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I respond to Ian Jackson's commentary in The Sun newspaper dated July 1st, 2014 with disappointed shock. I attended that event, Mr Jackson, and in my respectful opinion, your unwarranted and clearly, uninformed article seems biased and very much like a personal attack.

You couldn't have been comparing previous Fête de la Musique shows with this year's since this marked the event's reintroduction since 2008. Therefore it stands to reason that that is an achievement on its own. Compare the event with similar ones on this island –no, not other Francophone countries- there are none.

You, as well as any other resident here, would know that the average Dominican doesn't support events with an iota of intelligence. How many Dominicans that you know would sacrifice their Saturday night for a "fête representing and celebrating the Francophone expressions"?

The artists who you have not named but have described as those who washed their feet and came should take offence to your choice of words. It was about appealing to spontaneity and free participation.

Fête de la Musique wasn't meant to showcase who you consider top local artists. It was about newcomers joining veterans to make music in 514 countries around the world in any genre.

Your article seems a personal insult to the organisation and to diplomacy in general. What does the age of the new director have to do with the quality of the show? Further, how did the ages of previous directors affect the show?

As for your ignorant statement about resource allocation, Fête de la Musique concerts are free to the public around the world with no intention of profit-making.

A quasi-ambassador for Dominica should never let such words leave his pen; comparing two very different development partners and their events, in essence, pitting them against the other. Had you discussed the objectives with organisers, you would be better informed to comment.

Based on the mood and feedback of that night, the patrons were thoroughly entertained. Patrons were treated to a casual blend of French and Creole music and the line-up was eclectic enough to keep them anticipating. Had you not let your emotion run away with your pen, maybe you would have looked up from your paper and noticed the reactions that your article is getting. People disagree! I am one of those people and I'm surprised at you using your time to convince those who were absent that they missed nothing.

While I am a huge advocate for freedom of expression, I think your misleading article is a violation of the rules. Your suggestion that organisers should consider discontinuing the event is out of place and undeserved.

While the island can well appreciate your undeniable talent in specific genres of local music, alas, I cannot support such blatant and concentrated disrespect of an organisation that has been a veritable institution since 1993. You are bashing an event that has been taken from a dark hole in the wall to what it was on Saturday June 21st. No, not a reunion, community feast or calypso show, a music festival!

As a fellow patron, I'm sorry you did not enjoy your time spent at Fête de la Musique but maybe this is not your cup of tea.

By Jarna Hector


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