The week that was
July 12, 2016

Welcome to the Carnival edition of The Week That Was! Vincy Mas 2016 is in the books, with revellers stumbling back to work and visitors making their way back home. The Carnival season was blessedly free of major crimes, and the streets were filled to overflowing on Monday and Tuesday. We congratulate all of the wonderful individuals who made Carnival 2016 special: Blondie Bird, who dominated the Band of the Year competition;{{more}} Sion Hill Euphonium Steel Orchestra, which had the right “Tone” to win Panorama; Shane ‘Hypa 4000’ Husbands, who took the Road March and Soca Monarch titles; Chewalee Johnson, our Ragga Soca Monarch; Junior standouts like Kristian and Kristiana Christopher, Tia Wyllie and the Girls’ High School and Starlift steelpan sides; and Zamfir “Man Zangie” Adams, who completed a hat-trick of victories as the Calypso Monarch. The CDC should be congratulated improving the quality and flow of their shows, and so too the scores of private promoters, who seemingly held 2-3 fetes per night for the entire season.


On the Carnival spirit, we salute some of the runners-up, some of whom will be better remembered than the winners a few years from now. Roland ‘Chico B’ Veira placed 3rd in the Calypso Monarch competition, but his lively and humorous “Rum Pipe” and “Mr Horner Man” had a far greater impact on the audience than Zangie’s preachy sentimentality or Patches’ usual bitter political diatribes. Shaunelle Mc Kenzie’s “Wet and Wild” didn’t clinch the Ragga Soca crown, but it is far more likely to be played six months from now than Chewalee’s generic ode to rum. Miss SVG Nikianna Williams placed third in the Ms Carival Show, but copped arguably the most talked about portions of the show: Best Swimwear, Best Evening Gown, and Miss Photogenic categories. Finally, Starlift’s Panorama presentation was not as refined as Sion Hill’s, but the ambition of the arrangement was a signal of the future of pan compositions in our Carnival.


Lots of Vincies are heading to the bank this week, looking at their ATM balance, and wondering what the hell they were thinking last week. With some Carnival costumes topping $1,500, all-inclusive private fetes across the island carrying $200 – $300 entrance fees and the usual clothing and alcohol excesses, some people have placed themselves in a financial hole that one or two monthly pay cheques can’t possibly fill. Is a week of fun worth two months of financial pain, especially with school books and uniforms to be purchased? We’re not sure.


If you’re trying to catch a flight out of SVG to get home from Carnival, you’re probably not in a good mood. LIAT’s usual Carnival capacity issues, compounded by high winds and a shortage of flight attendants, has created more travel havoc than normal. Worse, if you’re trying to book a flight out of SVG in July for any reason – medical, business, vacation – you’re probably out of luck, because every seat on every LIAT has been filled for weeks now. You’re literally trapped on the island! Vincy Carnival is not a surprise occurrence. When will LIAT get it together? And when did we say the Argyle Airport was opening again?

If I had a question in SVG Parliament

I’d ask whether we want Vincy Carnival run by the CDC, driven by the private promoters, or some combination of the two. The CDC and the promoters seem to be at constant loggerheads, with the state seeking to preserve the “culture” of Carnival, while revellers vote with their feet and wallets to attend private fetes. The old model of CDC domination has to adjust to the energy and entrepreneurship of young promoters, while still preserving the elements that make Carnival more than a week-long drunken party.

Media Watch

Did any men play Mas? The photos in newspapers and on social media are crowded with scantily clad ladies of every shape, size and complexion. But costumed men were strikingly absent. Is it because the men’s usual costume of brightly-coloured shorts and T-shirt are just too boring and unimaginative? Are the skyrocketing prices of “frontline” costumes dissuading men, or is Mas becoming a streetside catwalk for women to model their costumes and bodies? The media should ask the Mas bands how many male costumes were sold, relative to the women’s. There’s a story in there.zz