To the rhythm of the blues
The annual Mustique Blues Festival is held in the third week of January. It’s quite an event for the residents who gather in Basil’s Bar to enjoy local and international artists. Proceeds from the sale of the festival companion CD recordings go to The Basil Charles Educational Foundation.
The island is managed by the Mustique Company, formed by the property owners on the island. From its purchase in 1958, the island has been an exclusive project, shaped in its beginnings by the Swedish architect Arne Hasselqvist and British stage designer Oliver Messel. Colin Tennant, 3rd Baron of Glenconner, whose great-great-grandfather revolutionised the cotton industry in Scotland with the discovery of bleaching powder. The Baron described the island in its original state as “a poorly cared for cemetery”. His intial idea was to set up a cotton plantation, though those plans quickly changed. In 1960 he gave a plot of land to his friend Princess Margaret as a wedding present. She built a residence called Les Jolies Eaux. This sparked the interest of the media and the aristocracy in this Caribbean archipelago. Eventually, the island was divided up into 120 plots and a mixture of High Society, artists and designers bought them up. Their diversity became apparant architecturally in the various styles of châteaux: French, Moroccan riads, or Bali inspired houses.
“On Mustique, anything goes” is the company slogan. They are few regulations on the island, and visitors can do whatever they want to, always provided they don’t disturb the residents or other visitors.