This week, as we enter the homestretch to Carnival 2018, we take the opportunity to congratulate all who have risen to the occasion to ensure the festival has been an enjoyable experience.
From the looks of things at the Calypso Fiesta on Saturday, many have responded to the challenges posed by a season of austerity with creativity and renewed fervour. Criminals, politicians and even alleged fraudster and part-time escape artist Vicky Boodram were in the line of fire at Skinner’s Park.
The result was a show which went some way to restoring faith in calypso. The high turnout was also a reminder of our love of our national artform, in good times and bad.
While there were many fine performances which will be no doubt be replicated at the Dimanche Gras stage come Sunday, in our scan of the calypso environment, we dare cite an artiste whose approach restores some hope in the art form which has been at the butt of criticism.
Voice (Aaron St Louis), a relative newcomer, who has already entered the history books by winning Soca Monarch twice, brings a fresh timbre to what has for too long been a stale forum replete with mediocrity. His song, “Year for Love” is a melodious call to arms, a lyrical act of cleansing with a noble intent and powerful message.
It is a risky song for an artist who made a name for himself with party-pleasing tunes like “Cheers to Life” and “Get Away”. His is an easy example of a desire to give back to his country in such a palpable way that restores some hope. As Carnival goes into high gear this week, we look forward to further instances of excellence.
All eyes will turn to this evening’s Machel Monday concert, then the Kings and Queens of Carnival will enter tomorrow leading up to Fantastic Friday and Saturday’s Panorama finals. While some of the Kings and Queens entrants have expressed concern over cutbacks, we are also in for a treat from presentations which will place greater emphasis on creativity and not lazily-deployed pyrotechnics.
We also take a moment to hail the return of Rosalind Gabriel and congratulate her for her Kiddies Carnival band “Buy Local” — another instance of art with a message. We must congratulate the Police Service for their hard work thus far.
While many of us have been out feteing they been working in the field to ensure a safe season. In these final days, we urge all revellers to be cautious and to comply with law enforcement authorities. Take precautions, do not drink and drive and if you see suspicious activity, immediately report it.
In so many ways, we all must do our part for a successful Carnival 2018 and even beyond.