Pan Trinbago is most upset with Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, as well as the producer and promoter of the Island Beats concert that will bring the curtain down on Carifesta XIV on August 24.
The show, at the Queen’s Park Savannah, will feature international stars Shaggy, Kassav, Calypso Rose, Machel Montano and other local acts.
But Pan Trinbago feels it is sad that pan will not be represented at the concert, except for the playing of the national anthem.
A fiery Dane Gulston, Pan Trinbago’s external relations officer, blasted the minister for her response.
He said: “We went to the minister and she said: “Pan? Pan on stage with Shaggy and Machel?”
The minister told us straight out... and John Arnold (co-ordinator) say they looking for super artistes.
“So pan not good enough for that concert? Honestly, I think this is a total disrespect to the pan fraternity.”
The peeved Gulston added: “The time has passed for steelband to just play at cocktail hours. We have a national steelband, Trinidad All Stars, Renegades, Desperadoes, Exodus, Phase II, all of which could represent.
All these bands have all performed on international stages, playing all genres of music. We have shared stages with the likes of George Benson and other big-name international artistes – but according to the minister steelpan music not good enough to represent in a super concert.
“What are we showing the world? TT is the birthplace of pan. You think any super concert in Jamaica can go on without reggae?”
Gulston said TT is pan, soca and mas, and the main stage is important for the pan industry. He feels the minister, co-ordinator and the promoter, Ian Pantin, are not giving steelbands the opportunity to show the world that pan can mix with the best.
He added that BPTT Renegades had just played four concerts to sold-out audiences in France last weekend, with patrons paying 100 euros for each concert.
“I don’t think the people who are there at the head respect us enough, or pan the instrument. If we can’t share the stage with Shaggy and Machel, (at) the only event (where) people (are) paying between $300 and $1,000, then we can’t do anything else.”
Pan Trinbago president Beverly Ramsey-Moore, asked if promoters had been approached about having a significant pan presence in the concert, said: “They claim they don’t want pan in their superconcert!
“We are totally upset in Pan Trinbago.”
Gulston said: “We intend to do a technical super pan concert with all the big bands and do it for the people and let the minister understand the real power of pan.”
Ramsey-Moore gave details: “As a matter of fact all our major bands, All Stars, ‘Radoes, Supernovas, about 12 bands have already planned to stand up in solidarity and pledged to have their own super concert on the same night.
We are just waiting to get words if we are doing it at Starlift or at the Oval – but there will be a pan event on the same night.”
At Carifesta, apart from solo pan performances, there is Pan and Powder on August 21, and will feature BPTT Renegades, Massy All Stars, Desperadoes and Invaders Youth Orchestra, as well as the National Steel Orchestra of Guyana and Hell’s Gate Steel Orchestra from Antigua and Barbuda.