A return to living and laughing. That is what most people in this country are hoping for as the pandemic fades, and that is what events producer and promoter Randy Glasgow is promising.
The top-tier events producer who has given this country a host of memorable calypso, soca, chutney, comedy, and even sporting shows, feels that the people of T&T cannot allow the past two years of pandemic to determine our future.
Randy Glasgow Productions or RGP as his company is commonly known is set to roll out a series of shows intended to bring back in-person entertainment and lift the spirits of the people of T&T.
Making up for lost time, the Let’s Laugh Again comedy tour gets going on Father’s Day, next Sunday, at SAPA, San Fernando, and continues in other parts of the country, with shows in Port-of-Spain and Tobago. A cast of characters and comedians like Damion Melville, Ro’dey, Drunken Saint, Penelope Spencer, and Cecilia Salazar will serve up the shenanigans.
The biggest production Soca Rewind Festival is carded for August 13 and will feature the best eras of soca along with surprise old school and contemporary DJs. Set to come off at the Naparima Bowl, it will utilise both the amphitheatre and outdoor setting to give people a chance to enjoy various moods, eating, dancing, participating in competition segments like best retro outfits for instance, and taking in the arts and crafts on display. The fest’s multiple generations of artistes such as Baron, Super, Johnny King, Iwer, Farmer Nappy, KMC, and Swappi will appeal to all age groups, Glasgow said. Jazz sensation Sharon Phillip is also expected to appear.
Glasgow promised energetic, sweet soca music and a fest that would be far from a “spectator event.”
Plans are also afoot to give Tobago a taste of the Soca Rewind Festival.
Prominent events producer and promoter Randy Glasgow.
RGP will deliver side-splitting humour in “Errol and George: Off the Hook” starring Errol Fabien and George Gonzalez with other comedians and personalities in early July, and on July 16 Chutney Rhythms–the Return will come alive at the Naparima Bowl. The mid-year chutney fest will feature the artistes’ Indo fashion and dance, and patrons will have their pick of foods like curried duck, East Indian delicacies, and other Caribbean dishes.
Tracing some of his professional history, Glasgow shared that though he has spent much time creating a permanent space for artistes and promoting this country as a foremost entertainment location, his very first love was cricket. He played with the Trinidad and Tobago Youth Cricket team in his early 20s alongside cricketing greats Gus Logie and Phil Simmons and hoped to become a professional cricketer. But he found the game to be “tough”; physically gruelling at the highest level.
A compilation of past events hosted by RGP.
“I was a batter. You’re batting against men with real pace. Courtney Walsh and all those guys you had to play against, so you had to be on your game,” Glasgow recalled.
Realising that he had a knack for promoting, he decided to switch gears. He took up Business and Sports Management at New York University and returned to Trinidad where he linked up with William Munroe, businessman and founder of Caribbean Prestige Foundation which had produced the Soca Monarch competition for many years.
Glasgow had known Munroe as a sponsor of touring cricket teams. As part of Munroe’s foundation, Glasgow helped shape Soca Monarch into the International Groovy and Power Soca Monarch competitions, which added smoother, more soulful, relaxed tempos of soca and opened its doors to competitors worldwide. Three years later, he started Randy Glasgow Productions, stepping out into the entertainment arena on his own with “Carnival Youth Fest,” propelling the likes of Bunji, Faye-Ann, Destra, and Maximus Dan onto the international scene.
During the Carnival season that same year, Glasgow also pioneered “Ladies Night Out” and “Chutney Brass Festival” featuring top entertainers and attracting a host of visitors to T&T. The first Superblue concert “Genesis” and later, “the Carnival Comedy Festival” would ensure Glasgow’s title as the premier concert and entertainment producer in T&T.
Outside of Carnival, RGP offerings have included the Alternative Comedy Fest, calypsonians in concert showcasing reggae, soca and other local and regional acts, the Political Kaiso Monarch to coincide with elections every five years, and Chutneyland where T&T chutney soca meets Bollywood. It has also made a name for itself regionally, and internationally, working with three major summer festivals in California, Atlanta and Washington DC.
Some 20 years on and with a pandemic almost behind us, Glasgow said he takes his role as seriously as doctors and scientists and wants to play his part to re-energise the people and economy.
“For the country to come back to normalcy there must be efforts to assist. People need to laugh. And people we’ve worked with over the years were not earning anything–the ticket collectors, sound man, lighting man, vendors, cleaners, artistes, marketers, hairdressers, and seamstresses who doing up the artistes’ hair and clothes–so we feel we have to take some responsibility now that the country is opening back to put out shows, so they can earn again. If we don’t do that, we will be failing them,” he said.