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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Image Nation Savannah Party

Though there were some hiccups getting online since the band launch last year,  Image Nation's Carnival 2010 presentation "Savannah Party" can now be viewed on their website.

And I am  happy to see that once again the band is steering away from bikini and beads, wish more bands could also add a diversity and mix to the Carnival landscape.

Fete Promoters Worried About Beyonce

With TSTT being one of the biggest sponsors of Trinidad Carnival events and artistes it seems like the Beyonce Concert is causing some strife among Carnival stakeholders even though TSTT is saying that they will continue to support Carnival with millions of dollars in sponsorship. TSTT is a major sponsor of " Kings and Queens preliminaries and semi-finals, Dimanche Gras, Panorama, Champs in Concert, the International Soca Monarch and the Chutney Soca Monarch competitions, bmobile Soca School Tour and carnival band Island People. They also sponsor over 25 fetes and all-inclusive parties which include Trinity College’s Soka in Moka, QRC’s all-inclusive Outta de Blue, Island People’s Amnesia, UWI’s annual all-inclusive, Bacchanal Friday (Bazodee Friday) and the Central Bank all-inclusive."

As reported in today's Trinidad Express (full article HERE):
Don’t bring Beyonce to Trinidad and Tobago now.

That’s the cry of fete and Carnival show promoters as well as panmen and calypsonians who are also calling on TSTT CEO, Roberto Peon, to explain what is the company’s intention towards Carnival 2010 and beyond in light of the concert featuring the American R&B singer immediately after Carnival on Thursday, February 18.

The concerned parties are today delivering a petition to Peon requesting a meeting with him signed by among others, promoter Frank Martineau, mas bandleaders Big Mike Antoine and Ronnie MacIntosh, Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation general secretary Lutalo ’Brother Resistance’ Masimba and former CEO of the Caribbean Prestige Foundation, Gregory Fernandes, who is spearheading the move to secure the sitdown......

’We have nothing against Beyonce. We are just saying that it is insensitive to bring her at this time. It will affect all Carnival stakeholders because you know it’s not just a case of people forgoing fetes and shows to buy tickets. What about those who depend on Carnival to earn income? No patrons at events or no events mean that all service providers are out of a dollar.

Now, I do not know about the general public and how they feel about the massive amount of money TSTT has always doled out to support Carnival but fete promoters especially ticked me off with their complaints about the Beyonce concert especially when I see fetes listed under TSTT Sponsorship that have raised their prices for Carnival 2010. Is TSTT to be the ONLY sponsor of all these fetes  every single year for Carnival, and untop of that fete promoters want to jack up the prices as well? I am still wondering why the price increase for so many fetes when they no longer have to pay HD price for the HD band as Machel is taking a backseat this year. As we say in  Trinidad, "they well boldface!" worrying about their cash cow getting milked. Where are the other corporate sponsors?

One point of view is that tax payers' dollars are being used for the 10 million dollar concert as the Government has a 51% share holding in TSTT. As a tax payer I want to know why my tax dollars are being used to sponsor all inclusive fetes! I have no problem with the sponsorship of Bmobile School Tours or Dimanche Gras or even Panorama as the Government already puts a lot of money into these events that do not turn a profit, however if you want to argue about spending tax payers' money also argue when fete promoters and band leaders are sitting pretty after Carnival driving their new Benz courtesy TSTT.

Maybe people would NOT be inclined to buy tickets to Beyonce's concert or might be able to afford both the ticket and fete tickets if the prices of fetes were not so expensive! I for one never even considered the Beyonce Concert as an event I would attend BUT as per my post yesterday I have been thinking of which fetes would make the list this year. The other thing fete promoters fail to realize is that a great percentage of Trinidadians do not play mas or even participate in feteing for Carnival, so there is a market for the concert that will not even cut into the market of Carnival enthusiasts.  Instead of complaining about a concert that will go on, fete promotes should take the sponsorship money they are getting from TSTT and try to keep their fetes affordable for the persons who do participate in Carnival. A more worthwhile protest for me would be against the the prices of fetes... one can dream right?!

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