DESPITE the financial challenges experienced by calypso tents this year, their managements have vowed to continue finding ways to keep the culture alive.
The tents have suffered from low patronage and little Government subvention so most were unable to put on the shows they were accustomed to in previous years.
Kalypso Revue closed its doors last Friday, one week before it was scheduled to do so. President of the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (TUCO) Lutalo Masimba, also known as Brother Resistance, said it has been very rough year, but it was the willingness to stand up and face the challenges that has been taking them through.
He said there were decent attendances at Kaiso House and at Klassic Ruso which had been moving around and taking the calypso tent to the people in different areas, including All Stars’ panyard.
He said Kaiso Showkase in the south also had a fair turnout. “They are being creative in terms of developing the audiences for the calypso product,” Masimba said.
He said the calypso tents would not give up because they were important to Carnival. “The calypso tents and the steel pan as an acoustic instrument on the road are important aspects of what we do. There is no way we could say that we will be written off from the Carnival. We are the root, the foundation, of the Carnival,” Masimba said.
President of Kalypso Revue Michael Osuna, known as Sugar Aloes, said while he had to cut the show short because of a lack of funding, there would be a Revue next year.
Osuna had made a request to Government for an additional $400,000 to the $100,000 they received. He had said without that subvention they would have to close their doors.
And this was exactly what he had to do last Friday as they were unable to continue without the additional funding.
However, this was not the end for the Revue.
“This Friday we were supposed to do Calypso through the Years, and we were supposed to close off this Saturday because normally we would have a grand finale where the members would bring their families and we would have some eats and drinks, a little celebration.
But we never got the funding we asked for, they just gave me what they decided and that’s it.”