THE EDITOR: I attended the Calypso Fiesta show on February 3 at Skinner Park, San Fernando, as I have been doing for the past 30 years. This year was the worst.
Calypso Fiesta (where the cooler party originated) is dying, if one is to gauge by what has been happening over the past few years. The organisers don’t have a clue as to what made the show great.
It used to be an event where you had freedom of movement and was able to view the event from any location in the park. And year after year you would locate friends and family because you knew where they would be.
However, for the past few years the organisers have been making changes, not for the benefit of the people who made Calypso Fiesta great but for the VIPs who don’t pay to enter the park.
Huge tents (occupied by about 15 people) are erected on the field, making it impossible for the free movement of the past. And of course the tents restrict viewing from the stands and cycle track. Also, media workers are positioned a little distance from the stage, obstructing the view from behind.
In this age of technology, where cameras come with zoom lens and drones are used to capture an overhead view of an event, how come these mistakes are being made year after year at Calypso Fiesta? That did not happen before.
It appears people tasked with event planning don’t have a clue as to the culture of the TT Carnival, particularly Calypso Fiesta.
Further, Calypso Fiesta was advertised as an all-inclusive drinks event, so I went with the expectation of getting free drinks. To my horror and dismay you could only get one drink at a time. If you needed a drink for a friend you would have to make another trip – and of course join the frustrated throng trying to do the same thing.
To make matters worse, the wrist bands provided on entry ran out around 4 pm so patrons were told to check back. More lack of planning. Tickets were purchased from the National Lotteries outlets so it should have been easy to check how many people would be attending.
I spoke to a Trinbago Unified Calypsonians’ Organisation official about the tents blocking the view of patrons but his response left me flabbergasted. He didn’t know what I was talking about.
Calypso Fiesta is dying because of these gross mistakes and the lack of care for patrons and the Carnival culture.
HAYDEN MCKENZIE via e-mail