The idea of having the Sweet Soca competition, alongside the Party Monarch at night, has found favour with the National Cultural Foundation.
CEO of the NCF, Cranston Browne told the media this afternoon after competitors had drawn for their positions in both competitions held annually at the Soca Royale event, that a full night contest was not out ruled out.
“I think with the growth of a number of our events that we’ve really got to look at changing one or two things next year. For instance, Foreday Mornin’, we’re actually going to be giving Foreday Mornin’ … [its own] night. So you may very well see Foreday Mornin’ on the Saturday night next year. We can’t start at one o’clock and get through by six o’clock with the number of bands, so that is one change.
“If we have the growth of Sweet Soca and it is growing, then we may very well find that we have to split off Sweet Soca and give it its own night as well and split the two. The artists look forward to props and presentations, and if we can do that, we may very well have to look at it as early as next year. Once we have the growth and the support of sponsors,” said Browne.
His comments came shortly after event producer Aja noted that he believed the spectacular aspect of the productions for Sweet Soca warranted a night setting as well to show it to full effect.
Browne agreed to some extent, but said that they would have to look at the logistics of splitting the two events versus keeping them together and perhaps pushing the competitions to a later start.
“There is also that possibility of starting early night and going into the morning, but as you know right now the entire day runs to about six hours, eight hours, so it is a possibility of starting it late evening and going into morning.
“Party Monarch was from the inception at East Coast, a picnic kinda thing. So we still want something that would give the family the ability to come out, picnic, go in the hills, so there are some things we will have to look at, but there is always room for changes once it works to the betterment of the festival and the stakeholders which would be the performers,” he said.
It was a factor Aja has also considered, as he told the media that they were hesitant to take out the family aspect of the Soca Royale, and as such would have to consider an entertainment package to run for the six or seven hours that families were trickling into the Bushy Park venue.
“[T]he only thing I can see is pushing the Sweet Soca start to say 7[p.m.] and then the Party Monarch can start at 9:30. The only thing is that for the people who coming at 12, we will have to stretch the entertainment, so that when you in at 12 there is still something you can hear or see. That is the change I would make and it would be a better production.
“Already it is spectacular, and imagine seeing both shows at night with the pyrotechnic and the effects and lighting effects, it will be out of this world, but then obviously it would be a logistical issue. You are talking about a longer show, people coming from early because people will still want to come from early with their picnic baskets and you don’t want to take that away; it is how we can put all these elements together to make the show even better than it is now.
“That is something the CEO would have to look at next year, if it can come on board. Right now it is a costly show in terms of the production, I actually think it is our costliest show production wise – the infrastructure we have to set up and the expanse of the park itself. So to do that it could be more expensive so it has to be thought out. It is just an idea I had as to how we could enhance the show. Obviously the Sweet Soca people saying, ya know something, people come to hear us, yet you have us during the day, so it is something we would have to look at going forward in order to enhance the show to even make the show better than it is now,” said Aja.
Even as he and CEO Browne noted that it was the NCF’s most expensive event costing hundreds of thousands of dollars and would call for serious planning, reigning monarch of both the Sweet Soca and Party Monarch, Mikey praised the idea to have both at night.
“I think that would be spectacular. I think we more or less have exhausted all we can do during the day. The daytime presentations are quite limited. The nighttime now would bring a fresh element to the Sweet Soca, as it did with the Party Monarch. So I am eagerly looking forward to when that happens. I pretty sure it will happen and very soon, but although the daytime aspect only happens here in Barbados and kind of differentiates us from the rest, where the show aspect of the event is concerned, I think it will lend to a better show, if it is at nighttime,” said Mikey. (LB)
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