This year’s Crop Over Festival has been hailed as a resounding success by chief executive officer of the National Cultural Foundation (NCF), Carol Roberts-Reifer and some key stakeholders.
She said despite the many challenges which the festival faced, Government was still able to deliver a high-quality product that was enjoyed by all.
Her comments came hours after the climax of Grand Kadooment and Soca on the Hill, the last two major events of the 2022 festival.
Speaking to Barbados TODAY, Roberts said while there was always room for improvement, what was achieved in a short time was noteworthy.
“Within the context in which Crop Over had to be produced I think Barbados did very well and when I say Barbados I do mean Barbados. The festival was endorsed, it was supported, it was guided, it was sponsored by all of the sectors, with some sectors playing multiple roles,” the CEO explained.
“The success is a tribute to partnerships, like the partnerships we continue to enjoy with agencies like the BTMI, the combined Barbados Police Service and Barbados Defence Force, who come together every Crop Over to ensure it is as safe as possible. And to date when I checked with the police service this morning they had no reports of any incidents over this long Crop Over weekend, so that to my mind is a great measure of the overall success of the festival.
“The artistes were very, very busy which is what they wanted after a hiatus of two years. So too were the majority of the service providers and event promoters. The public came out in their tens of thousands and really supported every event, whether it be a shop lime, a private party, an all-inclusive fete or one of the major events on the calendar.
“They also endorsed every aspect of the festival, whether it was a visual arts exhibition or our Masquerade in Schools programme, where parents and teachers and caregivers really lent their support. Of course, nothing is possible without sponsorship and I would want to extend sincerest thanks to those sponsors who came on board. It was not easy for them given the current both local and global economic challenges that we are all well aware of caused primarily by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Roberts added.
She said once a review was done on this year’s festival, conversations with the relevant stakeholders on how it could be improved would commence.
“There is always room for improvement and at the end of every festival there is a process that we follow that starts with an internal review and then immediately we go out to stakeholder groups. This year will be no different,” Roberts said.
President of the Entertainment Association of Barbados (EAB) Rudy Maloney also had high praise for the festival.
He said the private events especially were very well attended throughout the season.
“The private events were a success. The events were well patronized and people came out in their numbers supporting those events. The NCF also got support for their free events and some of the other events that they put on.
“Overall as a festival it was good. Change is difficult for people to accept sometimes and some of the events people would challenge the change that was made. That will happen but then we have to look to see if the changes were good for the festival or if it was something negative,” Maloney said.
He also encouraged patrons to continue to support the private events that are held after Crop Over.
Meanwhile, president of the Barbados Masqueraders Association (BAM) Anthony Layne told Barbados TODAY he would be in a better position to give his view on the festival tomorrow after a scheduled “post mortem”.