Machel Montano Spices-up Cohobblopot For Crop Over 2008

l-r David Rudder,Patrice Roberts,Pit Bull,Machel Montano and Lil Jon

Bajan Reporter gave the blogosphere his opinion on the bubbling hot controversy which is simmering in the Cohobblopot – see link Caribbean Integration Hypocrisy – Red Hot Controversy? How can extra coverage and sharing of knowledge be detrimental to Barbadian calypso? Choopse!, we agree with a lot of what he wrote. However some additional things can be said.

One of the key feature events on the Crop Over calendar is Cohobblopot. It has historically been produced by the National Cultural Foundation (NCF), except on one occasion to represent a potpourri of Barbadian culture. The event has suffered its highs and lows through the years. In recent times the lows have been coming all too regular for a myriad of reasons. There is no doubt that the lack of management talent at the NCF, combined with inconsistent performance by local entertainers along with regular doses of controversy have dogged the major event.

The latest controversy sparked by the participation of Soca Superstar Machel Montano we have viewed from several viewpoints.

1. Should foreign acts participate in the main events which comprise our Crop Over festival? If it was not bad tolerating Montano some local opinion has not taken kindly to the two North American rappers Lil Jon and Pitbull contracted by Montano performing tonight either.

2. Should local entertainers be paid on par with the foreign acts? It has been reported that Montano is being paid BDS30,000.00 plus BDS10,000.00 in expenses. Additionally David Rudder and Patrice Roberts, two other T&T entertainers are being paid BDS40,000.00 between them. In contrast the local acts have been embarrassed to discuss their financial arrangements.

The BU household is sensitive to the nationalistic argument which promotes the position that it is a local festival and therefore local talent should be given exclusive billing. The question whether Machel Montano should be paid the performance fee of BDS40,000.00 is open to debate but on what basis? What is the yardstick the critics are using? The fact that there is no local act which can command the interest which Montano enjoys must be the overriding factor. More importantly can the local acts command the interest which Montano and crew have been generating? We think not! Remember that the NCF has to pay the bills!

To those who have questioned Lil Jon and Pitbull’s (North American rappers) billing on the Cohobblopot Show, again this is debatable. Machel Montano has responded to the critics that he is paying the rappers fees to participate and not the NCF. He has also been cluing in Barbadians in many of his interviews, the logic of his decision. Montano has a vision to establish soca on the world stage. One of the strategies he has been using is to perform with popular American acts. He hopes that the interaction will spark interest in soca in the mega-American market. To Montano’s credit he is not happy to compartmentalize his role as a soca artist in the Trinidad and regional space.

The BU household holds the view that Machel Montano’s entry to Crop Over is to be viewed as positive, soca and reggae are music genres which are indigenous to the Caribbean. While reggae has made the leap, soca continues to be trapped within the small Caribbean space. Montano is the biggest exponent of the soca vibe and all the soca artistes in the Caribbean should welcome Montano to their respective carnivals. He has suggested that his vision is to infect all the Caribbean festivals with the sweetness of soca music which he hopes will lead to a strengthening of the bond between the islands. It is something which the politicians have failed to do. The relationship he has forged with international artistes is the bridge which he is hoping will help soca to make the breakthrough.

If Montano is successful in realizing his vision for soca wouldn’t all the Caribbean soca artistes benefit? The success of our local soca entertainers whether they appreciate it or not is tied to the success of Montano achieving his vision. Participation in our local festival seems a small price to pay to move the local music industry forward.

The caretakers of our music industry and by extension the Crop Over is in need of an overhaul. We would go further to suggest that our Crop Over should be managed as part of a strategy which should separate the promotion of culture and the commercial element. There is no relationship between the two. We are not sure that the NCF is currently staffed with the human and financial resources to do the job.

51 comments

  • The argument is simple.

    Is the Cohobblopot Show still “perceived” by the organizers as an event showcasing Local talent? If not, has there been any real effort to change the image and perception of it as such?

    Does the paying Barbadians public still perceived the Cohobblopot Show as a local thing? Why shouldn’t they if not told otherwise?

    What is Montano philosophy and or strategy should have no bearing on a simple matter as this. In spite of all the complexity that the Montano defenders would want to bring to bare on this, the principle and very simple question is,…… IS THE COHOBBLOPOT SHOW STILL PERCIEVED BY BARBADIANS AS A LOCAL SHOW? If it is then Montano was invited to the wrong show. If it is no longer a local show, but a regional one, the decent thing to do is too communicate such to the public.

