Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 25th 2014 Contents KALIFA CLYNE
The four large mas bands which will be
part of the Socadrome initiative at the Jean
Pierre Complex may still head to the
Queen s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, on
When the National Carnival Commission
okayed the initiative last week, it argued
that the four bands --- Bliss, Harts, Tribe
and Yuma --- would account for taking some
15,000 revellers to the Jean Pierre Complex
instead, thus freeing up some of the perennial
congestion caused by bands queuing up on
Charlotte Street to get to the Savannah stage.
However, the organisers of the Socadrome
said yesterday that the bands have not totally
ruled out crossing the Savannah which is
seen as the ultimate goal of masqueraders.
They noted, though, they would allow the
bands actually competing in the Parade of
the Bands competitions priority in crossing
the main judging point.
In an interview yesterday, Harts bandleader
Luis Hart said his band would definitely be
going to the Savannah on Carnival Monday
Harts, which is usually the first band to
cross the stage on Carnival Tuesday, will
take its masqueraders to the stage at around
7.30 am before heading to the alternative
route and to the Socadrome, he said.
"I believe the other bands (Yuma, Tribe
and Bliss) will be going to the Socadrome
first and will then make their way to the
Savannah stage," Hart said.
"This is about convenience for the mas-
querader. The bands want to give the com-
peting bands the opportunity to cross the
stage and then later in the day head to the
Organisers said yesterday the three other
bands also intended to cross the Savannah
stage after crossing the Socadrome stage
once congestion on the route to the Savannah
"The intention is to give priority to the
competing bands. The plan is to go to the
Socadrome, then go back on the parade
route, and if the parade is flowing, then the
bands will take their masqueraders to the
Savannah." said a Tribe official.
The decision of the organisers may also
be a response to negative comments from
masqueraders in the wake of the announce-
ment of the Socadrome initiative.
Many of them took to social media to
express their frustration at the decision and
not being able to cross the Savannah stage.
Many said they were not told of any such
plans when they were signing up, or else
they would have exercised their right to join
While the public will be charged a $25 fee
to enter the venue, organisers are encouraging
all media to provide coverage for the event
free of charge.
They also said they were trying to address
the concerns of Woodbrook residents.
Last week, Woodbrook residents threat-
ened protests and circulated a petition they
had hoped would have stopped the NCC
from okaying the plan since the bands plan
to pass through their community on the way
to the Jean Pierre Complex.
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Socadrome at Jean Pierre Complex but...
Bands still going to Savannah
walks past posters of
accident victims ---
Haydee Paul and her
Akasha and Shakira
--- last night on the
Sea Lots. Residents
put up the posters
yesterday on the
of their deaths on
the same spot. One
of the survivors of
that accident, Ryan
Rampersad, who was
hospital on Friday
after a year of
rehabilitation, is now
Government to build
a walkover for the
They raised concerns over noise pollution and access
to emergency services, as well as masqueraders leaving
garbage in the streets and urinating on walls.
It is not the first time mas bands have used streets
in Woodbrook as a parade route, as both the defunct
mas bands Poison and Barbarossa were known to
pass though Woodbrook on Carnival Tuesday.
"We have increased the number of road marshals
on the road, as one of the concerns expressed by res-
idents was access to emergency services," a Socadrome
official told the T&T Guardian yesterday.
"It usually isn t a problem, as masqueraders are
trained to pay attention when the music stops and
to let vehicles pass though but we are still making
attempts to address the concerns.
"We want this to work and we understand that the
concerns of the residents need to be addressed," he
The organisers, as stipulated in the contract with
the management of the Jean Pierre Complex, are
required to clean up all the surrounding streets near
the venue within four hours of the end of the event.
"We don t want to terribly inconvenience residents.
We want this to work and we are looking at all the
comments and trying to address them," it was stat-
ed.So far, organisers have received informal requests
from other bands who are interested in using the
15,000-square-foot Socadrome stage as well but they
said all formal requests need to go through the Sport
Company of T&T.
Acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams
yesterday said he was satisfied that the police would
have enough manpower to monitor Carnival across
the country, despite the late addition of the Socadrome
and alternative route for party bands.
"We have called police officers off vacation leave
to provide additional support and we will be given
assistance by the T&T Defence Force. I am satisfied
that we will effectively police Carnival 2014," Williams
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