Log In

Reset Password

Ministry ‘disappointed’ Bermuda Festival suspending operations

The Bermuda Festival of the Performing Arts (File image)

A team behind the Bermuda Festival of the Performing Arts was praised for its innovative approach after the organisation announced the suspension of operations last week.

The Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sport thanked the organisers, who said earlier that the pause would allow them to re-evaluate the viability of the event for the future.

A ministry spokeswoman said it was “disappointing” to learn of the festival’s suspension.

She added that “over the years, the Department of Culture has been very supportive of the Bermuda Festival’s mandate to showcase a range of events that provided cultural and artistic enrichment for our community”.

The spokeswoman said: “The ministry commends the festival organisers as they actively sought innovative ways to ensure that the programme offerings were current and relevant, especially by incorporating local artists.

“The Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sport takes this opportunity to thank the Bermuda Festival team including chairman David Skinner and executive director Cindy Campbell and the countless volunteers over the years for all their efforts.”

A festival spokeswoman said last week that all operations and productions would be suspended “for the foreseeable future”.

She added: “It is our hope that this suspension will provide opportunities for the board and perhaps others to reimagine a performing arts organisation for everyone, one that focuses on highlighting many different performance genres and providing outreach that will fit Bermuda’s desires and needs.”

Ms Campbell added that the Covid-19 closure period was "a difficult time“ that put severe financial strain on the festival.

She said: “During the shutdown the festival redesigned its processes and structures and in this first full post-Covid festival it has maintained an expense level of 40 per cent below pre-pandemic averages.

“Unfortunately, these cost-cutting measures have not been enough to overcome the dual-income challenges of fundraising and ticket sales while expenses continue to increase.

“While some of the performances in this first full season since the Covid-19 shutdowns have enjoyed good attendance, overall we experienced a 67 per cent decline in ticket sales compared to pre-pandemic averages.

“There may be many factors that have affected ticket sales. However, with the combined pressure on revenues and expenses, the festival did not see a clear path forward to sustainability.”

The Bermuda Tourism Authority was also asked to comment on the suspension of festival operations but a spokesman said the organisation had none “at this time”.

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published May 29, 2023 at 7:58 am (Updated May 29, 2023 at 8:10 am)

Ministry ‘disappointed’ Bermuda Festival suspending operations

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon