Local Vibes
May 9, 2008
Vincy Mas 2008 making waves

There will be zero tolerance on music pirates during this year’s Carnival, Minister of Culture René Baptiste said, as she delivered the feature address at the official launch of Vincy Mas 2008 last weekend.{{more}}

“Music pirates, new monitors will be following you with your music stands. You will face the Magistrate if you break the law,” Minister Baptiste said, as she addressed the launch of Vincy Mas 2008 last Saturday, May 3rd, at the Chamber of Commerce car park.

She also announced that the two year old no bottle policy will again be in full effect this year.

Minister Baptiste said that St Vincent and the Grenadines’ Carnival has evolved into a full-fledged festival over the last 25 years and all must be done to continue its development.

She also indicated that she is in communication with a “mover and shaker’ in the music and film industry in the United States who has been very impressed with what Vincy Mas has become.

She said that she has received praise from representatives from American cable networks CBS and A&E about Vincy Mas, and vowed to continue to market the product.

“Vincy Mas is a national affair, a festival tourism product. It is a powerful expression of our culture, a strong drawing card that we market and promote positively for the benefit of St Vincent and the Grenadines,” Minister Baptiste said.

She again challenged Soca artistes to bring their A-game, reminding them that as she announced earlier, the winner of this year’s Soca Monarch competition will gain automatic entry into the finals of Trinidad and Tobago’s International Soca Monarch competition next year, with a whopping EC$50,000 appearance fee.

The lucky artiste will also vie for the TT$ 1 million (EC$ 500,000) International Soca Monarch crown.

She said that the deal has been finalized and representatives from Caribbean Prestige Foundation, the owners of the International Soca Monarch competition, will be in St Vincent and the Grenadines for the July 5th Vincy Soca Monarch show.

Meanwhile, acting Chairman of the Carnival Development Corporation (CDC) Lennox Bowman told SEARCHLIGHT that he is excited about this year’s Carnival and said that he is certain that it will be excellent.

“We have been making a lot of effort to get our…local promotion to make waves,” Bowman said, noting that while overseas promotion is in full swing, it is the local hype that will be related to revelers overseas.

Bowman expressed a measure of satisfaction with the way the launching went.

“I think it was excellent in terms of participation. A lot of people came. Even though some did not come into the car park, the event brought them into town,” Bowman said.

While questions have been raised in some quarters about the efficiency of carnival promotion and organization, the crowd that descended on Kingstown last Saturday night shows that at the very least, Vincentians are ready to party.

In fact, the complaint at the end of the cultural package at the Chamber of Commerce Car Park was that the people wanted to fete – this as the plug was pulled on Soca Monarch Fire Man Hooper’s performance just as he had instructed his party mummies to “open the gate”.

Fire Man headlined the entertainment cast that included Shaunell Mc Kenzie, the band Akcess, Calypso Monarch Vibrating Scakes and soca artiste Luta, who was in fine form, especially in his duets with Tabia and Tortola’s songbird Jalena.

Glenroy “Sulle” Caesar with his song “Crown of Thorns” and Zola Boyde (left) with her tantalizing invitation to “Zoom in” walked away with the New Calypso and New Soca song top prize, respectively, on the night.

Appearances by the Miss SVG contestants and the 2007 Panorama champs Rythmix Steel Orchestra also added to the passing grade that the launch got.