It is one of the most highly anticipated weekends on the Crop Over calendar. And from attendance alone, the cultural happenings of last Friday right through to Sunday were truly ‘pantastic’.
Hundreds of pan lovers turned out for a delightful weekend of sweet pan music, which began with Pan Fusion at the Prime Minister’s official residence, Ilaro Court.
The Arturo Tappin band, led by the renowned saxophonist and complete with dancers, singers, pannists and drummers, brought the house down with their performance, which lasted more than an hour.
From soca to spooge, the band, which included singers Nikita Browne, Kristen Walker, Philip 7, and the veteran Luke James Kirton, did well to honour and showcase the local music industry.
The crowd was also treated to the sounds of Xavier Strings out of Trinidad and Tobago, who thoroughly impressed during their set in which they dedicated a performance to their late Prime Minister Patrick Manning, who was laid to rest on Saturday.
At the end of the special pan treat, Lil Rick took things up a few notches at the after party where patrons needed little encouragement to get on their feet. Grynner, the self-professed ‘old dawg’ also Turned Up De Speaker as members of the audience joined him and danced the night away.
The sweet sounds of pan then headed north on Saturday for the Speightstown Market and Pan Around De Town.
This event forms part of efforts to revitalize the northernmost town and attracted vendors of craft, plants and food among others.
However, organizers sought to downplay the low turn out, which was especially noticeable during the morning half of the day.
“It isn’t necessarily that Speightstown is dead but most things are on the south of the island so we wanted to bring something to the north of the island for the persons down here,” said Producer with the National Cultural Foundation David ZigE Walcott, as northern vendors welcomed the opportunity to showcase their ware.
However, pan lovers couldn’t have asked for a better climax than Sunday’s Pan Pun De Sand. Hundreds packed Brandons Beach and not even the intermittent rains could dampen their spirits as they soaked up the pan notes and rhythms of Daryl Jordan Secondary, Aceworx Community Steel Orchestra and Newton Playboys Steel Orchestra.
Later would come SKF and Mosaic Steel Orchestra. These two large bands did not disappoint. Mosaic thoroughly impressed with their versatility and energy onstage.
Scheduled guest artiste iWeb, who sang with SKF, and surprise artistes Stiffy, Peter Ram and Biggie Irie added to event, making it a spectacular one, as per usual.
Overall, it was indeed a pantastic weekend, and patrons were thoroughly satisfied.