Crop Over is good to go. In a meeting yesterday, tent managers and The National Cultural Foundation signed off on the changes that were announced last week.
It was during a Sponsors’ Reception at Ilaro Court last Friday that chief executive officer of the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) Carol Roberts-Reifer announced there would no longer be a semi-final for the Pic-O-De-Crop competition and one song would determine a winner.
And for the first time in about ten years, there will no longer be a separation between power soca and sweet soca songs. Instead, calypsonians are expected to perform in the new combined Soca Monarch competition.
Based on rumblings from some calypsonians and stakeholders, it seemed that all were not on board but yesterday Roberts-Reifer and six tent managers gave the assurance.
When the Saturday Sun questioned them after they exited the NCF headquarters following a two-hour meeting, Roberts-Reifer said: “We have an agreement that the tents will open as usual for the public to hear some great social commentary for 2019.”
Just prior to that, the NCF had agreed to record a full technical rehearsal of each tent.
She added that this would allow the radio stations to also have copies.
The CEO said the NCF has offered to have the arrangements done in its studios for all calypsonians interested.
“All the tents have to do is turn up with their bands. We provide the engineers and we do all the masterings.”
In terms of the Pic O De Crop, it remains at one song for the finals.
“We will make the judging dates available to the public once the tents have signed off on the contracts. We will visit the tents on judging nights and each calypsonian will indicate which song they want to be judged the song. We judged that pool of songs and out of that pool which will come the number of finalists and on the night of the finals each finalist will sing one song,” said the CEO.
She also added that the prize remains the same – a fully loaded X Trail from Courtesy Garage or “the option of $100 000”. The Soca Monarch will receive a Mazda BT 50 from MQI.
Tents managers at the meeting yesterday represented All Stars, House of Soca, De Big Show, Experience, Stray Cats and Kingdom of Super Gladiators.
Roberts-Reifer said these were the tents registered to qualify for the subventions.
The tent managers said they have already decided on how many nights they will open and will inform the media in due course. (NS)