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Fresh features for Crop Over

rhondathompson, [email protected]

Fresh features for Crop Over

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THE ISSUE OF PRIZE MONEY has been resolved, three new mini Kadooments will start from today, there will be a Tune Of The Night contest, and the Pic-O-De-Crop Finals will continue at Kensington Oval.
These revelations came from Minister of Culture Stephen Lashley as he followed up last November’s launch of Crop Over 2012 with the announcement yesterday at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre of innovations for the festival and Season Of Emancipation.
Stating that festival stakeholders had made a number of requests for increased prize money, Lashley said this issue had been resolved amid mature discussion that considered the state of the Barbados economy.
“While we have not been able to give them all they have asked for, we have certainly recognized their needs, and through collaboration and dialogue between these stakeholders and the National Cultural Foundation (NCF), we have been able to grant some level of relief to them.”
Adding that Government had met the stakeholders “part of the way”, he declined to give details of the increases.
The mini Kadooments, part of Government’s plan to return Crop Over to the communities, will see the first happening today when Settlers – the West Coast Experience will showcase hundreds of revellers jumping from the bottom of Holder’s Hill to Trents Playing Field in St James from 1 a.m.  
Mini Kadooments
The mini Kadooments would continue on May 28 in St Andrew and on June 20 in St Peter, Lashley added.
Other innovations will include the reintroduction of the Cart Parade and Promenade during the June 30 Opening Gala; the moving of craftspeople to the Spring Garden Highway in light of the challenge of expected rains on the adjoining playing field; and a new traders’ mall at the Flour Mill site.
The popular Soca Royale contest will be boosted by a semi-final component while a Tune Of The Night will be added to Foreday Morning Jam.
The former, said Lashley, would be judged in a fete where the finalists would be picked for the Soca Royale climax on July 29 at Bushy Park, St Philip; while the Tune Of The Night is the initiative of a key sponsor.
The minister also disclosed that Grand Kadooment would return to the National Stadium, with bands jumping from Warrens, crossing the stage inside the Stadium and proceeding to Spring Garden.
“Last year there was a plea to return the Pic-O-De-Crop Finals to the Stadium, but we’ve had to relook this due to a number of constraints, and we have consulted and informed the calypsonians that we will continue that competition at Kensington Oval,” he added, noting that Cohobblopot would also continue at Kensington.
He added that the Tune Of The Crop competition would also feature new judging points unknown to bands, thereby creating “a bit more intrigue and interest”.
Two-week interval
Noting there would be a two-week interval between the Pic-O-De-Crop semis and finals, Lashley said this would provide, in response to calls from calypsonians, more preparation time as well as a chance for the NCF and media to promote the finals.
Making what he termed a clarion call to radio stations, he added: “I really think once they play the Crop Over music, it adds to the festival’s excitement and to the earnings calypsonians make from royalties.
“I’m hoping the radio stations this year make an effort and come and partner with us in a meaningful way towards ensuring that we play our calypsos. There are many calypsos produced each year as part of the festival but the only thing that’s missing, to me, is airplay.”
The 2012 Cavalcades will be held at Briar Hall in Christ Church, Checker Hall in St Lucy, King George V Memorial Park in St Philip and the Stadium; while the season will include a Bridgetown By Night Heritage Tour, involving dramatizations and costumed characters, and Emancipation events. (RJ)