The National Cultural Foundation (NCF) is defending its management of the Foreday Morning jam in the wake of criticisms from big bands that are boycotting this year’s event.
The NCF, the state agency responsible for Crop Over events, said in a release to Barbados TODAY that it had been steadily making changes to the early morning street parade to satisfy the increasing demands.
“In the past three years the route was expanded to include an additional starting point at Queen’s Park; the Pic-O-De-Crop final shifted to Saturday to allow for a new start time of 11 on Friday night to accommodate the growing number of bands converging on the final destination – Spring Garden; additional and better lighting was installed and extra public washrooms positioned along the route and its environs; and finally, through the cooperation of the Royal Barbados Police Force, the Barbados Defence Force, private security and NCF marshals, security was stepped up, to ensure the safety and comfort of the revellers and other patrons enjoying this night time event,” it said in the statement.
Earlier this week, Island Fusion, Rumatology and Collision Entertainment announced that they would all boycott the event, contending that while it had been growing, it was not evolving to accommodate this growth.
“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 [number] of bands and people on the road had grown but the event itself had not grown in any significant way to accommodate that growth,” Director of Media and Public Relations for Island Fusion Sade Jemmott told Barbados TODAY.
There were similar complaints from Collision Entertainment, as well as Rumatology, for which the parade route, along with “a lot of red tape” proved to be a bugbear.
“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.
However, the NCF maintained that the production of an event of this magnitude was done within the constraints of not only costs, but the restriction of space and time.
“It also necessitates the implementation of strict rules and regulations that must be adhered to, always mindful of the enjoyment, security and well-being of the Barbadian public at large. Transformation is a natural part of the maturation of Crop Over, and as a result the dynamics of the various events will change. The NCF welcomes any private sector contribution to the development of the festival. As bands leave, others join and the event continues to grow,” it added.
Forty-seven bands have already registered with the NCF for the street party scheduled for Friday, August 4.