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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Liz McMillan, Kevin Jackson, Peter Silva, Greg Wind

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Touching Lives, Changing Nations: Barbados Celebrates The 22nd Annual Island Gospelfest

2014 Line Up Includes Grammy-Award Winning Headliners Hezekiah Walker and Tye Tribbett Plus the First Ever International Choir Competition

NEW YORK, Feb. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Celebrating the best in international, regional and local gospel talent, this year's "Barbados Gospelfest – Touching Lives, Changing Nations" will be held from May 17-25, 2014. The recent kick off at the WLIB Super Bowl Gospel Concert at New Jersey's Performing Arts Center provided an exciting preview of the on-island celebration that will feature nine events to create one "Awesome" festival!

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130403/NY87777LOGO-b)

Continuing to attract thousands of locals and visitors from the Caribbean, the US and the UK, the festival has become a major annual Caribbean gospel event, held at various venues across Barbados. This year's international headliners, Grammy Award-winning gospel artists Hezekiah Walker and Tye Tribbett will take the stage to perform their latest soulful hits at LIME Ultimate Gospel and Courts One Awesome Day respectively. As highly influential gospel ministers within the Christian community, both headliners are sure to recreate their widely known, awe-inspiring performances for their audience at the 2014 Gospelfest.

As part of Gospelfest's mission to further promote life-changing spiritual experiences, the first ever Barbados Gospelfest International Choir Competition invites gospel church or ministry based choirs to register for the chance to perform at the festival's grand finale event, One Awesome Day at Farley Hill National Park. The competition welcomes choirs from around the world to be a part of history as the event is sure to be a hit for years to come!

The calendar of events for the annual Barbados Gospelfest is as follows:

Saturday, May 17th: Venue to be announced
Event: 20/20 Celebrity Cricket Match

Sunday, May 18th (8:00 a.m.): Venue to be announced
Event: Worship & Thanksgiving Service

Tuesday, May 20th (7:00 p.m.): St. Mary's Anglican Church, Bridgetown
Event: Hymn Speak*

Wednesday, May 21st (5:30 p.m.): Independence Square
Event: Barbados Public Workers' Co-operative Credit Union Sunset Concert

Thursday, May 22nd (7:30 p.m.): Grand Salle – Tom Adams Financial Centre
Event: Joseph Niles Legacy Lecture

Friday, May 23rd (8:00 p.m.): Divi Southwinds
Event: Capita Financial Services Laughter & Jazz*

Saturday, May 24th (9:00 a.m.): Grand Salle – Tom Adams Financial Centre
Event: SIGNIA Artistes Development Workshop

Saturday, May 24th (7:00 p.m.): Garfield Sobers Gymnasium, Wildey, St. Michaels
Event: LIME Ultimate Gospel*

Sunday, May 25th (1:00pm): Farley Hill National Park, Farley Hill, St. Peter
Event: Courts One Awesome Day*

*There is an entrance fee for some of these events.

The Barbados Tourism Authority partners with Barbados Gospelfest to promote the festival throughout the Caribbean, the USA, Canada and the UK. Interest continues to be strong in these markets where special travel and accommodation packages facilitate persons visiting Barbados for the festival. To book packages go to www.barbadosgospelfest.com and click on the 'Travel Info' tab. To register for the Barbados Gospelfest International Choir Competition, visit www.jotformeu.com/vocalizemusic/ChoirInterest.

For more information on travel to Barbados, visit www.visitbarbados.org.

Getting to Barbados
American Airlines offers connecting service from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and two nonstop flights from Miami International.

JetBlue Airways continues to offer daily nonstop flights between New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and Grantley Adams International Airport in Bridgetown, Barbados, as well as twice daily flights effective June 18th, 2014. Those traveling from Boston can also easily connect through New York to arrive in sunny Barbados.

US Airways continues to offer nonstop service once a week each Saturday out of Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) to Grantley Adams International Airport in Bridgetown, Barbados. Additional Sunday service will be offered in the months of March, July and August 2014.

About Barbados Gospelfest
Barbados Gospelfest is an annual production of Gospelfest (Barbados) Inc. Envisioned to be the premier international Christian music and arts festival, Barbados Gospelfest promotes the life-changing impact of God in the lives of all those that come into contact with the festival. Now in its 21st year, Gospelfest features leading local, regional and international Gospel artists. It also provides a platform for artistic interpretation of Gospel through dance and other expressions. The festival is family-oriented and incorporates specific events aimed at children, as well as teenagers and young adults. To find out more and/or be a part of the experience visit, http://www.barbadosgospelfest.com.

About Barbados
The island of Barbados offers the most authentic Caribbean experience with its exceptionally rich culture and history rooted in remarkable landscapes.  Rated as one of the world's sexiest beaches in 2008 by Concierge.com; Barbados' Crane Beach in St. Philip stands as a premier destination for travelers.  Barbados is also the first Zagat-rated Caribbean island with numerous internationally renowned chefs who masterfully put signature spins on local delicacies and traditions. Barbados is an ideal stage for world-class events and in collaboration with American Express Publishing Corporation, Barbados has hosted its first annual Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival in November 2010.  The country has also hosted numerous athletic championships, including the 2006 PGA World Golf Championships-Barbados World Cup, the ICC Cricket World Cup Finals in 2007, the Sentebale Charity Polo match with Prince Harry of Wales in 2010, and the ICC Twenty20 Cricket Finals for 2010. Accommodations range from picturesque plantation houses and villas, to quaint bed and breakfasts and award-winning, five-star resorts. Grantley Adams International Airport offers even more non-stop and direct service from a growing number of U.S. cities via Jet Blue and American Airlines, making Barbados the true gateway to the Eastern Caribbean.  Barbados was voted eighth in the World by Trip Advisor's '2008 Travelers Choice Destination Awards' in its Top 100 Destinations category.  For more information on travel to Barbados, visit www.visitbarbados.org, follow on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/VisitBarbados, via Twitter @Barbados or contact the Barbados Tourism Authority at 1.800.221.9831.

SOURCE Barbados Tourism Authority

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