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Crop Over stakeholders meet

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Crop Over stakeholders meet

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Bigger prize packages for calypso competitions, a new look Bridgetown Market, a reduction in the price of stall spaces were among new initiatives announced by Minister of Family, Culture, Sports and Youth Stephen Lashley when he met at the first ever meeting held between all stakeholders of the Festival and a Minister of Culture, on Friday, at the Warrens Complex.
The meeting was a follow up to the inaugural meetings which were held with the various stakeholder groups with members of the then newly constituted board of the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) from January 31 to February 10 2011.
Stakeholders represented included calypsonians, promoters, technical service providers, tuk and folk groups, craft persons, vendors, background singers and tent managers among others.
Lashley outlined efforts to ease stakeholders in their efforts during the Crop Over season, specifically the vendors who were given reductions in stall prices.
Lashley also revealed the success in efforts to increase prize packages for calypsonians. There will now be two cars valued at $95 500 each for the Sweet Soca and Party Monarch competitions in addition to the car for the Calypso Monarch.  
Furthermore, as stakeholders had suggested that the Party Monarch competition be given a different “feel” this year, Crop Over officials have decided that, for the first time, this year that competition, within the Soca Royale event, will take place at night. The venue will again be the Bushy Park Racing Circuit.
Another initiative introduced was the reintroduction of the folk and gospel concerts which will be a feature on the Crop Over 2011 calendar.
Lashley said that ongoing dialogue with stakeholders was crucial to the success of the Festival and reminded stakeholders that the Ministry and the Government were committed to ensuring that stakeholder meetings would be a constant feature in future Festivals. (PR)