One of the island’s leading talent managers is urging entertainers to take the COVID-19 vaccine, especially those who intend to sell their services overseas.
Sharon Carew-White, the manager of the House of Soca Calypso Tent, said the trend worldwide is towards placing restrictions on the movement of unvaccinated persons. As a result, securing a COVID-19 vaccine may become a requirement for entering many countries.
Carew-White, a marketing professional, who also manages several calypsonians and young bashment artistes, told COVID Weekly, the changing environment for global travel may force people to make decisions that are in their best interest as professionals.
Carew-White noted: “If governments say that it is mandatory for you to travel, or globally it becomes a mandate, then I am saying that artistes will have to get their vaccine.
‘If that is what is required, and we expect to travel when other countries’ borders are opened, then I am saying strongly that entertainers must have their vaccine so that you can move freely again.”
The talent manager, who is also looking forward to a resumption of social and entertainment activities, including the Crop Over Festival, said there was an acceptance that things may not return to the way Barbadians were accustomed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
She recalled the 2019 staging of the House of Soca, where separate areas were created outdoors from the main event hall, where live performances were taking place.
“We had special booths where patrons viewed the via screens, even though they were at the same venue at the Dereck Smith School.
“The tents were placed outside the hall. At the time, people said the venue was warm, and we wanted to make it more comfortable for patrons. Those smaller groups in the tents got sponsor’s gifts and other giveaways. We were already social distancing before COVID-19, even though we were not aware of it. If I had to do a show again, I would build on that idea.”
According to the tent manager: “If the Government said we could host Crop Over under certain restrictions, I would go ahead. I don’t see it as a negative. I see it as an opportunity to think outside the box.”
In addition, Carew-White urged those in the industry to be ready to hit the ground running when the green light is given to launch, even an abridged version of the Crop Over, possibly later in the year.
“Artistes should be prepared for a festival of some type, no matter when it was announced. Whatever date is named, you need to be prepared to go. You need to be working on your craft all like now.
“You need to be relevant, creative and healthy.”
This article appears in the May 3 edition of COVID Weekly. Read the full publication here.