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Sunday 15 September 2019
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Carifesta official: Go earlier for tickets

Patrons left disappointed at venues

JOHN Arnold, project manager for Carifesta says anyone wanting to get the free tickets for most of the shows should arrive at the various venues earlier.

Over the weekend people came from all over the country to attend Carifesta shows such as Decades of Dance on Saturday at Queen's Hall, Rhythms of the Caribbean at Queen’s Hall on Sunday and Bitter Cassava at the Little Carib Theatre on Sunday.

Official communication from Carifesta organisers said tickets would be distributed three hours before each event. However, many people reported tickets were given out before that three-hour time frame. Many patrons were left disappointed and upset when they were told all the tickets had been given out.

Arnold said there was a large number of people who showed up to the events before the three-hour start of the ticket distribution. He said because of the rain, a decision was made, particularly for Decades of Dance, to give out tickets earlier.

"Yes, it is a first come, first serve basis. The decision was made to deal with the rain. But we are going to adhere to the strict three-hour rule. At three hours before, we will start to give out tickets.

"All Jazzed Up (at NAPA in Port of Spain on Tuesday) for instance is going to be a big show. In TT we have more than 5000 jazz enthusiasts and if the event can only hold 500 people. We want everyone to enjoy themselves. If they don't make one show we have lots others."

Over the weekend, people were walking into the Carifesta Secretariat at the corner of Jerningham Avenue and Queen's Park East to complain about not getting tickets. People were also constantly calling the office to find out if the ticket distribution system was the same as officially communicated.

Newsday was at the Little Carib Theatre before 4pm on Saturday when a long line of mostly young people were disappointed when they could not see the play, by TT playwright Efebo Wilkinson. Bitter Cassava was scheduled to start at 7pm.

Trevor Jadunath, manager of the Little Carib Theatre, said he had no control over ticket distribution. However, he said someone was able to get tickets at 3.50pm.

The negative reports about the ticket distribution system have dissuaded some people from even wanting to attend shows again.

Tyrone Ali, lecturer at the University of the West Indies, said he was planning on going to see Temple in the Sea at Queen's Hall on Thursday but he no longer wants to.

On Sunday Arima Mayor, Lisa Morris Julian announced on her Facebook profile that she had four tickets for Bitter Cassava to give away.

In response to that, Arnold said dignitaries were given complimentary tickets as is customary in most shows.

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