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Grenadian band chooses cheap costumes

marciadottin, [email protected]

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ST GEORGE’S – The leader of one of the top Grenadian Carnival bands, Ricardo Keens Douglas, is blaming the struggling economy for his decision to produce low budget fancy Mas for Grenada’s biggest cultural festival this year.Keens Douglas, an internationally known story teller, has been producing Mas bands for the past five years, but has come under fire in some quarters for this year’s presentation entitled Very Attractive Tourist, a play on the recently introduced Value Added Tax (VAT).Revellers have been asked to show up wearing their own tourist garb instead of purchasing fancy costumes as is the tradition.They are also being asked to cover the cost of music and drinks by paying an EC$80 (US$29.60) registration fee, significantly lower than the normal EC$450 (US$166) requested by other bands.“It has nothing to do with the creativity and costumes,” said Keens Douglas, who has won every major carnival title including Band Of The Year.“It has to do with the economy that is really bad and I think that people who cannot afford a four or five hundred dollar costume must still be able to play Mas.”Sections of the public and some band leaders have criticised this year’s presentation as a poor depiction compared to the traditional costume bands.“If I can’t bring a fancy costume band this year why should me and my masqueraders sit on the side of the road and watch people jump up?” said Keens Douglas. (CMC)

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