It’s here once again – the bacchanal weekend of Spicemas.
THE NEW TODAY is conscious of the thousands of Grenadians and visitors who have come to our shores to witness and participate in our annual carnival celebrations.
August is the time of the year when many Grenadians put everything aside and focus on the cultural aspect of life in the Spice Isle.
This newspaper believes that the time is long overdue for a review of some aspects of the state-sponsored shows especially Panorama and the National Calypso Monarch competition.
The Spicemas Corporation has to put a stop to the financial burdens that these two shows are causing to the coffers of the Treasury due to massive financial losses.
It is generally agreed that the Soca and Groovy shows and to a lesser extent the Queen Show are the ones that attract the highest attendances.
If the calypso monarch competition continues along the same line with the poor quality of calypsoes on showcase then the large crowds that were constantly seen at the old Queen’s Park in the 70’s and 80’s will remain a thing of the past.
SMC has to relook the format of the Dimanche Gras show and come up with something much more different and better that can once again attract back the patrons.
The old Queen’s Park used to be jam crammed with people standing or sitting in any available space found on the ground on Dimanche Gras night and engaged in heated and animated conversations about who will win “The Crown”.
The reality is that in recent years, only two or three calypsonians stand a chance of winning the monarch title because of the noticeable drop in the standard of calypsoes.
THE NEW TODAY is not placing the blame on SMC for this decline but the calypsonians themselves should shoulder a great portion.
There are few calypsonians in our midst who can be considered as good songwriters and singers at the same time.
This newspaper is making a plea once again to some of the artistes who have very good voices but are poor calypso writers to relook their game plan in order to make it.
Is anything wrong with them working out some kind of arrangement with the better songwriters in the country to help them produce better material for competition?
THE NEW TODAY is also proposing a reduction of the Dimanche finalists to around 6 or 7 calypsonians and the inclusion of another show on the night such as Talk-a-calypso or Extempo.
If one aspect of the show does not bring in the patrons then the other might be able to bring in a much larger crowd and better gate receipts for SMC.
The corporation has to be more creative and the members who are selected to serve on the body have to start thinking outside of the box.
This state body also needs to give serious thought to having a “King of King” competition among the past calypso monarch winners as part of the annual carnival celebrations.
A well-planned, organised and executed show of this kind can bring back a much larger crowd to the National Stadium.
SMC should be able to get Corporate Grenada to come up with the sponsorship money to attract the former monarchs to take part in such a show.
The carnival lovers – whether young, not so young and even the old – would like to go back down memory lane to see former monarchs like Original Inspector, Unlucky, Flying Turkey, Beast, Elimus “Specky” Gilbert, Lady Cinty, Dictator, Smokie, African Teller, Black Wizard, Ajamu, and Scholar compete in a serious competition with good prize money at stake.
The private promoters in the country have been able to attract sold out shows in venues like the Trade Centre and Spice Basket with vintage Grenadian calypso sung by seasoned artistes.
THE NEW TODAY would also like to see a SMC run by professionals and not persons who are selected to get involved because of the correct political connections.
An efficient SMC would have spotted the so-called “error” made by Commancheroes and Associates and not penalise them for not registering a Queen and King of the band for the Children’s Carnival Frolic (CCF) last weekend at the stadium.
THE NEW TODAY is confident that the Royal Grenada Police (RGPF) can by and large guarantee a safe and peaceful carnival to all and sundry for Spicemas 2017.