The executive producer of one of the biggest shows to be staged here this Crop Over season is pleading for an ease in COVID-19 protocols for the entertainment sector.
Orlando Newton, one of the principals behind Rise Barbados, insisted on Wednesday that the requirements for the industry are too tough.
“We are the only industry that is being mandated to follow the nature of protocols that are in place where patrons have to be tested or vaccinated in order to enter,” he lamented during the Rise Barbados media launch at Halo Ultra Lounge in St Lawrence Gap, Christ Church.
“We feel it is quite unfair at this present moment for our industry – the entertainment industry which at this present time, the summertime, is key for our distributors and our culture, which we have already invested in and have waited for the last two and a half years to get back into.”
Newton also pointed to the challenge of getting sponsors on board and appealed for assistance.
“Sponsorship has been very difficult, but we are asking anyone who can assist in making these projects successful [to join us], not only for Rise but for the entire industry. [Doesn’t matter] how small it is that you can help, you can help,” he pleaded, adding that the recovery of the Barbados economy is tied to the recovery of the cultural and entertainment sector.
Co-producer Shane Archer said he believes the selection of performers for Rise Barbados, including Grammy-nominated dancehall artiste Spice, would add to the island’s tourism product.
“Crop Over is our business, tourism is our business and culture is our business. I think that . . . having Spice can only promote our culture and Barbados and it can only be beneficial to our country,” he said.
Overseas artistes Problem Child, Skinny Fabulous, Kerwin Dubois as well as local entertainers such as MarzVille and Stiffy will join Spice in the Rise Barbados cast.
Marketing and Public Relations Officer De Carla Applewhaite described the July 27 show, set to be held at the Soca Arena, as the biggest Crop Over summer event for the season.
The producers have promised that the show, which is in its third year, will be an even bigger and better experience despite COVID-19 restrictions.
“The team that is working for me has put on an awesome presentation. We have an elevated area that is about 14 feet high, we have a cabana section and we also have the general section,” Newton said. (MR)