River. These types of activities were designed to help boost the local economy within the island by allowing the private sector to get involved in the offerings.
The World Creole Music Festival takes place each year close to Dominica’s Independence, and it serves to expand the celebration and allow both locals and visitors to join in the fun. During the music festival and independence celebrations, tourists and locals are invited to sample the local cuisine of the island, enjoy the best in live music and experience the rich cultural heritage of the Creole world. The festival has grown quite a bit over the years, but unlike many music festivals, the World Creole Music Festival still remains true to its roots in the Creole culture.