Musical journey at Cohobblopot
Chief Executive Officer of the National Cultural Foundation, Cranston Browne made this assertion as he addressed the press launch of the 2013 Digicel Hott Cohobblopot Ignition, on Saturday at Kensington Oval.
Browne explained that the Barbados Tourism Authority was responsible for marketing Crop-Over outside of the island. He said the lineup of Barbadian and Caribbean artistry was a huge boost for the island’s tourism, especially for regional audiences.
Cohobblopot, which will be held on Sunday, August 4, at Kensington Oval, will feature Biggie Irie, Lil’ Rick, Mr. Dale, Red Plastic Bag, Edwin Yearwood, Gabby, Grynner, Mikey, Blood, TC, Rupee, Bobo and Fadda Fox from Barbados. The winners of the Party Monarch, Sweet Soca and Pic-O-De-Crop competitions will also perform.
The overseas acts are RDX, a Jamaican Dancehall duo; Bunji Garlin and the Ayslum Band, Patrice Roberts, Denise Belfon and David Rudder from Trinidad and Tobago.
Stating that this package was attractive to foreign audiences, Browne said, “…[When] our guests come on that final weekend [of Crop-Over], they would have not only enjoyed our local calypso and soca and elements from our culture, but they would have experienced cultures from around the Caribbean and even further afield.”
He continued: “It is the heaviest party weekend for the [Crop-Over] calendar. The NCF produces some 32 events, and the only event of this nature where we come together and share the stage with our Caribbean partners or artistes is at Cohobblopot.”
Further stressing that it was important to use such initiatives to enhance tourism throughout the year, he asserted, “We tend to forget that the lifeblood of our country… is foreign exchange. Therefore, we need to boost tourism arrivals, not only at Crop-Over, but throughout the year. Whatever event or vehicle we could use to bring this about we intend to do so.”
This year, the NCF is partnering with Premier Event Services Inc., the company which also managed Rihanna’s Loud Concert in August 2011, to produce the rebranded Cohobblopot.
Director of Premier Event Services Inc. Faye Wharton-Parris said Cohobblopot was on course to being the biggest event of the season and possibly the year.
She said the combination of Barbadian and regional acts was a “formula that works” and that patrons could expect to be taken on a musical journey.
“The Cohobblopot event is at its fullest potential when produced and marketed as a diverse affair which, while maintaining the traditional aspects of Barbadian culture such as tuk, stilt walkers and local theatre, still embraces aspects from other cultures which have influenced the nation over the years,” she noted.
Wharton-Parris reasoned that such a move would enhance patronage as “foreign acts and other genres have caused a doubling of patrons over the past few years”. She pointed out that her organisation hoped to increase the profile of the festival and tourist arrivals.
Stating that Barbados was a “premier entertainment destination”, she asserted that Cohobblopot would become the catalyst for the development of local talent.
“Having chosen a phenomenal all star Bajan cast complemented by some of the biggest names in music regionally, Cohobblopot Ignition is positioning itself to be the biggest and best summer concert this side of the region,” she noted.
“It is an event produced to celebrate the guardians of Barbadian cultural fortitude and the external visionaries who have become part of the very culture we uphold with pride. Aside from the economic benefits that can be derived from an event of this scale, it also makes the first of many steps into long-term visions for the island,” Wharton-Parris emphasised. (BGIS)