RANTS AND RAVES: Cheers to the NCF

by CAROL MARTINDALE

Kudos to the National Cultural Foundation (NCF)!

How easy it is for many of us to criticise and condemn some statutory corporations when they do wrong or fail to stand up to their moral obligations and responsibilities to the country and its people.

But in the interest of fairness, let’s also praise them when they do get things right.

If ever there was a reason recently to compliment and recognise a Government entity, it was Friday when news circulated that Premier Events Services Incorporated, the promoter of Cohobblopot Ignition slated for August 3 at Kensington Oval, had to withdraw from this year’s event.

In a statement issued late Friday evening, head of Premier Events Jerry Ishmael said they had to take the decision after it was hit by a financial snag.

In the statement, he wrote: “We have been faced with a number of challenges, relating to production costs and sponsorship, which has meant that with great disappointment, we have had to withdraw from this year’s event”.

It continued: “Over the past few weeks we have been working diligently to reduce production costs and secure sponsorship. However, we were unsuccessful in achieving the necessary results to produce the show.”

As a result, the NCF has been left holding the bag.

Chief Executive Officer Cranston Browne quickly responded and said they would step up and produce the event, albeit with a changed format.

This is in fact the second year that Cohobblopot has been outsourced by the NCF.

This event, to my mind has almost become one of the controversial events of the Crop Over season, having gone through so many changes. It is the one show that many have been critical of and in fairness, the one that the NCF has changed based on feedback from many stakeholders, including the public.

The bubbling pot which was once simmering and boiling hot as it showcased the true creativity of bandleaders during the parade of the Kings and Queens of the Bands, has lost its appeal over years.

Then, a changed format one year that had the show billed around Trinidad’s Machel Montano outraged many. A full cast of Bajan performers followed another year.

In recent times, the right mix of ingredients for the Pot has been missing.

At times it has been sweet, then sour, then it simply lacked any taste at all.

Perhaps now that Cohobblopot will be back in the hands of the NCF this year, it is a good time to take stock and come with a new format that will whet the appetites and tempt the palates of Barbadians.

What I am happy about is that for all the huge hue and cry by some Barbadians for the Foundation to outsource some events in the attempt to make them bigger and better, at the end of the day, it is the same Government-funded NCF we trample and criticise that has to step in to save the day.

Food for thought: Is there a penalty for promoters who pull out of their obligation to events at the last minute?

Corporate Barbados, even in these hard times, needs to come forward and help the Festival which belongs to “all uh we”!

That, my friends, is my Rant and Rave for the week!