BAM warns of protest on Kadooment Day

The Barbados Association of Masqueraders (BAM) is putting the country on notice that there will be protest action on Kadooment Day if several issues facing bandleaders are not addressed urgently by the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) and respective ministries.

BAM said bandleaders were “at the end of their tether” after years of promises and no action and they were promising “some unusual and unexpected addition to the parade” because this seems to be the only course to get the full attention and action of the authorities.

BAM President Chetwyn Stewart said the executive met recently and decided on a course of action “which will not look good at all”, adding that several bands, including some of the biggest and most influential such as Ooutraje Festival Band, Blue Box Cart, Baje International, Betty West, Gwyneth Squires, Power X Four – Next Generation and Wednesday 2000 had committed to the agreed action.

He said BAM approached the NCF early this year with proposals and was yet to hear back formally from either the NCF or the Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley.

Stewart said while there was progress in terms of a meeting with the Barbados Revenue Authority and a promise to continue dialogue, bandleaders were still facing the same situation as in previous years, with the added pressure of a worsening economy.

“We are being asked to come better every year, especially by our band members, and do so in circumstances where there is dwindling sponsorship, hardly a raise in subvention or prize money,” Stewart said.

“And this comes against a background of promises and the unbelievable situation of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. spending thousands of dollars in Trinidad with entities where it was hard to see the reasoning behind it.

“We are a major part of this festival, which is bringing in more than $110 million in a short time and the Government cannot find it possible to do anything at all for us – not reduce the VAT as requested to the level of tourism players, not give us subvention increases and we are still to benefit from the Cultural Industries Act after three plus years, despite all the talk about how it would assist bands,” Stewart said.

He added that there was no way the suggestion of them bringing queens and kings of the masquerade bands would be entertained in the circumstances, explaining that the cost of a king or queen was more than $20,000 and no first prize even comes close to that input.

The BAM President further complained that Government was finding money for everything, including $7 million for last year’s 50th anniversary of Independence celebrations and another $6 million for CARIFESTA this year, but it could not find a few thousand dollars for the thing that is bringing millions into the country, particularly its core event, Kadooment.

Stewart warned that Kadooment Day was dying and that unless some urgent attention was paid to it and some serious support forthcoming to bandleaders, the product will continue to peter out.


10 Responses to BAM warns of protest on Kadooment Day

  1. Kearn Williams
    Kearn Williams May 7, 2017 at 10:37 am

    D woman in red gine be dey?

  2. Samantha Best May 7, 2017 at 11:13 am

    Hey, not that we are on the topic of the NCF, when will the post of Chief Executive Officer be advertised as is the case with all Government funded entities? The post requires some one with graduate qualifications!

    Note that persons serving milk and biscuits must have CXC’s. This should at least be a minimum for someone earning almost
    $10 000.00 monthly.

    Not sure what it is the bands want. Put it in the public domain. You may get some advice as to how to raise the funds other than from a cash strapped entity. May be the band that always gets to leave the stadium first could assist. They may have the know how and the means.

    • jennifer May 7, 2017 at 11:43 am

      Well, well this is a growing list of organisations waiting on some kind of fix. The teachers, Qeh, transport, licensing, credit unions, then we got the sugar plantation lot awaiting their much needed concessions. Forget about any stored old money. The hoteliers flourishing. Then the poor man in the street. May I suggest that they all join the kadooment crew and have one big bacchannal on the day. Bikinis, rum and all. what a kalidascope that will be.

  3. Ernesta Catlyn May 7, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    And what if she is, Kearn Williams?

  4. Peter May 7, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    Another Crop Over, another controversy. Look Last Crop over Calypso winner used a song allegedly written by one Mighty viper. It’s chorus had in the line…”One People, One Nation and One Destiny…. ” All the OFFICIAL words of Guyana’s National Coat of Arms. and which was penned before May 26th 1966 for Guyana’s Independence. Yet It was claimed that Viper penned those words last year. and she was defended tooth and nail by the Gorilla Girl on VOB. If a Guyanese had used ” Pride and Industry in one single line of their calypso Bajans would have bawled out for Murder. Mind you I did not give her the name Gorilla Girl, It was her white classmates from Foundation who I heard refer to her ad GG and I got answer when I asked. We were having a birthday dinner and wine at Tides Restaurant a few years ago.

    • Coralita May 7, 2017 at 6:10 pm

      You wid this shyte again about white girls from Foundation calling Carol Roberts Gorilla Girl!!!! Who the heck cares what occupies the crevices of you all feeble minds??? Like if Carol Roberts gives a shyte about any ah wunna. The lady living her life to the fullest, doing what she loves and enjoying it to the max. You and the white girls got gorilla minds, ugly from inside.

      Big ass adults always up in here calling people names but then wunna would want to tell young people not to do it. What comes out of you is a reflection of you, not who you are projecting it on. You must be a freaking Oreo, black on the outside and white on the inside.

      To quote Mrs. Michelle Obama. “When they go low, you go high”. That is my advice to you Carol, keep soaring girl. I would never join with white people to tear down my own, especially one that is giving back positively to this community like Carol Roberts.

      Cuss me, I don’t give a heck!!!

      • Peter May 7, 2017 at 9:06 pm

        It’s OK miss undicided Coralita. I did not give her that name I only heard them talk about it at a dinner function. Anyway, who the cap fits, let them wear it. ah gone….

  5. Robert J Foster May 7, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    Oh good.

  6. Adrian May 7, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    This tells me to hold off buying my costume.

  7. hcalndre May 7, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    President and Bam do what you have to do or not they will reap the sweets and you`ll would have to suck salt. Soon you will hear from the sympathizers and apologist, “It`s not what this government can do for you, it`s what you can do for it”. Instead of country, I said government because I have heard the words of JFK thrown around at times in barbados where there`s no connection. The government needs Cropover.


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