We are not the US$200 to US$1,200 carnival,” said Julianne Lee, director of Jamaica Carnival.
Regardless of preparations to participate as one of the four bands to take the streets of Kingston on April 8, Lee says a lack of funding has immobilised the Jamaica Carnival team from moving forward with plans.
“Following a meeting with the various officials last year, we were told to adjust prices to be self-sustaining, but if a higher price tag was placed on participation, Jamaica Carnival would only function as a niche product and no longer as a people’s product. The response we received was ‘so be it’,” said Julianne Lee.
“A wider all encompassing demographic carnival experience just isn’t appealing enough,” continued Lee.
She says that the mission of Byron Lee’s brainchild, Jamaica Carnival, has always been to be a carnival for persons regardless of their socio-economic backgrounds. For this reason, the band offered more affordable carnival attire with prices ranging from US$75 to US$285 and made other rebranding initiatives.
The team has been actively partaking in the various fetes from last year, while manufacturing brands, and partners were put on standby, but Lee says the funding for 2018 did not even come close to the prescribed budget.