Now that the majority of results are in and the dust has settled on Carnival 2020, this media house congratulates all the major winners.
It is certainly good for those who have triumphed to see the hard work they put into the season culminate in recognition from their peers and the general public.
It would be remiss of us if we do not also congratulate Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith and his troops for keeping their promise of a relatively safe environment during the festivities. But the T&T Police Service’s smooth management of the activity in terms of safety was one of the better aspects of the season.
As we enter a period in which the national stakeholder bodies will hold post-mortems on their 2020 Carnival events, we think it is time National Carnival Commission boss Winston Peters also sits with some of them for hard discussions on whether they are truly getting it right.
The first stakeholder we suggest in this phase is the Caribbean Prestige Foundation, which hosts the International Groovy and Soca Monarch competitions. We doubt whether there is any right-thinking citizen or tourist who has been privy to this event before of course, who can truly feel comfortable with what transpired at this year’s event. The show was plagued by a very late start, continuous technical problems which affected competitors and generally some poor decision making – including an ill-advised “Zesser” session and breaking midway into the Groovy competition for a guest act – all of which did nothing to enhance the event’s image to the television audiences locally and abroad. The end result was one of the worst productions in the 27-year history of the event which would have done little to cement its continuing claim to be the biggest show for the season.
But CPF was not the only transgressors this season.
TUCO’s decision to strip what was Kaisorama of the category competitions in favour of just an Extempo competition, which in itself could not sustain an entire event, may have robbed some of the calypso purists of what was one of the better competitions of the season. TUCO may also have to revisit its return to two calypsoes in the Calypso Monarch final, as clearly, based on the contributions of some of the finalists, the calypsonians may have become too accustomed to penning just one good offering each season.
PanTrinbago’s decision to move the National Panorama medium band final to Tobago, while noteworthy, also seemed not well thought out, especially given the issues bands faced with transportation to and from Tobago and the fact that there was effectively no national television coverage of the event.
Needless to say, if the NCC is to continue expending taxpayers’ funds on some of these activities, it must ensure these entities are in fact producing quality events which can open up more avenues for revenue so that they become more self-sufficient and less dependent on the state’s generosity.