Fantastic Friday in Trinidad: Bring back the International Soca Monarch Competition

What happened to Fantastic Friday in Trinidad and Tobago? Fantastic Friday featured the "Play Whe International Soca Monarch" competition, with artists from the Caribbean basin and North America competing to win this prestigious title. As mentioned by Fan Ann Lyons, this competition was 'our Grammys'. It may not be a simple reason for the demise of the show, but there is a void that needs to be filled. The rest of the Caribbean region—Grenada, Saint Vincent, Antigua, and Saint Lucia—all have a Soca Monarch Competition. Trinidad got rid of the International Soca Monarch and did not even replace it with a local Soca Monarch competition. Is this a lack of vision or just a lack of will?

So let's put this question to 'the powers that run things', Mecca of what? We need to really rethink our place, our position as the 'so-called leader' for the business of Soca as we forge ahead intending to advance Soca for the International market.

The International Soca Monarch Competition is a very important event for soca music and culture, but it has faced some challenges in recent years, such as lack of funding, low attendance, and competition from other fetes and events. 

Some possible ways to revive the competition are:
  • Attracting more sponsors and investors who are willing to support the event financially and provide incentives for the artists and the audience.
  • Inviting more international and regional Soca artists to participate and showcase their talent, as well as collaborating with other genres and cultures, will create more diversity and appeal.
  • Improving the format and judging criteria of the competition to make it more fair, transparent, and engaging for both the performers and the viewers.
  • Promoting the event more effectively through social media, streaming platforms, and other channels will reach a wider and younger audience and generate more interest and excitement.
  • Preserving the tradition and heritage of soca music and its role in Carnival while also innovating and adapting to the changing trends and preferences of soca fans.
  • Use the ideas of the Soca artists to improve the show, have a forum, and collaborate with the people who will actually participate. 
These are just some suggestions that could help the sun rise for this needed competition. What do you think? Do you have any ideas on how to revive the International Soca Monarch Competition? Maybe you do, maybe you don't, or just maybe you think that this show is a weight on the Soca industry. Look, everyone has an opinion, but trust me, this show generates energy, keeps artists focused on doing better, and generates income in so many ways that we really need to take notice and advance the show. 

Well, what we can tell you, or better yet, show you, are the comments of Fayann Lyons and Bunji Garlin. Fayann had a short stint organizing the Soca Monarch competition, but 'the powers that run things' decided that it was not worth their time and money. She is very opinionated and fires shots at 'the power that runs things'. Watch the video below, and share your comments here and with your social media peers. Let's light a fire and make Fay-Ann's ideas come to fruition. 

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Video Production Notes:
Video from "De Party Start" 
Origin: Trinidad 

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