From Friday, October 25 to Sunday, October 27, the island of Dominica is organizing the 21st edition of the World Creole Music Festival with artists from Haiti, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Dominica, Jamaica etc. The star of this great annual musical event is Jamaican singer Buju Banton.
Hemmed in between Guadeloupe and Martinique, two Creole-speaking and French-speaking territories and often mistaken for the Dominican Republic, Dominica (Creole-speaking and English-speaking island) had some difficulties to fully exist. Politicians of this island (area: 750 sq km) had, in the 1990s, the brilliant idea to launch a cultural event – the World Creole Music Festival (WCMF) – with few means to enhance Creole music and to bring in foreign currency in the coffers of the state.
We can not say that the Dominican artists singing in Creole or not are very numerous but this festival was able to attract the artists whose language is Creole from Guadeloupe, Martinique, St Martin, St Lucia, Haiti. Over the years, the organizers have opened this musical meeting to other islands of the Caribbean and the different continents but also to other languages(English, Spanish etc.).
Perhaps this is not the best time to organize such an event since we are in the hurricane season which officially ends at the end of November but, in spite of the meteorological risks (for example Hurricane Maria in 2017), Dominica has not changed the date of WCMF. When we look at the schedule of cultural events in the Caribbean, we note that at this time, the WCMF is not competing with any other major music festival… This end of October is also the school holidays for All Saints’ Day in the nearby French territories such as Guadeloupe and Martinique which represent, every year, a very large number of festival-goers. The Government of Dominica has understood this economic opportunity with the visit of delegations in Pointe-à-Pitre and Fort-de-France and the great publicity campaign to sell the WCMF not only to the inhabitants but also to the tourists who stay on the territory of these two French islands…
So, every year, for more than twenty years, Caribbean people and foreigners who enjoy all the musical rhythms of the region meet in Dominica for this World Creole Music Festival.