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  • Well said, to the point. AH, you hit the nail directly in the head.

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  • We take your point Adrian but the key point missing to your comment is simply that Barbadians have not been supporting Cohobblopot in numbers in the past. Shouldn’t we take that as an indication that the NCF needed to do something to infuse some life in this major event? Afterall we have vistors to the island who have travelled to Barbados because it has been promoted as a major event in the Crop Over calender. The other point which you did not address is the fact that Cohobblopot, Pic-of-the -Crop and Tune of the Crop represent the cash cows for the NCF to support all the other non-profit events which they have to host.

    Like we said Bajans have not been supporting Cohobblopot and we can’t fault the NCF for trying a ting.

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  • This is not the first time that non bajan acts have appeared on Cohobblopot. The noise is really about the fees been paid to the the non bajan acts. Machel is a superstar compared to the local acts but I cannot say the same for the others.
    I do not think patrons are complaining.

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  • Wishing In Vain

    I think that based on the evidence of the Pic of the Crop Finals where there was a massive crowd in attendance, that tonight will also see a massive turn out of people after all this is the peoples event and we need to support it.

    I for one attended the finals after a long lay off during the years of the BLP I abstained and I must say that I was totally impressed with the production and the professionalism of the event and I look forward to attending this evenings event and enjoying the event as much or more than I have in the past, my last attendance was for a Mr Norman Barrow’s produced event, does that date me or what??

    I really am looking forward to a great evening of entertainment and music.

    WOW, WOW, WOW what a cruise it was indeeed, it was massive the event exceeded all expectations the Harbour Master was bursting at the seams so to speak, with each and everyone having the chance to minglle and chat with their leader or maybe their representative of their area, the spirit was jovial and everyone was so happy to be around people with a common interest that is the love of their country, their home, their ruling party, their PRIME MINISTER.

    It was an event that you will cherish for many years to come and if you missed this wonderful moment you can only blame yourself for doing so.

    For comparsion the ELITE Mottley event was not fully supported as she may have liked, the entrance was clear and no one lining up or around the entry area, maybe it took a double hit with the BRIAN LARA FETE and THE DLP PRESIDENTS CRUISE combining to put a damper on her event, no love loss there as far as I am concerned as it could not happen to a more deserving animal.

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  • Like Mr. Impulse sang on friday night, why not let us change the name from Cohoblapot to Trinipot? I looked at the link BU provided to Montana’s websitr and they spell it Cohobla Pot
    …hahahaha.

    Here what janet layne-clarke has to say…

    http://www.nationnews.com/editorial/293842075279841.php

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  • In a brief conversation that came toward the end of recently held Party Monarch at the East Coast Road, the Minister of Housing, Mr. Michael Lashley, told the People’s Democratic Congress’ Political Leader, Mr. Mark Adamson, that there would be a review of the government’s cultural policy, in light of the very disappointingly low attendance that was seen at that particular event.

    Hence, by Mr. Lashley’s having to focus in on the question of government’s cultural policy – would have meant that he NOT ONLY had succeeding in widening the issue away from specifically looking at the reasons put forward by many people in Barbados, reasons as to why an event that has been accustomed to drawing crowds of between 25 and possibly up to around 30 000, in this last instance did only manage to attract about 7 000, according to the Nation Newspaper ( 28 July, 2008, citing police estimates), BUT he had ALSO implicitly conceded that something had definitely gone fundamentally wrong with this supposedly popularity contest – the Party Monarch.

    The fact, though, is that what ever approach that is taken by the stakeholders and organizers of culture in Barbados with regard to the further growth and development of Crop Over and the alleviation of the many problems that have been facing this festival for many years, whether that approach involves these stakeholders and organizers of culture coming together and identifying and establishing the general nature of the progress/development/problem solving with the context of Crop Over, then to deal with the specifics of those things at the institutional/parochial level, or involves identifying and establishing a specific national framework and/or sub-national frameworks for growth/development/problem solving at the institutional and parochial level of Crop Over, then to deduce a general national framework and/or a set of sub-national frameworks for identifying and understanding that there would, in fact, have been growth/development/alleviation of problems of Crop Over, or is a mix of the two approaches by these stakeholders/organizers, the fact of the matter is that Crop-Over – the nation premiere cultural festival – is in need of a very comprehensive and systematic overhaul and renewal. As a matter of factly, the way how the Party Monarch Competition has been managed in recent years esp. does suggest that there is evidence that an overhaul and renewal for Crop Over is long overdue.

