There will be heightened security at this year’s Foreday Mornin’ Jam on August 3.
The event’s title sponsor, Barbados Light & Power (BL&P), made the announcement today, while explaining that there would be “about 70 or more lighting towers along the route”.
“Safety is a big area of focus and it is a part of our culture at the organization, so that is why we have taken the opportunity not only to partner with the [National Cultural Foundation] in the sponsorship of the event, but also to champion the whole idea of safety, and we honestly believe that not just Foreday Mornin’ but all events for Crop Over can be incident free. And we will work hard with our partners and stakeholders to ensure that is achieved this year yet again,” Managing Director of BL&P Roger Blackman said in light of a shooting death which marred last year’s Crop Over climax.
The victim, 20-year-old Taried Junior Rock, of 3rd Avenue, Chapman Lane, St Michael, died after bullets were fired after 6 p.m. during the Grand Kadooment climax on the Spring Garden Highway.
However, without making any reference to the deadly incident in which at least 22 other persons suffered gunshot injuries and for which six young men were subsequently charged, NCF Manager of Administration Wayne Webster also assured that security was paramount.
He explained that even though the Royal Barbados Police Force and the Barbados Defence Force would provide security on the roads, “this does not negate the need or a requirement for bands to provide their own security to ensure the safety of their patrons”.
“. . . I say all of that because quite recently they were some concerns expressed apparently by some bandleaders as to the safety of the event and I wanted to emphasize that following the substantial review of our stakeholders that we have answered their calls and we have sought, with the assistance of Barbados Light & Power, to ensure that this event is probably the most secure event that happens in Barbados,” he added.
Event Producer Randy Eastmond said the concept this year was ‘mud, music and mass’. However, Eastmond acknowledged that there were only 37 bands registered this year, ten fewer than the 47 that took part in last year’s event.
This year, there are three starting points, namely Queen’s Park, Barbados Tourism Investment Inc. Lower Broad Street and Barbados Investment Development Corporation, Harbour Road. The start time is 1 a.m. and the event is scheduled to culminate at 7 a.m.