Are Haitian Music Festivals running out of style?

A study conducted by Bloomberg stated, 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. That’s 80% of new businesses. And that’s not even the whole story when you take into consideration the amount that some will borrow to keep the doomed venture afloat? At which point do you acknowledge this is either not going to work or it’s taken its course?


In the business world most business men and women with a background in business management knows to allow a business about three years to grow and see where they will take it from there and what necessary changes they have to make if it doesn’t live up to their expectations in the near future. In the Haitian music industry; this practice doesn’t seem to apply when it comes to much but we’ll keep this one simply on festivals.


In the past decade we’ve seen so many Haitian Music Festivals come and go; we don’t even call them by name rather just the states they originated from nowadays. In the beginning some came across as promising while others became a habit or an annual routine. But the past few years we’ve seen how the attendees lost interest and so have the organizers themselves because most of them don’t even try to improve anymore.


Most of these festivals fail due to lack of; vision, strong and knowledgeable staff, public interest, a strategic business plan, nothing to offer a potential sponsor, weak or no production, bad intents or time has change and people outgrown the same ole same ole.


Everything you do in life is about timing. Some things work great in one period of time while the same exact thing might have a totally different outcome at another point. It’s still mind boggling that every year a new festival arrives or an old one return using the same format. When do we let go? This is not necessarily about failure but how promoters and event organizers in the industry respond to them.


Undeniably in the Haitian music festival department Compas Festival which takes place annually during Haitian Flag Day weekend surpasses every other festival in the industry. Almost 20 years later they still dominate the festival realm. But don’t let that fool you though because they too have seen the highs and the lows in numbers; they may not even be as successful in their pockets as we think. The festival is continuously improving but its’ revenues don’t seem to budge if the number of attendees counts for anything.


When you think about the amount of effort it takes to put a festival together in this industry; the outcome is not worth it. The smartest thing for a festival organizer to do with a festival that’s been failing for over three years in a row is to merge with a more successful one or seriously, let it go. I know it’s hard to let go of your business; it’s like your baby and you’ve grown attached causing you to have withdrawal issues. But think how much harder it will be later when you’re looking at all the money wasted; how will you feel then? Nothing last forever and a wise man will know when to let go.


Little Festival History… amount of HMI festivals… do you know any more?

Compas Festival (FL)

Kreyolfest (NY)

Haitian Day Parade

Haitian Independence Festival

Orlando Festival

Montreal Festival

Fort Lauderdale Festival

Fos Baron Festival (NY Pre Labor Day)

Richard Urbain (NY Pre Labor Day)

Carifest (FL)

New York Haitian Festival (Never came to light)

Haitian Day Parade & Haitian

Haitian American Festival in Palm Springs

Haitian Flag Festival (New Orleans)

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