    Moreover, we in PDC believe that the problems facing Crop-Over at this juncture are so numerous and overwhelming that this re-establishment and reconfiguration of the different activities coming under the rubric of Crop-Over are so absoutely necessary that this process of change, and for the better, within the context of Crop Over must to be started without further delay at this stage. Indeed, the gamut of problems involving Crop Over range from the necessity of continuing to emphasize its historical tradition re many concepts, events and activities, to the need to ascertain and secure many more concepts, events and activities of commercial relevance to itself and others here and abroad; range from the aspects of the Judging of government-run calypso and other competitions, to the aspects of ensuring the further development of the artforms of calypso and soca, and this kind of development through the proper and beneficial fusing of and other positive relationships with other music genres and their subjects; range from the notion of the necessary participation of national artistes, exponents, exhibitioners at ALL paying or non-paying competition or non-competition public Crop-Over/Crop Over related events vs the necessary participation of foreign artistes, exponents, exhibitioners, etc., albeit limited to ONLY SOME PARTICULAR paying and non-paying or competition or non-competition public Crop-Over/Crop Over-related events, to the appropriate number of calypso tents that ought to be getting state funding and the criteria that would be allowing for tents to qualify for such funding, and finally range from the excessive corporate profiteering, direct or indirect, in the Crop Over Festival, to the acknowledgement that this Crop Over Festival really belong to the people.

    Finally, we would have taken note of the fact that the last BLP Government did attempt to address some of the endemic structural deficiencies plaguing the state-run side of Crop-Over the Administration. For instance, the former prime minister, Mr. Arthur, was reported as saying ( see Nation Newspaper 22 August, 2007), apparently to the delight of a coterie of narrow-minded, selfish, money grubbing persons attending a meeting to discuss Crop Over at the Hlton Hotel last year, that Crop Over had “outgrown its present institutional garb”, and that there was a need to bring “clarity of purpose” to the NCF (( as well as CBC at the time) and that there therefore was a need to divest the NCF of its primary responsiblities for the management of this national festival and to let a public/private organization run the festival primarily from a commercial standpoint.

    However, while we in PDC knew that that was a blatantly wrong and ill-advised approach that was being pursued by Mr. Arthur, the last Minister of Culture, there CANNOT be reasonably denied that the reason why Crop Over has NOT grown and developed ENOUGH is because, et al –

    1) the Ministry of the state has NOT been replaced by A NEW STATE MANAGEMENT ENTITY yet ( whereby those who are workers now at the NCF would become partners then in a new state partnership entity under a PDC-led Government);

    2) the fact that TAXATION has NOT yet been Abolished;

    3) the fact that Interest Rates have NOT been Abolished yet;

    3) the fact that people in Barbados are, institutionally speaking, forced to repay their own money – via institutional loans;

    4) the fact that too many, many foreigners have been entering our space, and therefore are diluting our cultural traditions;

    5) the fact that there have been too much foreign cultural penetration of the Barbados country, and which therefore are eroding many of our social cultural norms and values;

    6) the fact that too many of our Crop Over activities are too regulated;

    7) the reality that Crop Over is totally wrongly losing too much of its historical and cultural bases – Crop Over must NO MORE continue along the path of increasingly becoming a primarily money making affair, whether from a touristic planning standpoint or from a local state/private sector standpoint.

    Well, to really deal seriously with the persistent and inherent problems involving Crop Over, the people of Barbados must stop electing DLP and BLP Governments in this country. Come join and/or support PDC!!

    PDC

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  • PDC,
    You hurting muh eyes. Can’t you precis?

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  • Montano’s paycheck way out of synch with Alison Hinds. On the international stage she is as big as Montano so why is he receiving US$30,000 and she US$ 3,000. Maybe its because Montano is before the courts in his nativer land facing serious charges. The misguided NCF wants to help him with his criminal and financial problems. Loud Stewpz.

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  • The Prime Minister announced to Barbados today that entertainers from the region will be the way forward. This would satisfy the point Adrian made earlier about setting the expectations of Barbadians.

    He agreed that the issue of price for the artist is something which can be looked at and he encouraged local artistes to demand fair market value for their services…hint, hint.

