FOLLOWING an extraordinary general meeting of Pan Trinbago and its membership on Tuesday at Communications Workers’ Union Hall in Port of Spain, Pan Trinbago president Beverly Ramsey-Moore confirmed sweeping changes to the format of Panorama 2020.
To get away from the clashing of pan events with all-inclusive fetes and calypso shows during Carnival, Ramsey-Moore said the new schedule will allow them to spread out Panorama.
“Panorama must not be boxed in by Carnival! We have to create a new experience because we want people to buy in more to the various categories,” she said.
While she said the proposed dates are not cast in concrete, the concepts of single pan band category competition being held in November and the small band category completed before the start of the medium and large band competitions, were all agreed to.
“Pan Trinbago is set to adopt the changes with immediate effect as agreed by the general membership. That was the decision taken at the meeting,” Ramsey-Moore said.
The Single Pan preliminaries will be held from November 1-8, with the opening of score sheets on November 9, the semi-finals - November 16 and final on November 23.
Ramsey-Moore said: “We will sell it as heritage pan, with the traditional single pan and traditional mas presented in an entire show, and out of that we will have the single pan champs. It is going to be a tremendous experience where we pay tribute to our ancestors, so we are going to use it as an indigenous festival with the ole time mas, and also with the indigenous food, indigenous craft etc.”
The venue for the single pan final is yet to be decided but Ramsey-Moore said by the end of the month more information will be divulged.
Regarding the small band category Ramsey-Moore said: “It is all about the thing start. That competition starts in the December 9, and will continue to just before Christmas, with the semi-final on January 4, and final on January 11.
However, it is the decision to take the medium band category final to Tobago that has social media buzzing.
In response Ramsey-Moore said: “We must look at the economic impact of Panorama on communities. The THA has bought into this event lock stock and barrel. So it is now going to be a collaborative effort between the government of TT, Pan Trinbago and the THA.”
She spoke of prices for hotel rooms that are doubled in Trinidad when Tobago bands have to be housed. “It will not cost as much in Tobago. The cost will be down. At the same time our hoteliers benefit, Tobago truck drivers benefit, Tobago maxi drivers benefit. It is economic activity in Trinidad and in Tobago, and the THA recognises that and that’s why they are extremely happy to be a part of this medium band experience.”
Regarding the question of schools using medium pans and racks, Ramsey-Moore said they will only be out of it for one night, and in any event the school’s competition will be scheduled to begin after the medium final.
The medium band prelims will be held January 14-17, opening of score sheets on January 20, semi-final on February 9 at the Queen’s Park Savannah, the same day as the large band semis as is normal, but the final will be held in Tobago on February 15.
Large bands preliminaries will be held between Sunday February 2 and Tuesday February 5, with the final being held on Carnival Saturday as usual.
Ramsey-Moore said: “So we have to spread out the festival and not cram everything into the one or two months before Carnival. No. Panorama is much more than Carnival. It is a major festival. If we are to change the landscape for Carnival we will change it and these changes provide another opportunity for us all. It is a national event.”
She added, her executive is open to working with the membership to iron out any issues that may arise from the changes.
Re outstanding monies from the National Carnival Commission (NCC) to Pan Trinbago, Ramsey-Moore said most of NCC’s commitments have been met but they are still awaiting gate receipts which she said they were assured they will get at the end of this month.
As for players’ remittances she said that was never part of the allocation for this year but for 2020 they are trying to give bands a larger appearance fees from which bands can maintain their players.