Producers of the ever growing Neal & Massy Pan Pun De Sand are expecting more than 14,000 people to turn out at the event, which comes off on Sunday, July 14 at Brandons Beach, St. Michael.
The National Cultural Foundation’s Events Producer and Producer of ‘Pan’, Karen Pestaina, told a press launch this morning at Weisers on Brandon, that last year, an estimated 12,000 people attended.
She said one of the highlights will be a session showcasing tuk with steel and disclosed that the Neal & Massy Steel Orchestra out of Trinidad would be among the bands beating out “sweet music”.
“This year we have a lot of exciting performance. We try to utilise a lot of our local talent as well, and this is an event that is a platform for them in the festival,” added the event producer.
She listed SKF Steel Orchestra, Ready Panners, Olakunde and Pan Extreme.
“One thing we are adding this year, we are going to showcase why you would have the callaloo and cou cou theme; we are going to be showcasing our tuk with some steel,” she disclosed. “The event has grown so large that the NCF, because this is a family event, has added a kids’ zone, and this is so that the children also have extra entertainment at the event itself.”
She said she spoke to the Neal & Massy group, which informed her they had so much music, they would need two sets at Pan Pun De Sand. Pestaina told reporters the Trinidad group has promised a performance out of this world.
Chief Executive Officer of the NCF, Cranstone Browne said this family event could be seen as a Caribbean unifier, since throughout the years, it has afforded Barbadian talented musicians an opportunity to share the stage with their regional counterparts from Antigua in the north to the twin island republic in the south. Speaking at the same news conference, Country Manager for the Neal & Massy Group in Barbados, Frere Delmas challenged the Foundation to start looking at mastering another aspect of the art form beyond the playing of the steel pan instrument.
“We need to learn how to manufacture the same high quality steel pan instrument as those made in Trinidad & Tobago, the home of the steel pan,” Delmas noted.
He stated that Barbados already had the infrastructure in place through which it could develop this new capability.
“The Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic, with its technical/vocational emphasis, is the perfect institution through which this new skill set can be birthed,” the Neal & Massy top executive suggested.
He was of the view that if this was done, and done right, Barbados would not only be able to satisfy local demand for these instruments, but that the possibility existed, the country could export them as well. He was happy with the brand benefits derived from its association with Pan Pun De Sand – first with Barbados Shipping & Trading and now with the parent company, Neal & Massy. (EJ)