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  • Wunna like dah nuh

    Waiting in vain…perhaps with your inside information you can confirm how many complimentary tickets were issued. Also speak to the issue of the ticket fiasco, having to use scissors to cut tickets and the delay in the process. The fact that the information on the plastic tickets disappeared once exposed to sweat or fingerprints thus causing problems at the doors.

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  • Wishing In Vain

    Wunna like dah nuh

    Didyou not enjoy the Pick of the Crop and I expect you to also enjoy Cohobblopot just as much???

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  • Does anyone really read the contributions from SOMASS-FREEDEM? Should they not set up their own blog if their own website cannot bear the brunt of their commentary?

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  • Why is that bajan people are letting other nationalities take over crop over & any other functions in barbados. Its time bajans support they own. You think a bajan can go to any caribbean island or country and do things that the foreigns come and do in barbados. Wake up bajan people.

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  • neutral observer

    Yes Ian, some of us like to give everyone a fair hearing. I would like to see members of PEP making their voices heard on the local blogs as well.

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  • Smallest snake found in Barbados

    On the yahoo website there is an article that states the world’s smallest snake was recently found in Barbados.
    How is it that we don’t know?
    Can we make some money out of this publicity?
    Eddie

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  • WIV

    FYI Mia’s Fete was very well attended as usual and it was great. Great food, great performances and a wonderful atmosphere. Sorry you could not make it…

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  • fedup bajan:

    Alison Hinds, Rupee, Krosfyah, Speedy…. What do they have in common?

    THEY PLAY IN TRINIDAD DURING TT’S CARNIVAL, MOST WERE INVITED & PAID 2 PLAY

    It’s ok to export but a sin to import? Please!

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  • The BU household and some friend attended Cohobblopot last night and we have to admit that Montano and cast took the show to another level, poor Ruppee had the unenviable task of following their high octane performance.

    It must be said that if Montano continues on his path music and entertainers can have a significant role in bringing the people of the region closer together. There were Trinidadians, Guyanese, Vincentions, St. Lucians if we judge from the flags and accent in the crowd and they all enjoyed themselves.

    What was evident to us is clearly there is a gap in the performance level if we compared Montano and the local talent. Krosfyah was excellent though but…

    Local acts can only improve if the cross fertilization continues between the different festivals.

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  • David // August 3, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    The Prime Minister announced to Barbados today that entertainers from the region will be the way forward. This would satisfy the point Adrian made earlier about setting the expectations of Barbadians.

    He agreed that the issue of price for the artist is something which can be looked at and he encouraged local artistes to demand fair market value for their services…hint, hint.
    =================================

    Fair enough. It is one thing to attempt to answer and respond to declining attendance and revenue, although i can make the case that sufficient was done to understand the real reasons for declining attendance to and revenue from Cohobblopot,…. We must make sure that the changes do not leave citizens disillusion and confused. Nothing does more to alienate members of a society from said society than unexplained changes, and a society is nothing without it’s people. Rome burn while it’s citizen refuse to lift a finger to help what should have been seen as themselves, but they did not see it that way. If we continue to alienate Barbadians in Barbados there will be no one to save Barbados.

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  • The BLP’s latest blog takes aim at Crop Over 2008:

    What a Kadooment

    DISAPPOINTING might be an apt description of our national festival this year, sad as this is to thousands of us who were looking forward to some respite from the long, hot summer of high prices and higher taxes.

    Just ask the anxious mothers who were not able to escort their little ones across the stage at Kensington Oval. The Pic-O-De Crop Semi-finals and the Party Monarch Finals were both a bust with smaller than expected crowds. And now Cohobblopot is to become a showcase for American rapper Lil Jon.

    After much bluster from the Prime Minister about giving local producers and promoters an opportunity to be involved in this year’s festival, the owners of Euphoria Inc. find themselves hobbled by the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) after early indications that it would outsource this year’s Cohobblopot.

    Reports from a Press conference held by Euphoria Inc. indicate that it submitted a bid to the Foundation to stage Cohobblopot before the NCF’s board decided to reverse Government’s policy by having the NCF produce the event itself.

    To add insult to injury, star billing, along with US$30 000 plus expenses, goes to Machel Montano, plus his entourage of 21 musicians and performers, which could swell the bill to US$50 000. Despicably, our biggest local act, revered in the Land of the Humming Bird, was offered US$3 500 an offer she rightly, in our view, turned down.

    So, not only are our local entrepreneurs denied the right to once again produce Cohobblopot, but our own performers are treated like second-class citizens by the organisation that is tasked with promoting the cultural industries and a Government that professes to put people first.

