Nation e-Edition

World ‘Pot likely

ATTENDING THE media briefing (from left): marketing consultant Margaret Allman-Goddard, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture Ruth Blackman, Minister  of Culture Stephen Lashley, chief executive officer of the National Cultural Foundation Cranston Browne  and NCF corporate communications specialist Simone Codrington.  (Picture by Nigel Browne.)

By GERCINE CARTER | Sat, August 10, 2013 - 12:09 AM

INTERNATIONAL ACTS could be part of the Cohobblopot stage in the future if event-planner Jerry Ishmael has his way.

The head of Premier Event Services, the private sector company responsible for staging this year’s Cohoblopot,  said the event attracted close to 7 600 patrons and he believed the increase in numbers by more than 3 000 was largely due to the inclusion of some top  Caribbean artistes.

Ishmael told the SATURDAY SUN: “We think we have got a good model and once we are involved putting on a show that highlights the best of Barbadian acts and the tops coming out of the region, we might look to add some international flavour, because Crop Over itself still needs an international presence to bring people into Barbados.”

He added: “Cohobblopot to us is a pot boiling with the genres  of music from the Caribbean.  It is not about St Philip, St John, St Michael or Christ church.  It is about the region. (GC)

Please read the full story in today’s SATURDAY SUN, or in the eNATION edition.

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Posted by Carl Harper 1 year, 2 months ago
Jerry Ishmael: "Crop Over itself still needs an international presence to bring people into not about St Philip, St John, St Michael or Christ church."

The above comments by Ishmael are sure to get some people's "pot" boiling over, especially local calypsonians who have long believed that it is because of them Crop Over is the "success" it has become, and have been feeling marginalized by the introduction of regional performers at Cohoblopot.

Calypsonians are convinced there can be no Crop Over without them, so much so over the years, there has been one controversy or the other, with the group threatening to boycott the Festival if their demands were not met.

Calypsonians have largely been their own worst enemy contributing to their demise. During the 1980s and early 90s when CBC TV recorded the Tents to show half-hour snippets to the public to "wet the appetite," the Tent managers failed to see it as free advertising (publicity) that sent thirsty calypso lovers in droves to the various venues for more entertainment.

Instead, the managers mistakenly interpreted that showing Tent performances on TV caused patrons to stay at home and stopped CBC from videotaping the performances, altogether.

Tents were holding in excess of 15 shows per season to sellout audiences, and persons were turned away disappointed, nightly. Now today, the Tents are no longer visible on TV, managers are complaining about lack of sponsorship and begging NCF for more funds. They can hardly convene five shows per season, and when they do, only a few older diehard fans are present among the dozens of empty seats.

It is now clear that local calypsonians must be willing to share the Cohoblopot stage with regional and international artistes, even for a lower performance fees, or be left on the sidelines....cont'd

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Posted by Carl Harper 1 year, 2 months ago
Part 2...
Many local calypsonians never considered expanding beyond these shores to have an "international presence" but rather remain content with a few gigs during the Festival season, and quarrel with radio DJs for more airplay of their half-baked and repetitive "bumpa" and other body parts songs.

Even though Ishmael appears cock-a-hoop by more than doubling this year's attendance at Cohoblopot over last year to 7, 600 patrons, it was not uncommon in years past for the National Stadium to be packed with more than 10, 000 fans, all salivating for a taste from the "pot of local delicacies being served."

The outsourcing of the potpourri event to private interests is a sign of things to come as it relates to other major shows on the Crop Over calendar. The NCF has realized they need to play a more coordinating and supporting role, rather than undertake the staging of each and every event.

For many years we have been hearing the Festival brings approximately $80 million into the local economy. What Crop Over planners are essentially acknowledging is, there has been no real economic growth to the Festival over the years, and it is high-time that figure moves beyond $100 million.

While the Premier Event Services chief may be seeing Crop Over strictly from a commercial perspective and dismissing it as something beyond the parishes of Barbados, the NCF must ensure the Festival maintains the delicate balance between cultural expression and economic benefits.

The role of the NCF is now more critical than ever to ensure that Crop Over and Cohoblopot do not become just another set of fetes on the national events calendar.

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Posted by Bim Bum 1 year, 2 months ago
Pot going legal globally?

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Posted by kim clarke 1 year, 2 months ago
I get and probably like the idea of the "pot" going global......but for me if this year's show is any indication of what is to come, they could as well scrap the show since this was the most boring show I have ever been too since I've been attending the "pot" from when they had the first one with the grounds open for standing. This record crowd that they are referring to were obviously here in the second half because they were not there in the first half for sure.

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