By Roshad Smith
The festival you have spent the last 40 years cultivating is on the verge of extinction.
Private promoters and foreign deejays are slowly deflowering the fruits of Vincy Mas. It’s time we acknowledge and understand the problems and plot a course of action before it’s too late.
I write this article with a heavy heart because it’s difficult to say bad things about the country you love. For years, my national pride has blinded me from the nonsense that goes on during carnival but after my experience this year (the 40th year of Vincy Mas as a summer festival), I can clearly see the iceberg of destruction on the horizon.
I arrived for Vincy Mas on Tuesday 4th July, 2017 and attended the following events:
- Bun Wuk (Wednesday 5th July, 2017)
- Dutty Sexy Soca (Wednesday 5th July, 2017)
- Colour Fete (Friday 7th July, 2017)
- Soca Monarch (Saturday 8th July, 2017)
- Coolers n Coconuts (Sunday 9th July, 2017)
- AM: Jamboree (Monday 10th July, 2017)
- Digicel’s Temperature Monday Band (Monday 10th July, 2017)
All of the events with the exception of Soca Monarch, were organised by private promoters and there was an astounding trend at each event — Vincy Soca was outshined by Trini Soca and Dancehall Music.
Before I launch an onslaught on the private promoters and deejays, I would like to briefly change the perspective. Let’s pretend for a moment that we were a private promoter — our main objective would be to ensure that we make a profit and our patrons were happy, so that we can have another event in the future. Similarly, if we were in the shoes of the deejay(s) — our objective would be to impress the patrons and promoter(s) to ensure we are hired for another event. With that said, the private promoters and deejays are not obligated to promote Vincy Mas or Vincy music. Frankly, they don’t care what time of the year it is (Easter, Carnival, Independence or Christmas), their objectives remain the same: “It’s all about the money…” (Alkaline voice).
In essence, what I am saying is that the private promoters and deejays are not the problem. We are! We, the Vincentian people, are allowing promoters and deejays to stifle our music and our culture. It’s time we do something about it.
Let us discuss potential solutions:
- Educate others about the importance of Vincy Mas: Vincy Mas is a product that we export to the world. It represents who we are as a people. Furthermore, it contributes significantly to our tourism industry.
- Be a part of Vincy Mas: get involved; support local artistes, deejays, promoters and Mas bands (etc.) that are advocates for our culture.
- Demand more: keep pushing the radio stations, artistes, promoters and mas bands (etc.) to higher standards. We as a people have the power to effect the change we wish to see.
I suggested general solutions because we all have our part to play which means the Carnival Development Committee (CDC) and the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines also needs to play their part. We cannot let our culture die.
The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected]
The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].