    New Year’s Eve and Crop-Over are the two times of the year when local artistes can maximise their revenue potential. We have no quarrel with the inclusion of regional acts at any event during Crop-Over, but we see no reason why there should be such a disparity between their pay and that of locals. We cannot believe what we are hearing on the ground that certain voices that were heard on Labour Party election jingles are now being given the proverbial finger, although the Prime Minster’s reason for dismissing Carol Roberts does lend credence to such a view.

    What a sorry state for a nation that once prided itself on recognising talent no matter where it lay. The warning signs were there from the get-go, bolstered by Colin Spencer and Reverend Errington Massiah Family First and the rest be damned. What a strange coincidence that Andy John, Machel Montano’s local contact, could be making a donation to Families First during Kadooment week.

    It is no coincidence that the Prime Minster would choose Kadooment week, when national attention is focused elsewhere, to divulge in Parliament that Hartley Henry is being paid $155 000 a year to act as his political adviser. Almost $13 000 a month for a part-time job with no measurable benefits to the country. We shall return to this next week.

    We find it equally coincidental that the Prime Minister would choose Kadooment weekend to appear on Brass Tacks Sunday at a time when the church-goers will be giving God thanks for another harvest and the party animals will be staggering home from 10 to 10.

    Perhaps it is not coincidental at all and merely convenient as the Prime Minister might already be in town and able to wend his way over to River Road. We do hope someone will call in and ask him if he knows which of these words is not like the others festival, feting, frivolity, finance and focus.

    A safe and happy Kadooment weekend to all.

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  • I have to agree with David on attendance of last night’s Cohobblopot I can say that Machel et al. really took it to another level and the way they mixed the music of Barbados, Trinidad, USA and even Latin America was definitely in the true meaning of Cohobblopot (stew of many ingredients). I attended with some friends from other islands and US and they interesting all commented that the mixture was excellent and that even though Krosfyah was good that they had all seen it before in previous years. What Machel did was quite novel to the festival and I believe it should be embraced. Yes Crop Over is ‘we ting’ and ‘we culture’ but as was mentioned in a previous comment; Bajan artistes frequently perform at the major festivals of other islands. Additionally I do not see how a few foreign acts can change the whole festival. And I know I will get some ‘licks’ for this statement, but I believe what Machel brought to the stage was well on par with what he was paid and whatever other artistes brought was the equivalent to what they were being paid. It is time local artiste step up their game and I am not crying them done, cause we have way better performers here in Barbados than Machel, who, I must clarify, is not lauded on account of his performance but the ingenuity with which the package was put together, the flow and the vibe it created.

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  • Ian

    I believe that you are still working in the Ministry of Health. Can you tell me if oversize bumpers are a health hazard?

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  • What was scary for the BU household is the fact that most of the young population who congregated on the grounds section were fluent in their repetitions of lil Jon and Pitbull raps. Scary indeed.

    It definitely highlighted the fact that our youth population has already been infected with the US cultural penetration. Our friend Yardbroom maybe disgusted to learn that this maybe a dark sign on the horizon as it relates to fighting for the Bajan identity.

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  • I am at SSA not MOH, but it’s a division; there’s nothing wrong with bumpers any size – BBBW are beauties in their own right…

    Those who get bothered like Asiba, just don’t look!

    I am tired of ppl jumping in my face and preaching the virtues of Anorexia; when that happens I usually tell ’em 2 shut up and go get fat, eat more – LOL!

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  • Machel definitely delivered a top class performance and as such earned his fee. More refining of the supporting acts was nedded as quite a few such as RPB, TC , Grynner and Gabby could have been ommitted.

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  • I really must say that both events were very, very well attended, but like shadaya I to thought that there were some acts that could have been left out and they would not have been missed, TC and Gabby readily come to mind, they no longer excite a crowd and when you fail to excite it is time to say so long farewell.

    Machel’s performance was most certainly the highlight of the night, my only negative is that they should have acknowledged the attendance of the PRIME MINISTER THE HON MR.DAVID THOMPSON who was there from before the start of the show until its very end in full support of the event, it was also pleasing to see our PM, and MP’s circulating among our people , I saw DR ESTHER, MICHAEL LASHLEY, RICHARD SEALY, DR DENIS LOWE, PATRICK TODD, KENNY BEST, STEVEN LASHLEY, IRENE SANDIFORD GARNER, ARNI WALTERS all of them interacting with the thousands of people there and not a single fear by any of them being hurt or troubled in any way, god that is why I love my country as I do, it is a great and lovely place to live made even better by the removal of the BLP on the 15 th Jan and the election of a caring considerate gov’t in the form of the DLP.

