No threat

veteran band leader not worried fore day mornin’ will eclipse grand kadooment

by Kimberley Cummins

Fore Day Mornin’ is not to the point where it is a threat to Grand Kadooment, says President of the Barbados Association of Masqueraders, Roger Millar.

In a telephone interview with Barbados TODAY this evening, Millar said he found it “strange” that people believed it was a threat.

“Right now there isn’t an issue with the decline of people playing mass for Grand Kadooment but there is a definite increase in the number of people playing mass for Fore Day Mornin’. At present it is not an issue of people opting to go Fore Day Mornin’ as opposed to Grand Kadooment because we find some people like to play both or some like one or the other.

“It is something that we can monitor to see if there is a trend but at present Kadooment band leaders just need to maintain their product and continue to ensure that it grows and keep offering a high quality of service,” he said.

This season there are 37 Fore Day Mornin’ bands up from 22 in 2011. Of those bands, six are bringing a mixture of tee-shirts and “costumes”, while the others are tee-shirts oriented.

One of the Fore Day Mornin’ “purists” was very critical of those band leaders who brought costumes and said they had lost the true concept of mud, paint and oil synonymous with jouvert — dirty mass. The band leader further reported that people jumped with those bands because they were looking for a cheaper alternative to Kadooment. However, Millar disagreed.

“If a person opted to go with a more elaborate costume, for lack of a better word, because there are still somewhat shorts and tee shirt based, I think people deserve to choose what band and outfit they want to wear. I don’t know how formal and traditional the jouvert is but I still think that most people embrace it in the format.

“About 80-90 per cent of people celebrate it with paint; there is still a lot of paint being splashed around. Paint is still very prevalent here with our Fore Day Mornin’ people and that still continues but some people may want to have that little special look before they hit the road, and when they hit the road the whole jouvert feeling and concept is embraced. The theme is there and it is evident by the time they get to Spring Garden.

“For me a costume signifies and is depicting something Fore Day Mornin’ bands don’t. When you look at them they are not costumes, not hard core costumes. There are not performing, not competing, they are still going down on the road in the same form and fashion and mud is being distributed.

“I still think it is an open market and people need to market their product and if throwing things a little more up-scale on what they are offering is what is getting them costumers, I think they should be allowed to do it as long as it does not infringe on any rules…,” he said.

Millar added that his biggest concern with Fore Day Mornin’ was the length of the route. He said by the time some revellers reached the top of Spring Garden Highways many more would not have left the starting point at Pelican Village. He advised the authorities to explore a longer route to accommodate the larger number of bands.

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