Beverly Ramsey-Moore, president of Pan Trinbago, said on Tuesday that everything is in place for all Pan Trinbago events this Carnival.
But the pan body and the National Carnival Commission (NCC) appear to be at odds over Pan Trinbago's plan for "Pan City."
Pan Trinbago wants Pan City put up in the Savannah, but the NCC chairman is set on re-creating the North Park from last year.
Ramsey-Moore said: "Last year that North Park did not work for us – the patrons stated it."
So Pan Trinbago felt, she said, "We cannot entertain the North Park as it was constructed last year. So Pan Trinbago is recommending that we have a Pan City, and that it’s not constructed the way how it was last year.”
NCC chairman Winston “Gypsy” Peters, however, said: “Pan Trinbago could want whatever them feel that they want, but at the end of the day, it is the NCC that has to provide it, and we have to do what we think is best.”
Last year, the North Park covered over 350,000 square feet, with covered and uncovered areas, a raised deck and two side stands. The North Park centrepiece "fan zone" was situated upfront for those who wanted to see the stage action up close, while north of the stands was an open air space for those who were happy to watch the action on large screens.
Ramsey-Moore said Pan Trinbago has proposed to have a Pan City erected like the North Stand at the Queen's Park Savannah (QPS) for the Savannah Party on February 9. It would hold 9,000 people, with the aim of re-creating the North Stand atmosphere.
Asked if Peters had given an undertaking that Pan City would be erected, Ramsey-Moore said: “Pan Trinbago is insisting that we have it.”
But when contacted on Tuesday, Peters said: “Nothing like the North Stand is going to be erected. What is going to be erected is exactly North Park, with a little modification to it, in terms of giving patrons a little more room.”
Asked about the disconnect that, Ramsey-Moore said, audiences felt last year with the North Park, Peters said: “We did a survey, and the patrons’ satisfaction is 86 per cent. Sixteen per cent of the people say that they wanted back the North Stand. Everybody else say they were totally satisfied.”
Told that a number of people complained last year, Peters said: “You will find people quarrelling about everything. There’s nothing you can do about that. There is no such thing as a unanimous decision.”
He added: “Pan Trinbago caters to one segment of this country in terms of cultural things, and that is pan. The NCC has to cater for everybody’s needs in the Carnival and, in so doing, you would not be able to please everybody.”
Ramsey-Moore was expected to meet with the NCC board on Tuesday to let them know of Pan Trinbago’s expectations.
She said: “The chairman sometimes feels that he must have the last say, but he has to understand that the board has a responsibility and the final say does not lie with him.”
On the plan to hold the Panorama medium band finals in Tobago on February 16, Ramsey-Moore said: “The Tobago House of Assembly has been working assiduously in collaboration with Pan Trinbago to ensure that everything is in place for that event.”
Asked about travel and accommodation for Trinidad pan players going to Tobago, Ramsey-Moore said Pan Trinbago liaison officers are working on it.
“We already had discussions with the Port Authority and our hoteliers to accommodate the bands. As the semi-finals end in Port of Spain on February 9, Pan Trinbago will be ready to transport and accommodate the players of bands that make the finals.”
Ramsey-Moore said eight bands are coming from Tobago to Trinidad for the pan semi-finals event on January 11, and even, in the past, there would have been some 12 bands coming from Tobago to Trinidad.
"As a bandleader myself, and as president, in terms of working out those logistics, that is easy maths for me, and also the Tobago region, because we are accustomed to bands going through that exercise every year.”
The Panorama small band category semi-final takes place at Victoria Square, Port of Spain, with the stands and the necessary facilities already in place. Ramsey-Moore said: “We are really looking forward to it. It will be pure excitement.”
She said, too, everything is in place for the small band final at the Queen’s Park Savannah (QPS) on January 17.
“They are working feverishly on the stage right now and we are hoping by next week it is going to be ready.”
Pan Trinbago’s revised calendar of pan events for this Carnival:
4 pm: National Small Conventional semi-finals – Opposite Victoria Square, Park St, PoS
7 pm: National Small Conventional finals – QPS, PoS
Junior Panorama Qualifying Rounds – Judging in the schools/pan yards/ communities
9 am: National Junior Panorama Finals – QPS, PoS
National Medium Conventional preliminaries – judging in the panyards/communities
6 pm: North Medium Conventional preliminaries
6 pm: East Medium Conventional preliminaries
6 pm: South/Central Medium Conventional preliminaries
6 pm: South/Central Medium Conventional preliminaries
8 pm: Tobago Medium Conventional preliminaries
National Large Conventional (qualifying rounds) judging in the panyards/communities
7 pm: North Large Conventional Preliminaries
8 pm: Tobago Large Conventional Preliminaries
10 am: Opening of the score sheets from Medium Conventional qualifying round – City Hall, Knox St, PoS
8 pm: East Large Conventional preliminaries
8 pm: South/Central Large Conventional Preliminaries
THA Tobago Pan Champs
10 am: Opening of the score sheets for the Large Conventional qualifying round – City Hall, Knox St, PoS
1 pm: National Steelband Panorama semi-finals (Savannah Party) (Medium & Large Conventional bands) – QPS, PoS
7 pm: National Medium Conventional Finals – Dwight Yorke Stadium, Tobago
7 pm: National Large Conventional Finals – QPS, PoS
7 pm: Carnival Lagniappe – QPS, PoS