THERE were lines of cars waiting to get into the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain, as the start time neared for the bpTT National Panorama Large Conventional bands finals.
This was the last leg of Panorama 2024, which PanTrinbago president Beverley Ramsey-Moore described as successful and magnificent.
The event began was scheduled to begin at 7 pm and by 7.09 pm, the national anthem was being played on stage. The Prime Minister, Chief Justice Ivor Archie, Minister of Energy and Energy Industries Stuart Young, retired footballer Shaka Hislop were among some of the people at the finals.
At the savannah, 11 bands readied themselves to take the stage. Before the first band – Hadco Phase II Pan Groove – took the stage, Pan Trinbago president Beverley Ramsey-Moore brought welcome remarks.
During her remarks, patrons in the North Stand loudly called for the removal of feather banners placed along the edge of the stage, directly in front of the view of people in the North Stand.
The loud calls interrupted her speech but Ramey-Moore eventually had the banners removed.
Asked about it during an after-event media interview, she said it was great that the people called for the banners to be removed.
“They wanted to see the show. Despite the challenges I faced, in terms of having National Carnival Commission (NCC) put the screens up so that they can see.
“They weren’t able to see what was happening. They were just seeing the back of the band. Normally, the screens are up and they would see what was happening on the screens.
“Despite that challenge, they wanted the feather banners to be removed.
“I satisfied their needs and they loved me for it,” she said.
Hadco Phase II was the first band on stage. The band played 2004 Gimme Everything performed and written by Kes. Kes’ lead singer Kees Dieffenthaller joined the band on stage for its performance.
Bands kept moving along with very short spaces in between. Announcer Jemma Jordan made several announcements asking people who were not playing to come off of stage. She also made several announcements asking people in a filled Grand Stand to remove items like bags from seats.
Asked about the filled Grand Stand during the interview, Ramsey-Moore said the Grand Stand was not over sold but that there was always some way people found themselves in.
Ramsey-Moore the organisation had nothing to do with the logistics in the Grand Stand and NCC managed all gates and everything else.
She said all Pan Trinbago was responsible for was rolling the bands on and off stage, judging and selling of the tickets. The organisation did announce on its social media pages that tickets for the Grand Stand were sold out prior to the event and only tickets to the North Stand were available.
Ramsey-Moore when the Grand Stand was sold out the North Stand tickets sold quickly.
“I am sure for this season we would have done exceedingly well. Already we would have seen in increase in the revenue from the semis and I am sure we would have a greater increase for the finals,” she said.
Bands and their supporters cheered loudly as the bands moved on and off the stage. Bp Renegades’ performance of Mical Teja’s DNA used video footage of the late Dr Eric Williams and used musical allusions such as Benjai’s 2011 Trini.
Many bands used dancers and carnival characters to convey their songs’ message like Republic BANK Exodus during its performance of the late Arrow’s 1984 Long Time. Desperadoes used a home-like prop through which carnival characters and cultural icons like parang queen Alicia Jaggasar came out of during its performance of Teja’s DNA.
For the first time, Panorama patrons were treated to a drone light show. It was done collaboratively by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Pan Trinbago and Caribbean Airlines (CAL).
Although it was scheduled to take place after the first six bands – a 15-minute intermission – there were some technical difficulties which saw it being done after T&TEC Tropical Angel Harps performance during the second half.
Ramsey-Moore said Pan Trinbago and IDB had been working together for some years digitalising pan spaces.
She said the drone light show was something the organisation planned to continue in coming years.
Massy Trinidad All Stars drew robust applause from the audience for its performance of Olatunji’s Inventor. Many people left the Grand Stand after the band’s performance.
Despite this, First Citizens Supernovas gave a high-spirited performance of Johnny King’s 1988 hit Wet Me Down as the competition came to an end at 12.55 am.
For Ramsey-Moore this year’s competition was a “clash of giants” and she was sorry for the judges having to deliberate.
“When you think about where pan is at this time, it is at its pinnacle. We are about to burst the clouds and the glory will come down,” she added.
Asked about sponsor for the competition going forward, Ramsey-Moore said as long as people cleaned-up their brand and produce audited financial statements, sponsors would come on board.
“That is what we are about in Pan Trinbago, openness, cleanliness, transparency, accountability, which we have been doing at our annual general meetings (AGM).”
She said it was no surprise that corporate TT wanted to identify with “greatness.”
“I am pleased as punch as president for what I see happening. The passion is rising everywhere we go. Look at the pan crawls. So we expect not only BpTT is going to stay with us.
“We expect NGC to stay with us and all of the other sponsors to stay with us: Caribbean Airlines.”
Ramsey-Moore added that she also wanted to see companies like Heritage Petroleum and NLCB come onboard.