Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 24th 2015 Contents MARK LYNDERSAY
For 2015, the team behind the
Socadrome, supported by Tribe, Bliss and
Yuma and publicly fronted by Tribe band-
leader Dean Ackin and communications
professional Danielle Jones-Hunte, report-
ed a doubling of attendance at the event.
That didn t come close to filling seats at
the Jean Pierre Complex, but it s a positive
indicator for the event in just its second
The Socadrome was originally designed
as a non-competitive party venue for the
large bands that pooled their resources to
pay for the venue and the amenities. A big
change in focus for 2015 was a greater effort
at staging a show for the audience that did
turn up and from the start of the event, at
around 8.45 am, there was a non-stop flow
of Carnival until 1 pm.
First on the stage was Lionel Jaggessar s
Red Indian band, followed by the children s
band Spoiled Rotten Kids and a remarkable
showing by Rosalind Gabriel s band, which
had almost doubled in size with the addition
of adult players intent on putting on a per-
formance appropriate to the sailor traditions
that the bandleader saluted this year.
Just minutes after Gabriel s band left, the
first of the big bands, Yuma appeared with
their presentation, Reign, followed by Bliss
with Blue, and Tribe, with its presentation,
Wings of Desire.
Tribe alone would cross the stage for
almost an hour and a half, challenging the
capacity of the band s internal security to
I left after that, but photographer Peter
Lim Choy stayed on for another three hours.
He reports a 40-minute halt in proceed-
ings between Tribe s departure and the per-
formance of the Junior Calypso Monarch
Aaron Duncan, then things picked up again
with a surprise appearance by the band
D Krewe, a small group of traditional Car-
nival characters, then a very well received
extempo performance between National
Extempo Monarch Lingo accompanied by
Brimblers steelband would perform after
that along with a performance by Fareid
Carvalho in his King of Carnival costume,
followed by Roy Cape All Stars. Lim Choy
would leave the venue at 3 pm, during that
band s performance.
According to Mrs Hunte, Brimblers, Lingo,
Duncan and Cape s All Stars were all paid
performers for the event, which increased
"What s needed is a look at how partic-
ipation can be increased without negatively
impacting on any of the stakeholders
involved," explained Hunte.
"D Krewe and Rosalind came on board
and we anticipate growth and interest to
increase for 2016 once we have approval
and can plan earlier.
"We had more participation than last
year and expect it to grow should we do
the Socadrome again."
Balance at the Socadrome is one of the
pressing points that plagues the project.
Accused of being an exclusive private
enterprise, the organisers
of the Socadrome dropped the admission
price to $10, an unheard of price point
for a major Carnival event in this century,
and put out even more money for non-
costumed acts while inviting more bands
In the face of open official hostility toward
photographers and videographers at official
NCBA events, expressed in oppressive
rights demands, the Socadrome threw open
its doors to otherwise disenfranchised image
That avalanche of photographers, added
to a high-definition online video stream
managed by Carnival TV, met most of
the requirements of masqueraders keen
to play their mas on a big stage.
But, there are still those players who miss
the mystique of the Grandstand, even as
attendance there diminished to less than a
third of the available capacity and the less
said about the quality of the video stream
from that venue the better.
That isn t to say that the Socadrome is
an unblemished haven for Carnival coverage.
"I am not really fond of Jean Pierre
as a venue," said Lim Choy. "The sun
is brutal and there is not much shade
to be found."
on Page A31
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The first rapid blood test for
Ebola has been approved for use by
the World Health Organization. It
should allow patients to be identi-
fied, isolated and cared for as
quickly as possible in an attempt to
bring an end to the outbreak that
has killed more than 9,300 people.
It is less accurate than conven-
tional tests, but takes minutes
rather than hours to get a result.
The test also works without elec-
tricity so it can be used in remote
Current Ebola testing requires a
laboratory to analyse the blood for
fragments of the virus s genetic
material. It can take between 12
and 24 hours to get a definitive an-
The ReEBOV Antigen Rapid
Test, developed by US company
Corgenix, searches the blood for a
different part of the virus. Trials in
West Africa suggest it correctly
identifies about 92 per cent of peo-
ple who have Ebola. (Reuters)
Fifteen-minute Ebola test approved
Kaci Fennell on
stage with Bliss.
Photographer Peter Limchoy and designer Jeunnane Alkins
embrace in Tribe's Wings of Desire on the Socadrome stage.
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