The annual We Beat Festival gets underway tonight at 8 pm with an honourees dinner and dance at the Lions Cultural Centre, Wrightson Road Extension, Port-of-Spain. Taking the spotlight tonight are calypsonians Denyse Plummer and Trinidad Rio, and pan researcher/administrator Keith Simpson, of the St James Tripolians. Music will be supplied by Crosby Music and Louis and the Lynx. Now in its twelfth edition, Earl Crosby, president of the We Beat Committee (the St James Community Improvement Committee) told Mr Muzik that the event is at the crossroads. He said tough decisions will have to be taken, concerning the continuation of the nine-day festival, which went into the red last year. “We are hoping to break even this year,” Crosby said.
He lamented that funding and sponsorship are hard to get, and this year’s staging of We Beat is due to the generosity of the artistes, and some faithful sponsors, including the Port-of-Spain City Corporation. The theme this year is Celebrating The Red, White and Black. Crosby said there were five responses out of 300 letters sent out. Nevertheless, the We Beat Committee is hoping to punt on a bumper festival at the St James Amphitheatre, that will feature jazz, vintage calypso and pan music, as well as the performing arts with Nikki Crosby as Hot Mouth Granny. Other events carded are fitness warm-ups, a health day, small goal football and We Talk with the topic being: 50 years have gone, how do you feel? He said the Combines Services Career Day has been postponed to later in the month. We Beat will end with the steelband parade and jump-up on Western Main Road, St James on June 9. Participants can parade in Carnival costumes.
Highlights of We Beat programme
All events at the St James Amphitheatre except football at the St James Barracks.
June 2: Shotobe Fitness Warm-up at 4 pm; Screening of the movie Hit Me With Music at 7pm; Admission is free.
June 3: Shotobe Fitness Warm-up at 4 pm. Pan, tassa and African drumming, plus induction of the honourees at 5pm; Admission is free;
June 4: Health Day at 10am; Shotobe Fitness finals and distribution of cash prizes and trophies at 4pm; We Talk at 7pm;
June 5: Nikki Crosby as Hot Mouth Granny;
June 6: We Beat football, St James Barracks 4.30pm; Jazz Beat at 8 pm, featuring Elan Parle, Vaughnette Bigford, Mungal Patasar and Pantar, and the police band;
June 7: Pan Explosion featuring Witco Desperadoes, St James Tripolians, PCS Nitrogen Silver Stars and Chinese Steel Ensemble; Showtime 8 pm;
June 8: Vintage calypso featuring 2012 Calypso Monarch, Duane O’Connor, Rootsman, Stalin, Denyse Plummer, Trinidad Rio, Funny, Francine, Scrunter, Mighty Trini, and Contender; Music by Pelham Goddard and Roots; MCs Nikki Crosby, Penelope Spencer and CG;
Showtime 8 pm;
June 9: Steelband parade on Western Main Road from 7 am to 2 pm.