Barbadian artistes knock NCF decision to outsource Cohobblopot
A slap in the face of Barbadian artistes and promoters!
That’s the view of many in the entertainment industry following the announcement that Cohobblopot, a staple event on the National Cultural Foundation’s (NCF) Crop Over calendar, was being replaced by a private event billed One Love, with Trinidadian Machel Montano as the headline act.
Social activist and head of the Clement Payne Cultural Centre, David Comissiong told Barbados TODAY the move showed that the NCF had lost its way where Crop Over was concerned.
“Cohobblopot is authentically Barbadian. It is a slap in the face to Barbadian artistes. Crop Over has derailed from its original folk festival concept to become nothing more than a manufactured money exercise,” he said.
“To abandon Cohobblopot . . . shows that the NCF has lost its vision of Crop Over as an authentic Bajan folk festival and that loss of vision is reflected in the deterioration of the songs produced by the current crop of calypsonians. Crop Over is now about making money, the size of the crowd and how many admission fees you can collect,” Comissiong vented, while also noting that he was not against the outsourcing of the festival.
Veteran entertainer John King, echoed Comissiong’s sentiments, adding that as Barbadians, “we place no value on our own”.
“The One Love thing is ironic . . . when it comes to spending money, [and] appreciating our own we must be at the bottom of the pole. One thing that is lacking here is our ability to promote our own and support our own in the same way that we are able to do for others . . . . For me personally, if I was doing it and I’m talking about One Love . . . I would try my best to ensure that my major headliners would be local acts,” King stressed.
However, another veteran calypsonian Adrian Clarke said he did not believe the move was hindering local artistes. Instead, Clarke suggested that they should use the show as a motivator to be better.
“When somebody from outside . . . comes in, we can’t deal with it. We’ve got to pull our socks up. As local acts we need to up our game. We were there at one point and then we started singing a whole bunch of foolishness. The foreign acts should remind us of what we used to be,” he added.
Clarke, a former two-time calypso monarch, explained that it was within the private promoter’s right to name the show whatever they wanted.
“If it’s not a NCF show, which it appears not to be . . . whoever the promoter is, has a right to put whatever name they want to it, that way there is not a connection or comparison to the original Cohobblopot. Yes you love to hear the name Cohobblopot being mentioned but I guess, like a number of other things, it has died of natural causes,” he said.
“Bajan culture nowadays seem to be adapting any other culture and then calling it theirs,” he quipped.
Roberta Dowell of Volume Entertainment, the promoters of the show, in an interview with Barbados TODAY, sought to clear up any misconceptions the public may have with regard to the August 2 show at Kensington Oval.
“[It is] completely different from Cohobblopot. The only reason people are calling it Cohobblopot is because it’s the same night. If it was the Thursday, people wouldn’t have an issue. It is simply because on August 2 there is nothing happening. The NCF is not doing Cohobblopot so we booked the date, there is nothing more to it than that,” the promoter explained.
Dowell revealed that local acts were also slated to perform at the show. “Right now, there is Fadda Fox and King Bubba with lots more to be added,” she said.
Dowell added, “It’s a full stage production. It is going to be a special, reminiscent of Machel Monday. It is very similar to that. We will be using the stands for those who don’t want to be on the grounds. It is going to blow Bajans’ minds.”