Traffic in Broad Street, The City came to a halt but the island’s capital was still bustling as commuters gathered along the street to get a Grand Kadooment teaser.
The staff of the Republic Bank, led by the ‘queen of the band’, general manager Sharon Zephirin, chipped from their main office to Independence Square for the launch of the Republic Bank Grand Kadooment.
With calypsonian Flexi on the music truck, and some of the season’s biggest hits blasting from the speakers, some Bridgetown employees came out of their offices to take in the spectacle of dancers in colourful costumes, stilt walkers and the Republic Bank racing car.
With 23 Grand Kadooment bands expected to hit the Mighty Grynner Highway on August 5 for a vibrant display of culture and creativity, manager of administration at the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) Wayne Webster indicated that the festival’s future depended on its impact on visitors and locals.
“It is about an experience that will have a lasting impression, that is how we have to see and work together to ensure this festival grows,” Webster said.
Delivering the opening remarks at the Grand Kadooment launch at the Republic Bank Broad Street offices, the NCF manager noted that the festival must continue to “retool and refocus” in order to maintain a competitive advantage. He stressed that a reinvigoration of the festival was necessary to target the millennial market.
“As Crop Over matures on its product life cycle, one of the key audiences or demographics we have been trying to attract is the millennial generation. Their view of the festival is quite different from that of the previous generations and based on research which we have conducted, they are seen as carnival hoppers so their brand loyalty of the future is paramount,” Webster emphasized.
Event producer Stacia Bryan disclosed that the NCF is aiming to increase the number of costume revellers over the next three years.
“We want to enhance the experience of the attendees and we want to promote a national image of an all-inclusive destination which combines the services of leisure and lifestyle, dining and transportation and to stimulate a sense of ownership in each and every Barbadian,” Bryan voiced.