Gearing up


Innovation and creativity will be the aim of some tent managers this Crop-Over.

With sponsorship likely to be down again this year given the state of economy, some tent managers said getting businesses to see the importance of investing in the cultural industry and the country’s major festival would be tough.

House of Soca’s Sharon Carew-White told Bajan Vibes, that while her old sponsors were on board for this year, it was tougher to attract new ones.

“Speaking to people and explaining to them what the culture can do, or persons appreciating what our cultural industry and what our music industry does for us especially times when crime is on the increase, music can try to generate tourism into our island, I find they don’t see the niche and the need to get involved in such activities,” she said.

Carew-White said that although it will be a hard sell, she will find something to market.

“I’m going to offer group rates, as I did before. I will flower it with food for thought not only in the music but literally food, yams and my cassava, those persons are still very much involved and very much on and seeing that agriculture is in high demand and yams are expensive, I’m sure that somebody will appreciate a bag of yams even more. I will just flavour my package,” said the tent manager.

The calypsonians are not a challenge either, she added, and noted they were “knocking at the door to come in.” However, not all of them will be able to given the lack of money to “facilitate their needs”.

“I will stick a few others, a few interesting persons are coming into the cast but I really have to keep it as it is a proper and a tight show. I will continue to keep my show at Queen’s College, that is one because it’s our home base and it is also pricing, cost. Parking is there and it is in a safe community which I’m sure people would be interested in at Crop-Over.

Carew-White said her opening date is June 22 but she will kick start her activities on June 8 with the launch. She stated she would be doing things that would help push the sponsors’ products

House of Soca’s auditions were held last month.

This year, said Headliners’ Adrian Boo Husbands, they were working to upgrade the cast as well as improve their product.

He noted that people had submitted songs which they were vetting. He said they were also trying to increase their social commentary offerings and they would be organising new events.

A check with other tent managers showed that they too were preparing for the season and sponsorship and VAT were the major challenges and their plans were “on track”. Some of them said they would be pitching in late June or early July and others were indecisive.

Although no tents have “pulled for dates”, the first judging will take place on June 26 and the last on July 10. (DS)

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