Masqueraders want early consultations on 2015 jump-up plan

The Barbados Association of Masqueraders has called for the date of Foreday Morning jump-up to be reviewed immediately after Crop Over 2014 to avoid any more problems next year. That’s despite giving its full backing to the decision by authorities to have the jam revert to the original Friday night this year.

Association president Chetwin Stewart said early consultation was needed to thrash out concerns relating to any change that might occur for the 2015 festivity.

“At least, now we have time to sit down, bring all the parties involved . . . and look at the advantages or disadvantages, because at the end of the day something might have to give; but . . . it can’t be that one minute it’s on, and one minute it’s off. People have to register and all kind of stuff,” he told Barbados TODAY.

On Saturday, Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley held a hastily called Press briefing to announce that authorities were convinced during consultations with interest groups that the status quo should remain. The decision came just days after the initial announcement.

“. . . Foreday Morning returns to the Friday, and the finals [will] be held on the Friday as well,” Lashley said. “What will happen, though, is that there will be some changes to the start date of the finals. The finals will now start at 7 p.m. and we expect to start Foreday Morning at 12 midnight on the dot. We will continue to have discussions with the Royal Barbados Police Force.”

Stewart, the managing director of PowerX4, and one of the leaders of Mudslides J’Ouvert band, indicated that the previous decision to shift the day of the jump up was ill-timed and would have hurt the pockets of stakeholders.

Foreday Morning has grown so large, it deserves its own night; but right now . . . it would be a little bit unfair, especially since the finals don’t need as much policing as it used to. So if they could hold off for this year and let both of them go on the same night, that is where the answer would be,” he said.

“It is good for the finals if people could come and go to that first and then go to J’Ouvert, rather than the finals going on a night when it would be competing with big promotions and people bringing in artistes and so on.”

Lashley agrees that any review of the day for Foreday Morning jump-up should take place early. He said this would be one of the first orders of business after the festival ends. However, he is insisting that the reversal does not show indecisiveness on the path of authorities.

“What it shows is that the NCF is being responsive . . . . The planning . . . is still at an early enough stage to make that kind of change.

“We do expect from time to time that there would be need for changes, and the management structure of Crop Over is sufficiently resilient that it can actually handle these kind of things,” he said.

Meanwhile, the minister is denying that he had announced the cancellation of the Cavalcades last Thursday. According to Lashley, he only announced that the National Cultural Foundation would no longer be funding the shows. He said there had since been interest from the private sector.

“Since that announcement, the NCF has received calls from private sector interest groups interested in having a dialogue about actually financing the Cavalcades,” the minister added.

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