    KEEP THE WORK UP LADIES AND GENTLEMEN OF THE LEADERSHIP OF THE DLP.

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  • Machel did acknowledge the PM and Ministers at the culmination of his performance.

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  • Hey Ian

    Asiba has viewed your comment
    will respond but busy working on the ragga ragga saga—(the truth about the origins of the plastic bag recorded song -ragga ragga)

    =======
    gabby has not recorded any music recently
    difficult to excite under such circumstances

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  • Can you please a Bajan?….The route from the Stadium to Spring Garden was too long. ..This year the revellers were given a choice (via Station Hill or via Upper Bank Hall)…..The same
    people who complained about the distance are now griping about reaching Spring Garden too soon. …. My solution is to keep the two routes but reduce the pedestrian speed limit to
    20 paces per minute (ppm)

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  • Wow, what a fantastic Crop-Over!..

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  • BIRD PICKED MANGO

    PULL UP PDC PULL UP
    EVERTHING YUH SAY IS RIGHT
    BUR OTHERS ONLY BRING BLIGHT
    NOW HOW CAN THAT BE RIGHT,
    TEK OUT DE MOTE THAT’S IN YUH EYE,
    BEFO DE LACK OF VOTES MEK YUH CRY.

    Seriously,
    Without doubt our summer festival has reached another watershed. History shows that at every turn the festival grew: Jaycees to Tourist Board; then formation of the NCF and link with Crop hence Crop Over. There were also other hidden links: the police band, recordings in Trinidad, Richard Stoute Teen Talent, Janice Millington’s lab and more recently recording studios and so on. In the 1980’s artists from Brazil and other countries were brought in for the Guitar festival to play along with the locals and hold work shops. And if we compare cricket, English County cricket did a lot for our players. It is therefore very short sighted to see the growth of cultural product purely in local terms. Such exchanges opens the door for Barbados n Trinidad.

    My concern is that we measure success by attendance and not regard to other things. The person who attend these functions only has one pocketbook. Therefore an increase in the number of functions introduce the choice factor.

    Unlike carnival that is built around lent there is no reason why Cohhobopot couldn’t be next weekend and with a totally different context like: Spouge King, Tuk Drum and Tiltman Competition, Drumming etc. Something that tourist may want to see.
    I see nothing wrong with a clash of three bands one of which could be non Caribbean.

    There is much work to be done including the change in name. Sugar is not what it use to be.
    We have not even thought about the thousands who listen via the web.

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  • What an excellent season of Crop over it was the biggest and the Best event ever held, makes you want to ask the question why was it that Mia Mottley never achieved these high standards while she was the overseer of this Ministry???

    Maybe because she was to busy molesting the ladies assigned to the task of putting the event together.

    An excellent series of events, that were all very well attended, as the old folks use to say to Boyce formerly of MADD god don’t wicked, you got your just reward, having been given the opportunity to coordinate the calvacades then to try to undermine the NCF by trying to host a show to compete with a National hosted event.

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  • god don’t like wicked,

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  • god don’t like wicked

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  • Christian Gibbs

    Of note, Machel sold out two back to back shows at Madison Square Garden, NYC in 2007 and another sell-out performance in March 2008 at the same venue. When Barbadian artists make it on an international level they can and should demand top dollar to perform anywhere in the world, including at home. Take Rihanna for example, I would hazard a guess that were Rihanna and Machel to appear in the same show in Trinidad & Tobago or here in Barbados her fee would be substantially higher than Machels, would this be cause for concern for Barbadians & Trinidadians?

    As in any job you get paid for what you bring to the table, a promoter will look at current trends and ask him/herself am I going to get a return on ticket sales? Will Joe Blow draw the crowd or will a Grammy award winning artist give me a return on my investment? (Or in a non-profit organisations view, pay for itself and fund other free events)

    All in all I think the NCF made a great decision incorporating Machel into the Cohobblopot line-up, maybe it should be named Caribbean Cohobblopot to avoid any confusion in future and diversify the product.

