It was a disappointing night for the nation’s steel orchestras as the 2019 national panorama competition scheduled for August 12th was abruptly postponed on the night the event was supposed to be held.
Eight Steel Pan Bands were gathered at the National Stadium at Queen’s Park and left disappointed as the stage was not completed in time for their presentations.
It was quite noticeable that while patrons started to arrive in the venue for the event after purchasing tickets, the stage was still being built by the workmen contracted to do the job.
Even the lights for the stage were not in place around 9.00 p.m for a show that was advertised to start 8.00 p.m.
About one-and-three-quarters of an hour after the much delayed start, an announcement was made over the PA system sometime around 9.45 p.m. that the Panorama show was postponed until Saturday.
THE NEW TODAY understands a few minutes before the postponement, there was a meeting held between the Minister of Culture, Senator Brenda Hood and members of the Pan Association where the decision was taken to postpone the event.
Representative from defending champions, Flow Commancheros, Stephen Greenidge, expressed his disappointment with what he termed the disrespect shown to pan men.
According to Greenidge, it was decided by the bands themselves that Panaroma will not be held Saturday night because of the condition of the stage.
“The stage actually started yesterday (the Friday) morning. There was also some problems in starting to build the stage – it was supposed to start on Thursday, there was some difficulty…they did not have all of the materials that (were) promised”, he said.
“…Pan has been crying out disrespect since 2002 or 2003 when…we keep asking for respect, not just for pan but for the government to sign a legislation to protect all national events and that was not done…”, he added.
Greenidge believes that the show planned for tomorrow (Saturday) will not have the same effect as the traditional Panorama Saturday night – two days before carnival.
“It will not have the same effect on the players, on the patrons. Some of the foreigners they will not be here. Some of the players will be leaving (for Carifesta in Barbados). My band has players that will be going away to Carifesta – our best players, frontline players are going away to Carifesta and as the defending champions of Panaroma, we’re already compromised.
Like Greenidge Pan Ossia’s Robert Cadet also vented his frustration with the authorities for the postponement of Panorama.
“We came down with four trucks that we have to pay out of our pockets (as) we are an unfunded band. So, we have to go back up and come down again next week. We will have to spend double the money,” he said.
Cadet believes that the players in his band will be able to deliver their panorama piece on Saturday but that a lot of the enthusiasm will not be there.
“The players are capable … but as far as it (the performance) being at the level 10, no, because a lot of them might lose interest. Me, myself, I live in New York…we have to extend out tickets and this is on our pockets again.
“It’s going to affect the children a lot because really and truly, our band itself has a lot of children and we ask a lot from them.
Cadet noted that his players refrain from attending a number of pre-carnival fetes like the popular Preeday on the Wednesday before Panorama in order to put in hours in their practice sessions.
“…This (Panorama) is the one time, ten minutes, that they have to put on a show for people…they miss out all the events for Carnival and then to see that today (Saturday night) it is cancelled, it’s hard on the children…” he said.
Manager of Digicel Florida All Stars, Martin Joseph termed last Saturday’s postponement as the worst thing that ever happened to pan in Grenada over the decades.
“After you have prepared for months and it comes to this anti-climax. It was really a disappointment. We have volunteers who left Tobago from the ferry (and) actually came in from Trinidad to play with us…prepared and ready to execute and now there is no show.
“…Let’s look at the children for example, they worked hard in Junior Panorama, they also worked hard (for the) Senior Panorama, some of them and tonight, nothing happening. My understanding was that we were going to have a proper stage here. What we have is a platform and not only that, when we saw the people working on the stage, they were literally digging out ply because it was rotten. So, the stage was a no, no from the start. If you look at the size of the stage, some of the instruments will be on the grounds,” he remarked.
Panaroma 2017 is expected to be held on Saturday at the National Cricket Stadium.