Following discussions with National Carnival Commission (NCC) chairman Colin Lucas and San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello, a decision was taken to allow promoter George Singh free use of Skinner Park in San Fernando as the venue for his Chutney Soca Monarch (CSM) finals on January 27.
Lucas pointed out however that while use of the facilities is free, “costs related to lights, sound and cleaning up of the venue after the show, must be negotiated and paid by the promoter.” For his part, Singh said the production cost for hosting the finals will be reduced by 50 per cent in keeping with the drastic cut in sponsorship. Singh said in previous years, it cost close to $3m to pull off the show. This year, he is budgeting $1.5m.
“Each year this CSM stage is upgraded to meet the needs of the artistes. However, this year year we will provide enough lighting and sound and stage to fit the budget,” Singh said. He added that in light of reduced sponsorship, artistes will experience, “a number of changes.” Singh reiterated that a lot of money goes into producing the show.
Last week, Singh threatened to cancel the show this year after being offered a $300,000 “donation” from government. He later changed his mind after Finance Minister Colm Imbert held a press conference to say that Government would sponsor the CSM to the tune of $1m.
Thirty-three singers will be vying for a spot in the finals when they perform tomorrow night at the semis at the LIV nightclub. They will be seeking to dethrone joint reigning monarchs, Omardath Maraj and Ravi B.
Singh thanked Lucas and Regrello for their input into solving the dilemma of a venue for the finals. “San Fernando is the home of Chutney Soca, and we are happy that patrons will be able to enjoy the facilities of Skinner Park,” Regrello said yesterday.
The Chutney Soca Monarch (CSM) finals will be held at Skinner Park, San Fernando, after all.
CSM Promoter George Singh said after discussions with NCC chairman Colin Lucas and the mayor of San Fernando, Junia Regrello, a decision was made to host CSM at the park on January 27.
Earlier this month Singh said low funding from the State had forced the 23-year-old event out of this traditional venue since the main sponsor, NLCB, had also made a sharp cut in its sponsorship.
The semifinals take place at the Liv Nighclub on Saturday at 8pm, when 33 competitors will vie for a spot in the finals against the 2017 joint monarchs, Omardath Maraj and Ravi B.