    I witnessed two of Machels performances this Crop-Over and must concur with Re-Engineer that Machel Montano HD and Friends really took their performances to another level. Machel sees himself as a son of the Caribbean soil, Caribbean people should embrace this fact whether a Trini, Bajan, Vincie, Lucian etc.

    That’s my few cents on that subject anyway…

    Some highlights of the season for me personally were (and in no particular order):

    Justin King reaching the Party Monarch Finals*
    Khiomal winning the Party Monarch!*
    Seeing Machel Montano HD and friends, live and in living colour!!!
    Brewsters Road Crew fetes*
    Pork Limes
    Wadadda
    Berger Boys Fetes
    Jumping with Contact Band (the long route was too short though!)
    Nards Socks*
    Monster Crew at Soca on the Hill
    Brian Lara’s fete (oh shoot, more Trini invasion)
    The Soca Superman’s DJ sets (any venue)
    And so much more!….

    * Young people contributing unequivocally to the growth and future of the festival.

    One Love – Christian

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  • Having seen just a snippet of Machel Montano HD at eNVy (didn’t make it to Cohobblopot 😦 ) and having also seen performances by many of our local acts, including our top flight acts like krosfyah, Alison Hinds and Rupee this season, I find it hard to argue with the price tag he commanded.

    It is really simplistic to boil it down to a ‘why they paying foreigners more’ issue. Machel gives you a full show – dancers, stilt walkers, guest acts within his act. He is a true and total artiste and understands the benefits of giving people a full show. And every year he switches up his concept, keeping people’s interest piqued.

    By comparison, how much have any of our top artistes’ show concepts changed over the years? Krosfyah I will admit does make an effort by bringing different themes some Crop-Overs – I remember their ‘boxing ring’ theme in 2005 (?) and their Fyah 200.7 FM radio station theme last year but they do not go full into it the way a Machel does.

    You cannot expect to command the salary Machel doing the same things you did a few years ago.

    Now as to whether non-Barbadian acts should be part of Cohobblopot – I guess that is debatable. Personally I am all for Caribbean unity and I don’t see much wrong with it – moreover people are being disingenous to say our artistes could not go in and do the same – for pity’s sake, our own artistes even get to COMPETE in competitions in other islands – and like Biggie Irie, sometimes win! When will you ever see that happening in Bim?

    Whew! This is more like a post than a comment – I have written more (and more clearly) about it here. http://islandista.wordpress.com/2008/08/05/got-to-switch-it-up/

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  • I am sure that contributors and readers to/of BU are DLP decision makers. I saw Doug Hoyte on tv complaining about the two routes and suggesting that the NCF return to one route next year. I hope the NCF chairman ignores Doug Hoyte and stick to the two routes. However option forms should be sent to bandleaders asking them which route they prefer. We are living in a democracy on this beautiful country. Why should those people, who had fun jumping on the shorter route with little sunburn , using less energy and reached Spring Garden early, be denied the opportunity to do the same again next year?

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  • Machel’s performance at Cohoblopot was the bomb. There is no way in the world that a bajan artiste could demand that money and put on a performance like that. Trust me that man earned every cent he charged. My $60 was burnt by the time Machel started his second song. Performer extraordinare.

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  • Islandista your critque is spot on. Allison Hinds, Rupee and certainly Krosfyah have gone nowhere in recent years. Montano has.
    In fact Allison Hinds has gone pompous. Friends who saw her this Crop Over commented she has become quite full of herself. Ignoring fans and generally acting like the diva she is not. Check yourself Allison and try to be more creative.
    Same holds for Edwin and Rupee. Bajans tired of the same old same old.

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  • Ian Bourne, I trust that your office has halted access of taxpayers funds to Stanton Alleyne and that they have dried up the flow of orders ceased from Alleyne to Hallam Nicholls, remember those orders for vehicle parts that were ordered and paid for by us the taxpayers but never received at the SSA.

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  • hi me( new) …get your own handle …thank you….!

    LOL you can be ME as long as you wish.

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  • The fact that so much talk and controversy surrounds Machel’s et al inclusion in this years cohoblopot can only be testimony to the fact that there is sub-concious fear that we have truly lost our cultural identity. His performace was nothing short of world class, further, the behavior of lil jon and pitbull was more than acceptable, enough to silence the neh-sayers. Instead of the complaining and posturing, our local artist could try stepping thier game up and be true ambasidors of the country and try to forge alliances that could take our artform further.

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  • Calypsonains built this Crop Over thing : we invested money into the Festival and we continue to do so. The returns have been minimal. How many Calypsonians benefit from Crop Over after all the sacrifices ?

