Chewstick To Focus On Hub, No Kite/BeachFest

March 24, 2016

The Chewstick Foundation said they will not be producing the Good Friday KiteFest or Beachfest Emancipation Celebration this year “in order to focus their limited resources toward the completion of the, as yet unopened, Chewstick Culture Hub at 81 Front Street, in efforts to provide a more comprehensive community resource for Bermuda.”

“The Board and Executive of The Chewstick Foundation carefully considered how not hosting these events might impact our community and ultimately reached the view that working towards opening The Chewstick Culture Hub has to be prioritized at this time” says Gavin Djata Smith, Executive Director & Founder of The Chewstick Foundation.

A look at last year’s KiteFest event:

“These events require significant manpower and investment: financially, administratively, and logistically, and unfortunately due to challenges with funding and capacity, we simply cannot do it.

“While it is unfortunate to forego these events this year, we hope this will put us in a stronger position to deliver improved and more sustainable community events for 2017 and beyond”.

Mr. Smith added, “By focusing on The Culture Hub we can provide a safe space for learning, diverse convergence and positive interaction for Bermuda’s polarized community.

“This tool will create ongoing opportunities to heal age old wounds that stifle collective growth, and will help to fortify and strengthen Bermuda’s creative community. At this time we need to focus on doing all we can to get the doors of the new Culture Hub open.

“We appreciate your understanding, during these challenging times and are grateful for the community’s support over this past year and look forward to increased partnerships, success and vibrancy into the future.

“We wish everyone a safe and enjoyable holiday and encourage people to participate in the season; whether it be flying kites in the neighborhood, joining in the festivities in St. David’s, or enjoying the natural atmosphere at Horseshoe Bay Beach”

“The Chewstick Foundation said they hopes to return to Horseshoe Bay in 2017 with a revitalized Good Friday KiteFest and Beachfest, and aim to showcase both events as leading examples of Bermuda’s culture, history, entertainment and community,” the group said.

“If you are willing and able to help in the efforts to complete The Chewstick Culture Club, you are encouraged to get involved by contacting The Chewstick Foundation at 292 2439 or emailing For further information you can visit”

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Comments (19)

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  1. Frank ocean says:

    They need to realise it’s going to be a Beachfest regardless if they’e there or not.

    • Hannah Collins says:

      Hopefully everyone cleans up after themselves :)

      • Jus' Wonderin' says:

        I know one year you didn’t ;) why should we?

        • Chris P says:

          Hey Jus’ Wonderin’,

          So if everyone doesn’t wipe their own butts that means you’re not gonna wipe your own?

          Of course you are because:
          1) it’s just the right thing to do
          2) your butt-cleaning regiment is not contingent on everyone else’s butt-cleaning regiment.

          PS: calling out someone who has enough clout to use their real name in a public forum while hiding behind a pseudo name is cowardly.

          Jus’ Sayin’

    • rico says:

      Great news! The beach will be more open :)

    • Hurricane says:

      @ Frank ocean…………what makes you think they don’t realize this? I didn’t read that they said there will be no Beachfest. Only that they will not be involved this year. Geshhhhhhhh!

      Enjoy your holiday………

  2. whale watcher says:

    No great loss beachfest last year went great without Chewstick there, less hassle and no fighting. Best of luck with the Front St. renovations though.

  3. Hannah Collins says:

    KiteFest and BeachFest will be a miss this year… :( but Chewstick will continue on, forward ever!!!

    Also… Friday night is the Department of Community & Culture Affairs’ FRIDAY NIGHT LIVE at the Chewstick Culture Hub! The Wall Street Band is playing – their final night in the March series. FREE live local music from 7-9 pm, at 81 Front Street.

  4. Long Bay Trading Co. says:

    why the churlish remarks about CHEWSTICK? Instead of such negative comments that are akin to ‘no great loss we will still party without you’ which are so NOT necessary and does very little to foster good will within the Community, why not just simply thank them for their time and efforts and wish them well for their chosen endeavour instead of writing stingy remarks.

    The hateful rhetoric and tone of so many people on this Island (as witnessed last week up on the hill and which was heard by MANY of us in our offices trying to work) has sunk to an all time low.

    Chewstick good luck on The Hub and thanks for all your work.

    • whale watcher says:

      The churlishness may be because Chewstick have tried to corner the first day of cup match at Horseshoe as their own event and are looking to profit off it, they regularly try and make it sound like without them the event won’t happen when in reality people will be there with or with or without them.They want to make it their own event and brand it as Beachfest but whenever things go wrong they immediately distance themselves and say its nothing to do with them.
      In actuality every year when they’re not there things run smoother and with less issues, there’s more room on the beach and fewer incidents of disorder.
      I liked what the police and parks did last year with the improved traffic plan and closing down the beach before it got dark thus avoiding a lot of the issues they’ve faced in recent years.
      I fully support the work Chewstick do with the kids and local artists but they should step out of the arena of large events though.

  5. drogo says:

    Chewstick will be a miss the day after beachfest when all that trash is left behind.

  6. hmmm says:

    “Mr. Smith added, “By focusing on The Culture Hub we can provide a safe space for learning, diverse convergence and positive interaction for Bermuda’s polarized community.”

    Peoples need to look for similarities and not focus on difference, then only will a peoples become a people.

  7. swing voter says:

    haters will always be hateful….chewstick vision of community will always be ahead of your dull thoughts and comments ….and no, Im not affiliated with chewstick

  8. Us says:

    Totally support you Chewstick!

  9. Legalgal says:

    Forget the egos. So what is available at Horseshoe Bay? Will the kiosk/food place be open? Will there be music, Easter egg hunt, kite competition etc.?

  10. Triangle Drifter says:

    Why should there be a pile of trash left on the beach without Chewstick? People bring all of that stuff onto the beach. They should be able to pack it off the beach.

    What is the problem? Bring trash bags. Take your trash home or at the very least leave it next to a trash barrel or dumpster in the carpark. There is a dumpster in the carpark right?

  11. sure. says:

    What is wrong with you people??? So egotistical.

    With all of this negativity I hope you give as much dedication and effort in making Bermuda a better place. But with these comments I beg to differ!!

  12. Vamos says:

    Would be interesting to know what Chewstick paid themselves after all their charitable endeavors.

  13. paperboy says:

    I respect the decision by Chewstick – given their commitment to be an independent shop and the financial struggles for most small Bermuda non-profits.

    Their funding base is very small and their ability to attract additional funding has not materialized.

    Running large events on a public beach is a losing proposition. The concept of large scale events on our beaches is attractive – coordinating all the different players appears to be the hardest part and requires excellent relationship management skills.

    I hope someone steps in and runs the Kite competition – it is always such an inspiration to see the beautiful Bermuda Kites displayed and for our community and guests to recognize the many talented kite makers in our community.

    Let’s hope the new vendor on Horsehoe Bay or the BTA can step in and run the traditional Kite competition – there were too many plastic kites up in the air today.