People's Band could be a recipe for disaster | Carnival 2011

Hear ye, hear ye and the 'Extempo King' now Minister of Culture intends to turn Carnival upside down to benefit the "little man". The People's band is expected to give back to "ordinary people" the Carnival celebration that has blossomed into a money pool for the Band leaders of our colorful celebrations. 

Now don't get me wrong, I don't believe that the concept is bad... It is a good idea but one that needs serious planning and organization.  If this People's band is not organized properly but allowed to proliferate on the streets in gay abandon then all hell will break loose in Port-of-Spain. Carnival is serious business and most of the Band leaders have planned a year in advance to prepare to the upcoming festival. One cannot allow thousands of people in a band to simply roam the streets without control with no leader or sense of purpose while masquerading on the streets of Port-of-Spain. This is a recipe for disorder where chaotic frenetic, rambunctious behavior will prevail!

If this band grows to enormous proportions then just think of the time it will take to cross the stage at the Savannah. Bands will be backed up waiting on their turn to get on the stage. Order is a priority and the fact that the minister said that the band will police itself is ludicrous. This cannot be allowed to happen.

Listen the idea of a People's band is good but maybe it should be an experimentation that should take place in the areas outside of Port-of-Spain where people are spending big money to play mass and also where mobility of the 'money bands' is a priority. Mayaro, Sangre Grande, Arima, Chaguanas and to a lesser extent San Fernando should experiment with the People's band idea not Port-of-Spain!

Someone needs to bring a sense of order and discipline the minister where this idea is concerned. Where in the sage? Where is Sprangalang? Wasn't he pulled into the culture ministry to help right the wrongs and bring some sense of order and discipline as the people who are part of the culture not attempt to transform the festival into an industry that would redound to the benefit of the people who actually produce the product? Nothing... Not even WACK radio seems to be able to get Minister Gypsy or Sprangalang (who was a regular on the station) to come on board and speak about the plans for the festival. 

The 'People's Band' is a good idea but the timing or the place to start the experiment could lead to the biggest fiasco our celebrations have ever seen. The Minister and his cohorts should seriously reconsider the implementation of this idea and speak with the bandleaders association to gain input for proper implementation. Trust me no order will bring disorder and many people will form bands within this band that could lead to utter chaos. Policing these factions will become a tactical horror on the streets with thousands of inebriated people whose exuberance may lead to serious security issues. 

Only time will tell... However, the Minister should not take anything for granted and seriously reconsider experimenting with this concept in Port-of-Spain. The outcome could lead to picong and good material for an extempo competition but not for the future of Calypsonian Gypsy as the Minister of Culture!

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