Entertainers are welcoming the return of the Crop Over festival, but are hoping that there will probably be a greater spread of the prizes for the Pic-o-de-Crop Competition.
President of the Barbados Association of Creatives and Artistes (BACA) Sean Apache Carter said the association hopes that after again this yr, finalists within the Pic-o-de-Crop Competition will profit from the $2 000 contribution to help with preparations for his or her performances.
Nevertheless, Carter said that while traditionally only the artistes placing in the highest three positions got generous prizes, those trailing behind are sometimes left saddled with the burden of meeting production expenses.
“It’s a giant expense to placed on a high quality show on the finals of Pic-o-de-Crop. Unfortunately there isn’t a Soca Monarch in the standard sense and the wording that was used is that it will be more like a People’s Alternative Soca Monarch this yr. We just like the performance fee and the spread of cash for the artistes in that soca competition,” he said.
Twenty artistes within the People’s Alternative Soca Monarch competition will receive a performance fee of $4 000. But Carter said the association is anxious that an artiste who doesn’t produce high-quality music, could be judged the identical way as knowledgeable who takes their craft seriously, which can result in concerns with the tip results.
Carter said BACA hopes that the People’s Alternative Soca Monarch competition will probably be properly monitored this yr, and won’t necessarily be the way in which forward for that competition.
“From those perspectives which speak on to the members of BACA, we’re completely happy there’s a Crop Over and we’re completely happy to see the return of the Pic-O-De-Crop competition. We’re completely happy with the spread of cash for the soca monarch initiative that they’ve this yr however the judging process is our concern.
“We had two essential issues in the beginning of our consultations with the NCF [National Cultural Foundation] and the Ministry of [Culture] and that was because it pertains to the vaccine mandate. There was a vaccine mandate in December when the entertainment industry was opened back up.
“We were the one industry that had a mandate attached to us. So, we requested for that mandate to be removed and for there to be an either or – you might be there fully vaccinated otherwise you present the PCR test. So, we were very completely happy that the Ministry of Health and the COVID-19 Monitoring Unit agreed to remove the mandate on the entertainment industry and on entertainers particularly,” Carter said.
The association president said the entertainers also welcome the move to permit artistes with a negative PCR test result taken 24 hours before attending an event to have those remain valid for 48 hours.
He explained that several artistes perform multiple times in a single week throughout the Crop Over season and would have needed to have quite a few PCR tests done if it was mandated that they supply a negative result before each event.
“That might have been a bit much over a six to eight-week period. Officially, Crop Over is six weeks but events will start before that and there’ll probably be a number of after Crop Over fetes and stuff like that. So again, that was a change that we were more than happy with. And we thank the Ministry of Culture and the NCF because they’re those who pays for employees and the entertainers for the COVID-19 Rapid Test,” he said. (AH)