Fewer Foreday Morning bands will be jumping down the Mighty Grynner Highway this year.
There are only 30 bands participating in this year’s BL&P Foreday Morning Jam, compared to 44 in 2018.
Meanwhile, Crop Over bandleader Bryan Worrell has reported slow sales for the J’ouvert.
Worrell, the manager of the popular Colorz Entertainment which caters for Grand Kadooment and Foreday Morning, boasts of 17 years in the business.
He informed Barbados TODAY that, business has been “a bit slow” for both Foreday Morning and Grand Kadooment in comparison to last year.
The festival will climax in three weeks but Worrell stated there has been a fall-off in sales for the J’ouvert slated for August 2.
“Normally for Foreday, we would have been sold out completely by now. We don’t usually go into July with spaces. If anything we are extending at that point. But this year we still have tons of space . . . the number of women is the same but the men’s registration has fallen off a lot,” he disclosed noting that his band caters to 1,000 for the Foreday jump.
The Foreday Morning Jam has faced intense competition from the private jumps in recent years. Worrell suggested that a revitalization of the signature event was needed. He said that an extension of the Foreday Morning route could bring new life to the event which has two starting points at Queen’s Park and the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC) carpark.
“An extended route, longer time, a change in scenery,” are among his suggestions for changes to the event. “We could look at doing a more scenic jump but change the whole set up,” he added.
Having participated in the Foreday Morning Jam for close to two decades, Worrell stated that the assumption that the event was unsafe was not true.
“It is somehow seen by the public as an unsafe event when it is really not,” he said. “We have bands year in, year out and there are no police recorded incidents in these bands and we push people to register and jump in bands and not just do the last truck.”
Despite the rising popularity of private jumps, Worrell contended that locals should hold onto the tradition of the Foreday Morning Jam.
“A lot of people want the Foreday Morning experience. I still think there is space for traditional things in Crop Over with Foreday Morning being one that we should maintain. . . . We should maintain what is ours rather than running after what people think maybe alluring to other people.”
Chocolate Army bandleader, Shane Blackett also reported that the flow of customers was “a little slower than previous years” but the band was steadily approaching its target of 800 revelers.
“We are pretty comfortable and happy with the response,” he commented. “There is a slight decline in participation of the actual event but that could be for a number of reasons like economical, concerns of security
. . . But people are coming out.”