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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Fetes in trouble?

This is the headline blasted on the frontpage of the Trinidad Guardian today:

Some excerpts from the article:
Prime Minister Patrick Manning’s call on citizens to tighten their belts is beginning to affect Carnival 2009, scheduled for February 23 and 24.

So much so, several party promoters have predicted a bleak upcoming Carnival with less patronage at the general and all-inclusive fetes because of the upsurge in crime and Manning’s recent advice to citizens to band their bellies for the hard times ahead.

One of T&T’s leading party promoter Roy Maharaj said people would be heeding’s (sic) Manning’s advice thereby picking and choosing which fete they go to next Carnival, even though the country was not facing a recession “as yet.” ....................

In a bid to woo party goers, Maharaj said he would have to review ticket prices for his Carnival fetes, which have dwindled from 17 to a mere six over within the last few years.

“I would also have to come up with something different to attract patrons. You could have the best entertainers, venue and band, but if you don’t have patrons your show is guaranteed to flop.” ...................

Event-manager Joel ‘Signal To Noise’ Morris, also expressed similar sentiments that fewer people would show up at next year’s Carnival fetes.

“People would be sceptical (sic) as to where they go. It’s not that they don’t have the money. They would exercise extreme caution when it comes to spending,” said Morris.

“Of course, Carnival will be affected by the global financial meltdown. There is no doubt about it. People would prioritise when it coming to parting with their cash.”

As Carnival draws closer, Morris said the effects of the economy had begun to take shape with events getting smaller.

Stating that thousands of citizens look forward to Carnival as a vacation and relaxation, Morris said he would not like to see the entertainment landscape crumble.

Morris said even though food and alcohol prices had skyrocketed within the last few months, he hoped that some promoters and suppliers would maintain their all-inclusive fete prices.

“One would expect a lot of negotiations to take place between promoters and entertainers within the coming week since some entertainers have been asking for an increase in appearance fees.” .................
Creative Director of Island People, Derrick Lewis expects an excellent turnout at the company’s Carnival fetes next year.

Island People is the event promoters of popular fetes like Insomnia, Girl Power and Amnesia.

“We have seen good requests for tickets. How it (the events) ends up, we don’t know but our initial signs are very positive,” he said.

He admits that he has seen a reflections of the economic crisis on the entertainment industry. He noted that the company has had to do some belt tightening of its own to maintain the price of its Amnesia all-inclusive fete.

The all-inclusive fete, which will be held on January 11, is set at $495. There was no price increase from last year.

“This year we are going for lighter food. This is our way of dealing with the economic conditions yet still trying to maintain the same price,” he said.
You can read it in it's entirety HERE.

While I am glad to see that fete promoters are taking heed that the current economic crisis will indeed affect which fetes the public chooses to patronize, initial pricing suggest that some are not inhibited by this fact and have indeed already jacked up prices considerably over 2008 figures.

It is therefore quite surprising that Amnesia retained their pricing and may be one of the cheaper, popular all inclusive fetes for the season.. who would have thought! Now lets hope others follow suit so that the more fetes we can afford the more people will attend!
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