Vibrant Port Denarau is gearing up for the first ever International Jazz and Blues Festival which is scheduled to be held for a stunning run of four nights live entertainment from the 12th to 15th of May this year.
But the organisers of this much-looked forward to event on the Nadi calendar are not only aiming to make it an occasion of high energy and fun but also one with a local conscience.
Festival Director, Billy Te Kahika is at the forefront of the organising and is ensuring that as much as possible, locally-sourced resources are utilised to aid with the local economy and local people.
Final preparations are underway, and according to Mr Te Kahika have been going along quite well.
“I have been trying to source as much of our equipment and requirements as possible from local suppliers to support the local economy which has been going very well,” he said.
Mr Te Kahika said an added advantage that Fiji held was that it had available facilities which were not often the case with most other Pacific Island nations.
“Fiji has a number of facilities we don’t easily find in the Pacific which has been helpful – and Denarau is just built to be the host of an amazing event like this,” said Mr Te Kahika.
He said that ticket sales have been steady, but with the event drawing closer, there has been a noticed spike in sales which is very encouraging.
Part from local interest, local organisers and sponsors, such as Tourism Fiji and Air Pacific, has also made the pitch to major tourist source markets, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.
“There are a lot of Kiwis coming to Fiji for the festival as well as Australians which is what we want. Local sales are really picking up with a lot of interest in group bookings and corporate tables – its all looking positive,” he added.
“What I believe is that Denarau needs some world class events to be held, which not only entertain people but attract travelers who are not sure where to go and see an event they like, and will choose to visit Fiji.
That’s what it is about – helping Denarau and Fiji to be competitive by creating activities and events that support tourism,” he added.
The festival includes an impressive line-up of over 100 musicians from around the world who will travel to Fiji, including well-known blues musicians from New Zealand, Australia, England and the United States, not to mention some of Fiji’s finest musicians, the legendary Tom Mawi, Suva jazz band, Deja Vu and Laisa and the FNU Project.
FIji Sun – JESSAN DOTON