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Masqueraders from a section of Massy Trindad All Stars Carnival Monday presentation of Fleets In A Middle Eastern Adventure cross the stage on South Quay, Port-of-Spain, yesterday.

“The stage not good again.”

It was the consensus in downtown Port-of-Spain yesterday as the Parade of the Bands kicked off.

Set to give Neil Iwer George his second major win for the season, the collaboration with Kees Diffenthaller titled “Stage Gone Bad” was a clear favourite for Road March 2020 yesterday.

Crossing the South Quay judging point before the National Carnival Committee (NCC) judges even showed up was the band ‘Paparazzi’ with their 2020 presentation ‘Hidden.’

With 13 sections, the band was in the large band category and it set the stage for an afternoon of colour and high energy for other bands to follow.

The Lost Tribe’s 2020 presentation ‘Anasi’ also crossed the South Quay stage to ‘Stage gone bad.’

It seemed the masqueraders, decked out in their Monday wear, could not get enough of the mega-hit, blasted from every music truck in the band.

Ronnie and Caro’s depiction of ‘The Serengeti’—portraying the wild animals in Africa—awash with colour and character also found that the stage went bad.

Between 11 am and 4 pm, a total of 15 bands had made their way before the judges.

With the exception of Trinidad All Stars and Adrenaline City- 13 of those bands crossed the stage to Stage Gone Bad.

If this trend continues today, it will see Iwer and Kees landing their first collaborative Road March.

Dieffenthaller has never won a Road March title, while Iwer last copped the title in 2000 when he tied with Austin ‘Super Blue’ Lyons with ‘Carnival Come Back Again’.

In 2019, Diffenthaller’s ‘Savannah Grass’ was dubbed the ‘People’s Road March’ after a collaboration with Machel Montano, Bunji Garlin and Skinny Fabulous titled “Famalay” swept the stage, bringing home the coveted Road March title.

And while the competition may not be over, if the vibe on the road is any indication, 2020 will be the year that the stage goes bad.