How much pan is too much pan?
At one time, a few years ago, it seemed as though serious efforts were being made to reduce the show, to bring it to an end at least before midnight.
Not this year, so hundreds of pan lovers, maybe more, took to their Facebook and social media pages to vent their feelings about the approximately seventeen hours of the Panorama semi-finals at the Savannah last Sunday.
Fifty-eight steel-bands, small, medium and large. Seventeen hours!
One patron who obviously left early said who, but a true Trini pan lover would pay to sit through a show that lasts so long! Others chose words like insanity, foolishness, stupidity etc. and yet some others chose angry words, charged with profanity! Cuss dem, bun dem were the chants for the executive of Pan Trinbago, who insisted on running the show, while the Carnival Commission took the gate receipts. Calypsonian Rudder said we should “wuk” dem!
Pan Trinbago spokesman Dave Forteau, spewed the same reason the organization has given for several years, that: if you have two separate days for the semi-finals, you won’t get the crowds. The suggestion there being that if for example, only the small and medium bands performed on the Saturday, nobody would attend. There may be some truth in that. But other options and combinations should be, and MUST be considered.
A few that come to mind include:
– a secondary round of judging in the panyards for the semi-final stage, thereby restricting the number of bands going forward
– reducing the number of bands to thirty overall, spread over a weekend of semi-finals, with the bands drawing lots to determine which fifteen plays on Saturday, which plays on Sunday
– then a a further drawing of lots to determine a band’s position in a preordained rotation sequence of small, medium, large, to the end of each day
If the maths are done, there would be some 5 or 6 hours of pan Saturday and Sunday. Starting at one p.m. each day, that would be plenty pan! Naturally, several other operational details would have to be worked out.
The music produced by the small and medium bands deserve a hearing, but surely not at the expense of the bigger bands.
And certainly not for testing the patience and fortitude of the diehards among the pan loving public. We’ve had enough punishment from Pan Trinbago!
February 16th, 2017