    The first season I sang Calypso in a Tent, I received thirty(30) dollars at the end of the season. As a matter of fact, everybody received the same money because after expenses what was left was divided equally. Personally I felt as though I was making a contribution to Barbados and that I was helping in the building of something beneficial to my country.

    Over the years we the CALYPSONIANS have spent loads of money on costumes, arrangements, recordings and other activities associated with making a festival . We made a proposal to the NCF that they provide money to help us with the cost of props on stage during their competitions (SEMIFINALS & FINALS) because it is very costly and if you dont win the competition you can be out some big bucks.
    In case you are not aware, we the calypsonains spend money on props to make an NCF show happen—-utterly ridiculous !
    -the money asked for has not been forthcoming

    Tents in Barbados are at the crossroads and something must be done to assist their development and survival if they are to survive. Maybe the concept of the Tent has become obosolete. The Tent is used to feed artistes into the NCF competitions. Maybe the competitions should be abolished and the Tents could become a greater part of the Festival which should become more of a Music Festival

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  • Lets face reality peoples had Machel and his entourage not been at cohoblopot do you think ticket sales would have been so good. We previously had bands in Barbados that were on par or even better than the outside bands but what happened they all broke up for several reasons the main being the lead singers need to concentrate on the own careers and where are these careers today? Technically Trinidad has four big stage bands Machel’s, Destra’s, Shurwen Winchester’s and Bunji Garlin’s we only have Krossfyah and Jabea and the latter is not quite up to par yet they need more of their own material. Therefore unless the bajan singers get their act together and take the crop-over season serious they will continue to be left behind. Machel and Krossfyah perform all year round not just for the caribbean festivals and this came about through hard work and perseverance.

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  • It is interesting to have Machel in Barbados
    but we the local calypsonians built this FESTIVAL and like Musikal from Trimart Hit Parade and formerly from Houe of Soca Calypso Tent , said in one of his songs–we forking ground for monkey to wuk pon–

    Local CALYPSONIANS are getting nothing out of this Festival except envy from those who feel that Calypsonains are making all the money and getting all the attention. One of my first recordings was a song called FATHER HARRY which because of its air play and popularity at the time cause a certain person to feel that he should have gotten more money from me as a result of pre-production work done for me with respect to this song. s/he was of the misconception that Iwas making millions because the song was on the radio, in fetes and being played by other bands. ENVY stepped in

    If the market was not here people such as Machel would not come. I am saying that we the local CALYPSONIANS built up this market by fighting hard -yes fighting to keep the art form alive in Barbados.

    We did so by spending a lot of money to pay arrangers, musicians , back-up vocalists, sound men and others to put on shows in the Tents and other places. CALYPSONAINS such as Lord Wilson who took his own money and gave others the opportunity to get exposure in a calypso tent by launching and managing Tents.

    Pioneers and adventurers such as Mighty Herring, Viper, Liar, Gabby, Destroyer-(Keisha Christian’s Father), Romeo, Mighty Dragon, Addy -Addinton Forde, PJ lovelle, Grynner, Jack Iron , Teller, Playboy, Devil (HERO), Sir Don, Pitchup, Adonijah, Serenader, Pompey, Cayenne,Traveller, Classic, Rubber Man, Fowl Foot, Lord Gander, Georgie, GEORGIE PORGIE, Hawk, Capricorn Star, Culture Man, Phantom, Elponsie,Ranking I -Kick, Ellashoe, Speedy, Lord Randy, Lord Mark, Invader#3, Buffalo Soldier(Asiba-The ), Bumba, Hitler, Ras Iley, Kennedy, Jeweller, Madd, Mystic,Termite, BlackPawn. Mighty Liar, Malick, Poonka, Reporter, Director, On Target, (Keann Walter’s Father), Duke Checked ED Shirt, Informer, Jadu, Commoner Blackie, Young Blood, Elbee, De Ripper, Pemmy,Plecky,President Wilson-(Lord Wilson’s brother), Prophet, Reclaimer, Ringo, Rocky, Sach Moore, Lord Sivers, Stalker, Structure, Caesar, Lady Anne, Lady Willpower, Froggie, Madame Syncho Tempo, Cherrie Striver, Owly, Sweettimer, Observer, Fono, Evey, Stevie, Richard X, Prince Yellow, Devil- (grass skirt), AND OTHERS to be mentioned later.

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