“Foreday Morning is getting bigger.”
Producer David ZigE Walcott underscored this point today at a news conference for the Roberts Manufacturing, Barbados Light and Powder (BL&P) Foreday Morning
jump up which comes off this Friday night to early Saturday morning.
“Everyone now is deciding they want to be a part of the night jump for Crop Over,” he said, disclosing that the number of bands has increased from 44 last year to 57 this year.
Initially, more bands were scheduled to be on the road but due to size and numbers, some have merged with others. “This year we started with 50 bands but we quickly went up to 57 bands with some bands being merged to form one group because of numbers,” Walcott explained.
The bands will be moving off from three points: Queen’s Park, the BIDC and BTI Car Parks. “At Queen’s Park we have a total of 21 bands and Queen’s Park will start at 11p.m,” Walcott said. “BIDC will also start at 11 p.m. That BIDC start point has 17 bands, whereas BTI has 18 bands.”
Walcott made it clear that bands at Queen’s Park and BTI Car Park will not be hitting the road simultaneously.
“We will not be running BTI and Queen’s Park because of the close proximity of each start point at the same time.”
The first bands are scheduled to leave Queen’s Park and the BIDC car park at 11p.m with those at the BTI car park commencing immediately after the last band leaves Queen’s Park.
The addition of extra lighting was the main focus point of the news conference along with safety. Walcott did not stray away from the subject.
“As you’ve heard before, we have additional lighting and security. We’ve even covered the drainage systems down the Spring Garden, Fontabelle, that whole area going down by the Fisheries [Division] because we don’t want incidents where people don’t see the gutters and fall in.”
Walcott assured that Foreday Morning will be a safe and enjoyable event whether it rains or not and also will be full of colour. He said lighting zones were implemented by the Barbados Light & Power in addition to the regular lighting that was already in place. These special coloured zones are expected to contribute to the other elements used by bands during the celebrations such as paint, mud and powder.
Despite concerns about the Foreday Morning celebrations growing out of control, Walcott made it clear that it was not an issue. “We want it to grow. We don’t have any concerns. As it grows, we would just be prepared every time it grows. We don’t want to cap it [the amount of bands].”
Foreday Morning is also not causing issues with Grand Kadooment at all, Walcott contended. He revealed that Grand Kadooment was also growing with an increase in bands.
“I think people are more mixed now, people like to experience both. I think I can freely say Grand Kadooment has an increase in bands this year, so I don’t think Foreday Morning has really affected people participating in Grand Kadooment. I like the fact we have a night time jump and a day time jump.”
Thirty-one bands are expected to be on the road this year for Grand Kadooment bringing approximately 11,000 revellers on to the road.
Younger persons are also getting more involved in Crop Over, according to Walcott, as there are a lot of young band leaders. “We have a number of new bands. Most of the bands are younger persons. We have a lot of new band leader . . .”