Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 23rd 2016 Contents SHARLENE RAMPERSAD
Two of the larger Chaguanas J Ou-
vert bands plan to boycott the Carnival
stage on Ramsaran Street, unless the
Chaguanas Borough Corporation and
Central Division Police ban bars from
The leaders of the Junabo and ICandy
J Ouvert bands say the placement of
the bars after the stage puts their mas-
queraders at risk.
Greg Deonarinesingh, bandleader of
ICandy, told the T&T Guardian that in
2015, his patrons were harassed by
onlookers who entered his band as soon
as the band came off the stage.
"We had a meeting with the corpo-
ration and this is turning out to be a
very big problem," Deonarinesingh said.
"If they continue to allow bars to set
up on Ramsaran Street, where the stage
is, we will not be crossing the stage.
"I am not going to put my patrons
at that risk."
A senior member of Junabo, who
asked to remain anonymous, said Jun-
abo supports Deonarinesingh, as its
patrons have also been robbed and
harassed over the last few years.
"Last year it was the worst, I know
Greg had it really bad," he said. "His
band members were forced among a
set of drunk people, who were misbe-
having and interfering with the patrons.
"The masqueraders, who pay to play
in a band, were harassed, robbed and
fondled by these people who the police
apparently have no control over."
He said if his band does cross the
stage, they will not get off it until the
road is cleared.
"I will stop the music and stop the
masqueraders on the stage. We will not
move from the stage until the police
clear the road."
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, January 23, 2016
San Fernando mas band leaders
are feeling the effects of the economic
downturn as one mas band veteran
says half of his usual number of mas-
queraders are yet to register.
Lionel Jagessar told the T&T
Guardian yesterday that with just two
weeks left before Carnival 2016, he
barely has 200 masqueraders regis-
"The turnout is significantly less.
I usually have over 400 masqueraders;
right now the band has barely reached
200," Jagessar said.
"It seems as though a lot of people
are holding back this year and opting
not to spend their money for Carni-
Jagessar said he has tried to keep
his prices down, with frontline female
costumes priced at $2,200.
"The costumes range from $1,500
to $2,200 and that is all-inclusive,
with food, drinks, cool down trucks
and full security. We are trying to keep
a certain price to attract masqueraders,
but so far, it s not really working."
The son of another band leader,
Aaron Kalicharan, said his family has
put measures in place to soften the
blow to masqueraders.
Kalicharan said his family decided
to keep costume prices the same as
2015, although the cost of materials
had gone up.
"We have decided to cost our mas
in such a way that we make a lower
profit margin," Kalicharan. "We have
managed to keep the cost down for
the individual pieces."
Kalicharan said their prices ranged
from $1,500 to $1,600 for individuals
and $2,800 for all-inclusive.
"We have the all-inclusive for
$2,800, which we think would be fea-
sible for the average person. We know
our market, but we have seen a minor
cutback in the amount of revellers."
Kalicharan said the band averages
1,000 patrons every year and he
expects to see close to the same
amount this year.
South mas hit
Henry Ramdin completes intricate work on a warbonnet, to be worn by a Fancy Indian, at the Lionel Jagessar
and Associates mas camp in San Fernando, on Wednesday. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
Chaguanas bandleaders demand
Remove bars near stage or face boycott
MAYOR: NO BARS
In response, Chaguanas Mayor
Gopaul Boodan assured
bandleaders and masqueraders
that the issue would be dealt with.
"We have asked the police to
put guardrails for when bands
come off the stage," Boodan said.
"And we have also requested
that the police make a clear
demarcation around the bars to
separate those who are liming
there from the masqueraders.
"There will be no bars in close
proximity of the stage, the
bandleaders can rest assured that
their fears will be taken care of."
Boodan said over the last few
years, Chaguanas' Carnival has
grown tremendously in popularity,
which may have contributed to the
problems raised by bandleaders.
"Because of the way we
promoted Chaguanas, our Carnival
has gotten bigger and bigger over
the years. We have seen a lot
more bands and visitors coming to
Chaguanas instead of going to
Port-of-Spain or San Fernando.
"But we want members of the
public to know that security is of
the highest importance to us, we
are not going to take anything for
granted where security is
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