Cabinet has officially approved plans for the staging of Crop Over 2022 with changes to the previously announced format of the foremost cultural events in addition to the COVID-19 protocols that shall be in effect.
Nonetheless, stakeholders are already reporting a major reduction within the variety of bands participating on this 12 months’s event.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Chief Executive Officer of the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) Carol Roberts-Reifer disclosed that there could be one Grand Kadooment jump and two Foreday Morning jumps.
She also announced that revellers will now have the choice of either being fully vaccinated or presenting a negative antigen test.
Greater than a month ago, Minister within the Prime Minister’s Office with responsibility for Culture, Dr Shantal Munro-Knight, announced five Grand Kadooment routes, 4 Foreday Morning routes, and that revellers needed to be each fully vaccinated and tested prior to the jumps.
In keeping with Roberts-Reifer, this 12 months’s Grand Kadooment parade will leave the ABC Highway at Warrens, St Michael, and move south to the Emancipation Statue before making an about-turn toward Waterford Bottom and onto the National Stadium.
One in every of the 2 Foreday Morning routes will leave the King George V Memorial Park and end at Bushy Park Raceway, while the opposite will begin and end at Searles, Christ Church.
“For each Foreday Morning and Grand Kadooment, it’s the intention of the NCF and stakeholder groups to canvass the neighbourhoods and communities in these locations to make sure that we don’t appear to be invading with none interaction or conversation with the residents within the areas, such that their day-to-day living and the staging of this event for in the future only can coexist peacefully,” said Roberts-Reifer.
“The opposite thing is that revellers for each Foreday Morning and Grand Kadooment now should be fully vaccinated or present a rapid Antigen test,” she added.
Roberts-Reifer was addressing a press conference on Tuesday on the NCF’s West Terrace St James headquarters with quite a few stakeholders, including the Barbados Association of Masqueraders, the Entertainment Association of Barbados, the Barbados Association of Event Professionals, and a representative of Foreday Morning band leaders.
They indicated that just 14 Grand Kadooment bands and 16 Foreday Morning bands had confirmed their participation on this 12 months’s Crop Over festivities.
“I believe it’s the stark reality of our life for the time being. There are people of all backgrounds and ages who’re telling you, ‘I’m still slightly bit wary of COVID and maybe I won’t exit as much as I used to, or perhaps I won’t exit in any respect’. That’s the fact,” said Roberts-Reifer.
“There are individuals who would normally travel to festivals, not only Crop Over, who’re saying ‘perhaps I’ll skip this 12 months out’. There are others who should not working because they’ve not worked since COVID because their jobs were made redundant. It’s just the state of the world, so the expectation that numbers could be at the degrees they’d been at in 2019 is a bit difficult,” added the NCF CEO.
Spokesman for the Foreday Morning band leaders, Bryan Worrell said he was pleased with the method and final result of the negotiations for this 12 months’s festival.
“That is our first 12 months getting a subvention, that’s the first time for that, and we’re very excited. We all know that there have been multiple routes previously and we now have been in a position to dwindle those right down to just two routes now,” he told reporters.
“Now we have 16 bands which have come forward and shall be participating, down from the standard variety of 40 or more, and I just wish to say that I stay up for participating.
“There may be a special effort to push Barbadian music for this event, Foreday Morning, and we’ll do as much as we will to facilitate that through the number of music through our deejays, etcetera,” he added.
President of the Barbados Association of Masqueraders Anthony Layne praised the NCF for its commitment to this 12 months’s festival, noting that, already, bands have began to launch.
“We agreed at times and we disagreed at times, but at the tip of the day it’s about what happens for 2022, and I’m more than happy to see where we’re today,” said Layne.
“It’s slightly short by way of time we now have for August 1st, but I feel it’s time enough that we will execute and make this festival nearly as good as we possibly can. As I actually have said to our members, which is about 14 bands that needs to be coming, we’ll still produce the perfect possible costumes for 2022 because that is our stepping stone for 2023,” he added.
Meanwhile, Bryan Corbin, chairman of finance of the Barbados Association of Event Professionals, is optimistic concerning the impact of the festival on the struggling sector.
“It’s been very hard; quite a lot of us have lost business, some have even lost their homes, and we now have lost vital tradespersons because of COVID. So, I need to thank everyone, the Government of Barbados, especially the NCF, for ensuring that we’re at this point, to make sure that that we’re here once more,” he said. [email protected]