by Leigh-ann Worrell
It will be a different kind of Celebration Time this year.
PK Events and Media’s Paul and Kimtara Clarke have confirmed they will take the reigns for the 2013 Crop-Over, as tent creator Peter Boyce has decided to take a “sabbatical” to focus on other projects.
“He is pursuing his acting career. He would have recently done the movie Chrissy and he is looking at doing a lot more ventures with puppetery and voice acting and had to take a break because lot of things were coinciding with tent dates,” said Paul, co-director of PK Events and Media.
Now in it’s fifth season, Celebration Time was started by Boyce after his separation from Bacchanal Time. Paul and Kimtara said they were approached by Boyce and other directors of the tent about three months ago with the proposal of takeover, and have decided to undertake the venture.
“I think he approached us because he was looking for a team that had some of the same relationships and some form of experience in putting together an event of this magnitude,” Kimtara explained, who will take the responsibility of tent manager.
Unsure about the length of Boyce’s break, Paul and Kimtara assured the brand of the tent would be maintained, though it’s operation will be different.
“It is now going to be operated much more like a business,” Paul stated. “We will be looking at how the brand can be built and exported out of Barbados. Our duty will be to make it a viable [and] exportable business opportunity. To that end, we will also be streaming live on tent nights on Trident10.tv. [However], our sponsors are giving us prizes for the people who are actually there from airline tickets to cruises, dinners and weekends at hotels.”
In addition, the duo also plan to place more emphasis on “true” calypso during their tenure.
“We are not shying away from what the young people do now with ragga soca, but we want to bring emphasis back on what used to be called “banja” music with a strong emphasis on social commentary, whether it may be slow or fast-paced with songs like Burn Mr. Harding,” Paul related.
“The reason why we did it was because we cannot lose sight of who we are. The calypso artform in itself … tells the story of us as a people. We cannot forget our culture and these are the things we need to bring back. Recently it has been more commercialised but we need to get back to the pure sense of the artform and show respect to those artists … who have laid the foundation we have today. [But] we will still have the up-tempo party songs and Mac Fingall as emcee.”
The theme chosen for this year is Celebration Time Calypso Circus, which will be integrated into the five tent nights starting on Wednesday, June 19 at 7 p.m. in the Plantation Garden Theatre. There will also be a World Kid’s Fair which will also feature the usual kid’s matinee show.
Since it’s exception, Celebration Time has been the home to big names such as Li’l Rick, Edwin Yearwood and Khiomal, and Kimtara has assured the tent’s “crowd pullers” will be back.
“Obviously, we have given first choice to existing cast so to speak to which most of them have said yes. Some of them are taking a break … not necessarily from performing in the tent but competing and that has a factor to play, and we have some new players as well… Some of those big names are some of the ones who will not be competing but that does not mean they will not be in the tent.”
Ras Iley will also be a part of the Celebration Time cast, toasting 30 years in the music business. He will be competing in all contests.
PK Events and Media is also behind a new tent this year, the Ragga Soca Superstars.
Managed by Paul, he stated it was conceptualised as more of a mid-week lime with future hopes of creating a contest.
“We first did the ragga soca competition in 2005. It was very well received but there were financial challenges because we did not receive a subvention so it was difficult to go on with the event. 2013, we decided to build out a new event. Ragga Soca Superstars will evolve into something more than a tent and will evolve into a made-for-tv tent…
“We will be doing limes and we will have our performers and be built out into a competition comparable to what you would see in Trinidad carnival for their groovy soca,” he revealed, adding that the two will judge for Party Monarch together.
These are two of the 13 tents registered for the 2013 Crop-Over season. The National Cultural Foundation have allocated judging dates, which are as follows:
Stray Cats -Tuesday, June 25: Super Gladiators – Wednesday, June 26: Bacchanal Time – Thursday, June 27: Experience – Friday, June 28: Celebration Time – Sunday, June 30: All Stars – Tuesday, July 2: Ragga Soca Superstars – Wednesday, July 3: House of Soca – Thursday, July 4: Tomorrow’s Children – Sunday, July 7: African Heartbeat – Monday, July 8: Headliners – Tuesday, July 9: Celebrity – Wednesday, July 10: Big Show – Thursday, July 11 (LW)