The traditional annual UWI Carnival, hosted by the Cave Hill Guild of Students, may be cancelled, but there will still be a “wuk-up” jam.
With well over $250,000 already invested by over a dozen bands in the highly anticipated festivities, entrepreneur Chetwin Stewart has stepped in to host the Joukanal Carnival in place of the traditional carnival.
In a statement carried in various sections of the Press, the University of the West Indies said after a series of meetings between campus administrators and student leaders, they had finally agreed the carnival could not be mounted this year.
“The administration is well aware that the carnival is a highly anticipated event. However, you are asked to note that the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus has not sanctioned and is not an active participant in any carnival-related event which may take place during the regular carnival period,” read the statement.
However, the Power X Four band leader told Barbados TODAY there would be a carnival on April 5. The UWI Carnival is usually held around the last week in March.
Stewart said following a meeting with police this afternoon he was given the go-ahead to host the two-day event which will feature a J’ouvert party the Friday night at the Party Stand and the “jump” will take place on the Saturday, going from the Party Stand to the Frank Worrell roundabout and back to the Party Stand. There will be an after party at the destination starting around 9 p.m.
Stewart said bandleaders went ahead and invested in their costume production and launched them earlier in the year so they were already in full swing and he could not watch their talents go to waste.
“So then when they came now and say they are not doing the carnival that would have left [bandleaders] really stuck and out of pocket and everything. Initially I was coming on board to help with that situation. But after coming on board now and seeing how creative they are and all the hard work they put into it we decided that it is a worthwhile venture to nurture this creativity and have them produce and put the bands on the road. So Power X Four is putting the band on the road. The name of the carnival is Joukanal Carnival,” explained Stewart.
“We have 17 bands registered already. And it is looking good. I am quite impressed with the organization of the bands . . . after seeing what they put into it we are quite happy to help them out. I think we will make this an annual thing if it goes well,” he said.
The promoter and multiple award-winning bandleader said: “Young people look forward to it. It is not only UWI people that take part in UWI Carnival, there are other young people that come from BCC and all about the place and jump also. We are happy to help and facilitate and put this carnival on the road. So we are 90 per cent there.”