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Fringe binge in Savannah Party
Panorama 2013 reaches fever pitch this weekend with four semifinals being contested back to back at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain. Semi-final competitions will be held on Saturday for Single Pan and Small conventional steelbands, with Sunday being reserved for Medium and Large conventional orchestras.
Following last year’s astounding success, the Greens in the Savannah, west of the North Stand, is the most expensive venue for a steelband competition locally, admission being $350 per head. This is $50 higher than the price being charged for the more laid-back Grand Stand.
Using the experience of inaugurating this facility last year, Pan Trinbago has instituted more stringent security guidelines.
No entry to The Greens will be granted to patrons from the North Stand, as last year this caused an ugly incident between the police and patrons.
The Greens is the brainchild of Pan Trinbago, inspired by the party-like atmosphere of the North Stand in which patrons attended Panorama with percussion instruments and huge coolers and virtually had themselves a party throughout the proceedings—many of them oblivious to the fact that a pan contest was actually in progress.
Inhabited in the main by young people forming themselves into “crews,” like Caesar’s Army, Scorch, Tribe, Island People and Red Ants, many corporate entities also throng to this party venue. The Greens garnered legitimacy when a special tower was incorporated in its layout to accommodate the president and his guests.
In this era of social media and instant gratification through the all-inclusive phenomenon, the Greens has transported Panorama into the new millenium, in terms of its entertainment and social value.
Despite its popularity and success, many purists dislike the Greens, claiming that it detracts from the actual competition, and that its noise levels disturb the performers.
This week, Pan Trinbago president Keith Diaz vehemently denied this, saying, “The music from The Greens doesn’t affect performances on stage.
The concept of the Greens was actually born in 2007, when the North Stand was not constructed. When I became president, in seeking to find a way to make the organisation self-sufficient, we decided to find a way to generate additional funds from Panorama.
“In 2010, there was a whole hullabaloo about the rhythm sections disturbing the bands on stage so, we decided to create a separate space to attract people who wanted to attend Panorama and also party.
So, last year, we did the Greens. It was a success but the facility required some tweaking.”
Talking about this weekend’s competition, Diaz added: “We are well on the way to completing preparations for Sunday. A lot of the infrastructure has been finished and pan lovers ought to have a most enjoyable Savannah Party.”
With the crews organising all-inclusive limes, for admission, a T-shirt, food and drinks, and other paraphernalia, admission to the Greens can set you back about $500-$600. Corporate crews may charge less as a lot of their goodies are subsidised.
This year, Caesar’s Army is promising a new innovation on the Greens. Said Army head Jules “Julius Caesar” Sobion: “For the first time, we’ll be staging a Clash on the Greens this year. What is unique is we are actually collaborating with Spice Carnival band to have a battle on the Greens. There will be clashes of entertainment, with live performances; as well as clashes of shots (drinks), and rhythm sections. It’s all about fun, and a trophy will be given after to the winner. For all of this we are charging just $650, and that fee includes your admission, T-shirt, drinks, cup and food.”
Island People communications specialist Colin Greaves said his organisation would have a crew on the Greens as well on Sunday.
He said: “The Greens is a kind of branding wars, to see who could have the lower price, the bigger flag, the nicest- looking jersey, the nicer-looking women and guys, best food and more premium drinks, etc. The activity on the Greens is also a good marketing platform for the Soca Monarch finalists, as they are all keen to try out their songs with the various crews present.
“This year, we are charging $595, and that includes your $350 admission fee to the venue. Last year, in addition to drinks and jerseys, we gave our guests beads, buckets, and snacks like chow and doubles.”
Another popular crew on the Greens is Scorch Ltd. Its CEO Kwesi “Hypa Hoppy” Hopkinson said this week: “This is Scorch’s third year on the Greens. Before that we sat in the North Stand. This year we are charging $650, and that is inclusive for food, drinks, cup, jersey, and music. A few soca artistes might also pass through and do a thing.”
So, all systems are go for the world’s biggest pan party, this year a two-day affair starting on Saturday at noon and continuing into Monday morning.
Band name, address, arranger
and tune of choice:
1 Humming Bird Pan Groove, Fort George Road, St James—Keith Salcedo, Haunting Melody.
2 Starlift, Mucurapo Extension Road—Gerald Clarke, Bounce & Drive.
3 Petrotrin Phase ll Pan Groove, Hamilton Street/Woodbrook—Len “Boogsie” Sharpe, More Love.
4 CAL Invaders, Tragarete Road, Woodbrook—Arddin Herbert, Dat is Lie
5 PCS Nitrogen Silver Stars, Tragarete Road, Newtown—Edwin Pouchet, Shock Attack.
6 Witco Desperadoes, Cadiz Road/Belmont Circular Road, Belmont—Robert Greenidge, Hammer Time.
7 Neal & Massy Trinidad All Stars, Duke Street, Port-of-Spain—Leon “Smooth” Edwards, Bounce & Drive.
8 Bp Renegades, Charlotte Street, Port-of-Spain—Duvone Stewart, Shock Attack.
1 Birdsong, Connel and St Vincent Streets, Tunapuna—Andy Narel,
The Last Word.
2 Republic Bank Exodus, Eastern Main Road, St Augustine—Pelham Goddard, Gold.
3 Solo Harmonites, Churchill Roosevelt H/way, Barataria—Seion Gomez,
1 T&TEC Tropical Angel Harps, Main Road, Enterprise, Chaguanas —Clarence Morris, No Getaway.
2 NLCB Fonclaire, Dottin Street, San Fernando—Ken “Professor” Philmore, Addicted.
3 Petrotrin Siparia Deltones, Railway Road, Siparia—Carlton Zanda Alexander, Blackman Feeling.
4 Junior Sammy Group Skiffle, Coffee Street, San Fernando—Ray Holman, Sapna
5 NGC La Brea Nightingales, Point Sable Road, Pt D’Or, La Brea—Terrance “BJ,” Marcelle Bubble.
Royal Bank Redemption Soundsetters, Tobago—Winston Gordon, More than an Oil Drum.