UWI carnival takeover
KADUWIVAL no more; it is time to Joukanal.
Less than 24 hours after it was announced that the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill had pulled the plug on its annual carnival, popular entertainment outfit Powerx4 has stepped in to fill the void with Joukanal Carnival.
Powerx4 had previously offered to produce the carnival at a reduced cost, but managing director Chetwin Stewart said they decided to undertake the entire cost about five weeks ago, when it became clear that the university would not be funding it.
Stewart said bands had been launched during the time that discussions were ongoing and up to Wednesday afternoon 16 bands, most of whom would have played mas with UWI in the past, had been registered. He said both local and non-national bands are registered and that 1 500 revellers are expected to be on the road.
“Powerx4 made the decision that we would go ahead and put on the carnival because it would be real unfortunate . . . . Even more than that, seeing the creativity and the hard work and everything, it has given me more incentive to work hard and put the carnival on the road. ’Cause these young people really put a lot into it,” Stewart stated.
Stewart explained that Joukanal would be held over two days and would include a Jouvert Party at the Party Stand on April 4 from 9 p.m.
The group met with representatives of the Royal Barbados Police Force this week, and has been given the green light to hit the streets on April 5 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Re-elected president of the guild of students, Damani Parris, said the student body took the decision, along with the university’s administration to no longer stage KadUWIval, which also included a car show, calypso competitions and a pageant.
“The guild of students this year faced a significant debt from the last administration . . . Eventually, the Guild of Students reached a decision with the administration that carnival, at this point, would not be something that we could afford, against the backdrop that it is not a usually profitable venture for the Guild . . . .
“The risk would be too great at this time, especially with us having no assurances to the budget for the 2014-2015 academic year,” Parris said.
He pointed out that the decision was made only for this year, since next year’s festivities would be based on the number of new students.
Joukanal will leave from the Party Stand and move towards the bottom of the University Hill before returning to the Party Stand.
It will cost Powerx4 upwards of $100 000 to put the bands on the road, but Stewart said things like the Joukanal Carnival were needed at this time.
“These are the things that you need happening to generate money in the economy. That is why you have to come in and help with these things. These things feed people. All the costumes are made locally. It isn’t like Crop Over – all these li’l costumes are made locally.
“You have seamstresses working and stuff, then you providing drinks, providing food. . . . It’s a good platform now for young designers who might not be able to do something for Crop Over, but can actually start here and probably move on,” he stated.
Stewart said that he was so impressed with some of the designs, that he was considering bringing one of the youngsters into Powerx4 at Crop Over to attract some of the younger revellers.