A tourism catalyst

A tourism catalyst

Trade and Industry Minister Paul Gopee-Scoon says the newly-launched Live Music District has the potential to concretise the business aspect of the local music sector.

“This would empower the independent artistes and build that spirit of entrepreneurship. The district will serve as a cultural and entertainment hub offering access to performance spaces throughout the year, as we move through the different project phases for diverse and talented local musicians from all genres.

“It is expected that revenue will be generated from economic activity within Port-of-Spain and environs, including ticket sales where applicable, transportation, the sale of food and beverages, equipment and rental and accommodation,” Gopee-Scoon said at the launch of T&T’s First Live Music District at the Residence Restaurant, One Woodbrook Place, St James, on Thursday night.

The plans for the first Live Music District were unveiled in the 2018 Budget Speech.

According to the T&T Creative Industries Company Ltd, live music is a fundamental pillar of the global music industry and music cities have become a global trend and are seen as economic drivers and tourism development catalysts. Gopee-Scoon added that the Live Music District will offer local music artistes the opportunity to develop their competencies.

“The artistes and entrepreneurs have a platform from which to hone their skills through the live music circuit. This initiative has its genesis in the national policy framework of 2015, which was further aligned strategically in the National Development Strategy 2016, Vision 2030. The creative sector is a key component in the diversification thrust of the Government.”

She referred to a Caricom report in 2006 from a team headed by Dr. Keith Nurse, which concluded that investing in the cultural and creative industries provide worthwhile returns because it generates high value forms of employment and exports.

She also referred to the Inter American Development Bank’s (IDB) 2013 publication, the Orange Economy, which estimated that if the creative sector were a country it would represent the fourth largest employer worldwide and rank as the ninth largest exporter of goods and services globally.

“The UK reported an 11 per cent growth in the creative sector between 2015 and 2016, twice the rate growth of the rest of the economy. Revenue from the global industry is estimated at US$15.7 billion and of course T&T must have an increasing stake in that, particularly as music is an integral component of the domestic creative sector,” she said.