Outrageous In Red, the show that since 2011 has been a fixture on the Crop Over calendar left patrons this year feeling just as outraged as its name.
This as the headline acts out of Trinidad and Tobago, Denise Saucy Wow Belfon and Destra Garcia and her band, were no-shows on the event’s stage
at Kensington Oval.
But one of the acts, Denise Belfon, in a clear the air interview with Bajan Vibes pointed out that both Trinidian artistes were actually in Barbados and ready and willing to perform. However, the inability of the promoter to pay them, based on the collected gate receipts, was the reason they never making it on stage.
“We didn’t want to come and perform for a crowd that at the end of the day when you look at the numbers would mean that we could not be compensated. So when we heard that things weren’t going that well for the promoter, we made a decision so as not to incur any overheads where the promoter was concerned, to not perform,” she told Bajan Vibes in a telephone interview this week from Port of Spain.
“Where the patrons were concerned though, I was the one that was insisting that maybe we still come to the venue [and] at least let the patrons know that we are here and what was taking place,” she said.
She also expressed the view that an official associated with the event should have informed patrons of the development and allowed them to make a choice of whether or not they wanted to stay without seeing the headline acts.
“That was the only thing that I found should have been done on the night where clearing our names, or say my name, was involved because, at the end of the day, Barbados loves me to death and I would never do anything to jeopardise my relationship with my fans in Barbados at all, or the media, or anyone, because every time I come to Barbados I get 150 per cent love and respect from the public and the media,” she told Bajan Vibes.
“This was not anything maliciously done on my part I am not being a prima donna or anything like that. It is a situation where a decision was made and it resulted in us not gracing the stage at Kensington Oval,” she added.
Her interview came four days after the event, which remains a sore point as some patrons have threatened to take the matter to the Fair Trading Commission for redress.
Dubbed the L L B [Ladies Love Bacchanal] edition, a star studded cast had been promised with some of the big names of soca from Barbados – Edwin Yearwood and Krosfyah, Mikey, Blood and Soka Kartel, Lil Rick, Peter Ram, Porgie and Murder, and Gorg to name a few.
Tickets were priced at between $50 and $80 for general admission and $250 for VIP. There was also a VVIP Hotel Staycation Package. However, as the midnight hour approached and the show got underway, the large crowd that is usually evident at the event never materialised. In fact, we are hearing that the actual turnout was in the order of just over 500 patrons.
When the curtain was eventually brought down on the show, loud and boisterous concern could be heard over the fact that there had been no official word on the no shows of the headline regional acts.
Belfon told Bajan Vibes she felt this was in poor taste “[because] at the end of the show people would be wondering and wanting to know “where are the headline acts?”.
“Someone should have given them the opportunity to know what was going on. It didn’t have to be full details but at least this is why the show is being closed down early or what, so that the patrons won’t feel cheated. “I am glad I am doing this interview because I never want my fans to think that I am too much of Diva to give then want they want. I’m not like that at all. I always do my best. Whether it’s a situation where I’m not paid, I could be paid next week, I still do my best to please the audience and it was unfortunate that this Saturday I couldn’t get to do it in the way I wanted to.”
She also revealed that she was prepared at one point doing the night to sing off musical tracks, instead of performing with Destra’s Bacchanal Band, but she said it was too late.
“I was on my way to Kensington Oval to see if I could have done anything off the tracks and they said that there were only a few people at Kensington Oval; everybody had been ushered out already and the show was over,” the soca star noted, adding that when she had arrived at the Oval it was “dry”.
“I didn’t even get to go into the Oval. I stayed outside and that was the call that I got. It made no sense going in because no music was playing and there was no one there. It really didn’t make sense and that was after four [ in the morning].
“Let me say this, Outrageous In Red is a great, great concept and I would really like that things could be put together better, put things in place in a much better way for the next time.
“I really hope that there is a next time and I really would like the public to [ give the organisers a chance].
“I know that everybody is disgruntled and unhappy about what went on but everyone deserves a chance so if it is that it can be done and they can forgive the promotion and the promoter, I would be very, very happy to come again,” she told Bajan Vibes.