It is settled. There will be three routes rather than four for the ever growing Foreday Mornin’ mas.
The announcement was made by CEO of the National Cultural Foundation Cranston Browne recently as he noted that the fourth route, which would have taken revellers from Spring Garden up to the roundabout at the bottom of University Hill, was scrapped.
“It has been settled. There will be no additional route for this year. We were looking at a fourth starting point, but we have met with the police and we have decided to stick with the three for this year. So we will still be starting at BTI, Helipad and BIDC. But we’ve timed the bands and allocated some timings for them, so we will be sticking with that format this year,” Browne said when asked about for an update about the situation that had created much angst for band leaders.
Asked how this latest development would factor into the situation where there were more bands and increasing numbers of revellers this year, the CEO explained: “We have timed the bands in terms of the time it will take to get to Spring Garden and what will happen is that we are going to try to start as early as possible.
“We are going to try to get the [Pic-O-De-Crop] Finals finished in a timely manner, say by midnight, so we can get the bands starting before 1 a.m./1:30 a.m. Once we start the bands on time we should be able to complete it. What they have done is that they’ve extended it an hour, so instead of six o’clock, we can now go to seven o’clock. So there is an extension at the end in terms of the time the bands have to get to Spring Garden,” he said.
There has been much back and forth in recent weeks between the NCF organisers of Foreday Mornin’ and the bandleaders over where to start and end the suggested fourth route.
It had been announced at a media briefing last month that the NCF had planned to introduce a fourth route to ease congestion as well as accommodate the massive growth in numbers for the event this year. At the time of the announcement though, it was also stated that the new route had not been settled and in proceeding weeks the NCF sought the opinion and input of the band leaders and designers over the suggestion to start on Spring Garden, between Atlantis Submarine and Weisers Beach Bar and progress along the highway, dispersing at the Frank Worrell Roundabout.
Bandleaders however, began to have reservations about the suggestion, which they were told was being looked at by the police as well which had to grant the overall permission and provide security for the route. Most of the concerns stemmed from the fact that several bands had chosen the Weisers beach side as their gathering point for breakfast and feared that it would create undue stress and confusion on the highway. Others had reservations about having to pull numbers for positions to move off from the point, while there was an overall feeling by some that the jam should end and not begin on Spring Garden.
With the reverting to the old arrangements, all bands will now traverse some part of the outskirts of the City, onto Harbour Road and end on Spring Garden from about 1 a.m. on Saturday, August 3. (LB)