Seetahal: Tent judging needs to be re-evaluated

CEO of the Spicemas Corporation (SMC), Kirk Seetahal has cleared the air on charges that the Kingman Calypso Tent in La Sagesse should not have been judged this year due to the limited amount of calypsonians in the cast.

According to Seetahal, if a decision was made not to judge the tent that is run by eight-time calypso monarch winner, Edson “Ajamu Mitchell, it would have had to be done for all the other tents.

He told reporters that although Kingman Tent did not meet the full criteria for judging, it could not have been penalised because many of the other tents did not meet some of the stipulated criteria in one way or the other.

THE NEW TODAY understands that Ajamu’s tent had less than the required 10 artistes that are needed to be judged.

There are unconfirmed reports that some of the calypsonians opted to join other tents out of fear that Kingman might not be operational due to the recent illness of Ajamu.

Seetahal told reporters that SMC is mindful of the fact that a calypsonian should not be penalized due to a problem that might exist at the level of his tent.

“There is a rule with regards to the judging of tents which says you must have 15 persons and a minimum of 10 persons to be considered a tent for adjudication. From a Spicemas point of view, we are very mindful of the cost that artistes incur in putting forward their music”, he said.

“…There is a lot of talk of the fact that Ajamu’s tent did not have the right amount of people but if we are going to take the law in its full extent, then a lot of the other tents would also have to be disqualified for not following through,” he added.




The SMC boss alluded to some of the other criteria that some of the other tents might be breaching.

“For example, it (the rule) says that if the tent is supposed to be judged at 8 o’clock and within half an hour the tent is not ready to judge, Spicemas Corporation and the judges can decide not to judge the tent. I don’t have to explain that – you probably know for yourself that we sometimes encounter an hour or two late start in many instances”, he told reporters.

Seetahal also pointed out that tents are required to have at least two public shows before judging and some of them fail to do so.

He said that a re-evaluation of the judging criteria for tents should be done and the corporation will be looking into it.

“We need to re-evaluate the rules for judging of tents, that an artiste should not be penalised because his tent did not follow its obligations – that may be the penalty should go to the tent.

“Maybe they (the tents) should be affected in the amount of subventions they get because every tent is supposed to get $10,000 to help them with the cost of the band and for everything else that they do in this period.

“I wouldn’t say that I am happy that it happened but I am always looking at the opportunity to better things and I think that’s the focus we are going to have going forward.

In recent years, there has been a noticeable decline in the tent structure for the annual carnival celebrations in August.

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