Some the most popular and larger bands are boycotting Foreday Morning this year, contending that while the event has been growing, it was not evolving to accommodate this growth.
Forty-seven bands have registered with the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) for the street party, but noticeably absent are Island Fusion, Rumatology and Collision Entertainment, all of which expressed displeasure with the lack of changes regarding the event.
Director of Media and Public Relations for Island Fusion Sade Jemmott told Barbados TODAY the band chose to stay away this year in order to give its clientele value for money.
“We tried as much as possible to listen to our client base and the feedback that we got suggested that our client base was a little frustrated with Foreday Morning, the event – the fact that the route had remained relatively unchanged [and] there was a strict cut off time.
“The amount of bands and people on the road had grown but the event itself had not grown in any significant way to accommodate that growth,” Jemmott said, stressing that the many restrictions and time constraints hindered the ultimate Foreday Morning experience for revellers.
“From our internal perspective there was a built-in difficulty in ensuring that we had control over the standard of product our clientele experienced. Sometimes we would be on the road and we would be rushed down the road in a way that didn’t allow our patrons to enjoy the jump in the way that they would like because we are being rushed off the road to allow the other bands to get on the road. There are strict cut off points and sometimes it would be difficult from that perspective because we couldn’t serve drinks at a particular time, you had regulations that bands didn’t really have a lot of input on.”
Jemmott said the band was prepared to return to the early morning event sometime in the future, but there must first be changes to enhance the experience.
“We haven’t taken anything off the table, so it’s not to say that we would never ever go back to Foreday . . . . If certain changes were made to Foreday, we would definitely look at coming back for Foreday,” Jemmott said, adding that instead of taking to the streets on the morning of August 4, the band was organizing a Foreday Morning cruise with “the same jouvert element” but for a smaller group of revellers.
Meantime, Collision Entertainment posted a message on its Facebook page advising fans that after six years, it would not be taking part in the street event this year because of “inconsistency” by the organizers.
“Sadly, the inconsistency from the National Cultural Foundation, which manages Foreday Morning nationally, has continuously affected the execution of Collision Foreday Morning. Our planning is a year-round affair, and the threat of this state agency has now infiltrated our bottom line.
“It wasn’t an easy decision but Collision will not be participating in Foreday Morning 2017. Over the years we have been threatened to be shut down for what seems like trivial elements, for which we have never been given a clear explanation,” the band said in its statement.
“The team does their utmost to provide a product that is worthy of your hard-earned money, but we have reached a stage where we cannot make a compromise on your expectations. Foreday Morning is distinctively Bajan and to move away from the streets of Bridgetown doesn’t seem right; but that’s a decision we must make for 2018.”
The parade route, along with “a lot of red tape” proved to be a bugbear for Rumatology, which is hosting an event on June 24 instead of participating in the annual street party.
“Just a lot of red tape and so on, so we decided to take a break from the Foreday Morning. It has grown considerably. The idea of changing the route we have suggested for a while because it has outgrown its route,” Spokesperson Danielle Prescod said.
When contacted, the NCF said it could not issue an immediate response, and promised that one would be issued tomorrow.