Concerned over the latest upsurge in violent crime, one bandleader is pleading with revellers and spectators alike to be decent and orderly Friday night during the Foreday Morning jump.
Committee members at Soca Chippers Renaldo Forde said he was praying that everything would run smoothly Friday night, and without incident, even as he encouraged Barbadians to enjoy the event.
“We don’t want people to be fearful because we still want them to enjoy themselves. I think everyone has a mind of their own. If you see something happening just be a bit more cautious and so on. . . I don’t foresee any issues this year at all.
“Last year there was a fake threat and nothing happened. This year though we are on orange alert, but I hope and pray that everyone remains safe. This is our festival and I don’t want anything happening. We just want everyone to come out and enjoy themselves. Those who are spectating just come out and enjoy yourselves in a decent manner,” Forde said.
However, he indicated that the band was not taking any chances and had put in place the necessary measures to ensure its members’ safety.
“Our security is headed by an ex solider and all the other guys are trained well. They were with us from the beginning and we never had any problems. We have a more mature crowd in our band, we have some young people as well, but the majority are a bit older so we don’t really have any issues with violence and so on.”
This year Soca Chippers benefitted from the misfortune of some bands that withdrew from Foreday Morning due to financial reasons.
This led to a wave of last-minute registrations by revellers who had been left without a band.
“Last time I checked we were around 250 and that’s a pretty decent number. We still want to keep the numbers down because as you know a large bad is still harder to control. And we still want the revellers to have easy access to the drinks truck as well, so we have a set amount of revellers that they can access the drink trucks freely and for the breakfast and so on,” Forde explained.
Another band, Mixed Nutz, is ready for Friday night, but will not be on the road.
Instead, a spokesperson told Barbados TODAY the band would head to Bushy Park in an effort to provide revellers with a more secure environment and for a more controlled jump.
“This is the second year we are not on the road. It’s hard to predict for our revellers when we are going to get on the road, and as you know the Foreday Morning route is one set location, which has a lot more bands with no real solution to how they are going to accommodate them on that route. When that happens bands tend to be at a standstill and that isn’t good for security and being able to tell when you are going to be on the road and so on.
“Because of that we made the tough decision to move away from the jump. We know it’s not what the people want because they still wanted to be on the road with the spectators and so on . . . [but] most important thing for us is the safety of our revellers followed by giving them an experience that is incomparable to any other band,” the spokesperson said, who spoke on condition of anonymity.