The organisers of two major Carnival events over the weekend should be congratulated. In a season that has been affected by cuts and a slower economy, the staging of these events without major incident is a sign of our ability to make do with less.
The Panorama semi-finals and the Chutney Soca Monarch (CSM) are signature events on the Carnival calendar. Both lived up to expectations. While each had to contend with specific challenges, they nonetheless were pulled off with efficiency and energy.
There were many impressive arrangements and excellent performances on Sunday at the Queen’s Park Savannah as pan sides sparred.
The degree of artistry was such that it is clear the judges will have a tough time crowning this year’s winner.
The song selections were telling in their variety. Older tunes by veterans jostled alongside more recent soca flavours in concoctions that nonetheless managed to remain fresh. Pan is one thing we do best.
However the extremely scanty turnout at the Savannah Greens is a sign that this experiment may have run its course.
The idea has always been to attract a wider cross-section of patrons, particularly the young, bringing them into proximity to the traditional pan event.
The decision of younger soca acts to pursue pan songs is a sign of a deep appetite for pan across all sectors, an appetite that is only now being nurtured and recognised.
However, the Greens have often clashed with the Panorama semis. And in leaner economic times, the event has become somewhat out of reach for some who could simply join the throngs at the Grand Stand and the North Stand.
There have also been squabbles over sponsorship of pansides, in a sign of the times. The low gate receipts on Sunday, despite a substantial price reduction, will certainly give Pan Trinbago some food for thought. Perhaps the time has come to go back to basics.
The CSM was a lively event. While it was controversial given Nermal “Massive” Goseine’s entry, the final product demonstrated a capacity to make do with less, even if some suggest funding should be cut even further.
It will now be seen what the fate of other marquee events will be. Organisers behind calypso tents such as Kalypso Revue continue to complain about receipts.
All in all, both the Panorama semi-finals and the CSM demonstrated things can go on during hard times.
Such resilience is something all need to take heed of as the season continues.