Wildey Gymnasium plan B for Pic-O-De-Crop competition
The National Cultural Foundation (NCF) will decide tomorrow morning whether the Pic-O-De-Crop finals will be moved indoors, as a weather system with the potential to become a tropical storm by tomorrow approaches Barbados.
NCF’s corporate communications specialist Simone Codrington told Barbados TODAY tonight that “as far as we know right now the finals are still on”.
Whether the battle for the monarchy will be at the original Kensington Oval location or the Wildey Gymnasium will depend on how the weather system develops, she said. The Foreday Morning jump-up which usually follows the Pic-O-De-Crop finals, and Bridgetown Market, which begins on Saturday could also be affected by the weather system.
The Barbados Meteorological Services alerted Barbadians to the possibility of bad weather tomorrow and into Saturday in a special weather bulletin issued earlier today that indicated that a low pressure system to the east-southeast of the island could become a tropical depression by tomorrow.
This evening, a reconnaissance aircraft investigated the system located about 350 miles east-southeast off Barbados and found surface winds of 40 to 45 miles per hour
“Showers and thunderstorms have increased east of the centre during the past couple of hours and, if this development trend were to continue, a tropical storm could form later tonight or early Friday – which could require the issuance of watches of warnings for portions of the central Lesser Antilles at that time,” the weather advisory indicated.
“Regardless of development, gale-force winds are likely to spread across portions of the central Lesser Antilles beginning by midday Friday. Interests in these areas should continue to monitor the progress of this disturbance as it moves west-northwestward near 20 miles per hour.”
Codrington said earlier today that defending monarch Ian Webster, and the other Pic-O-De-Crop finalists Biggie Irie, Mikey, Blood, Adrian Clarke, Chrystal Cummins-Beckles, Classic, Kid Site, Miguel and De Announcer had already been notified of the possibility of having to compete at an alternate location.
She said the Wildey Gymnasium has been set up for that eventuality.
Six of the calypsonians set for the big stage told Barbados TODAY they were prepared to do their best regardless of where they had to perform.
Webster said he would do what he had to to retain his crown.
“If it has to move it has to move. Obviously there would be key changes to be made to the presentation but I would work to suit. The vibe would be different for sure though, but it is what it is,” he said.
While the NCF has a plan B for staging the event, newcomer to the competition, Mikey, said he also has a backup plan.
“If it moves it doesn’t really affect me. I have a contingency plan in place where the presentation is concerned, and I don’t know what it feels like to compete at the Oval so it won’t affect me in any major way,” he said.
Blood and Biggie Irie also said a move would not affect their plans while Miguel said he was “preparing for any eventuality, while not placing focus on the venue but readying myself for Friday night.”
In addition to insisting that performing at the Gymnasium would not bother him “in the least”, Clarke said he wanted to see the day when presentations in the competition were scrapped.