If the sparse crowds in the gyms and parties are anything to go by, it is safe to assume that this Carnival is set to buss.
In the main because fete promoters and band owners took the milking of their captive audience too far, and now, threatened with depleting resources, many are seeing the thousands of dollars “playing a mas” really costs as unnecessary and avoidable.
But what happens to the Carnival then?
Surely Trini ingenuity could be encouraging others to see opportunity in this, to create Carnival on a more sensible budget?
Perhaps it could even herald the return of the more intimate house party and blocko fetes over the impersonal mega parties that have all become too similar and boring. Yes, the people watching is great, as is the fashion pose, but how sustainable is that?
Maybe we could find diamonds among the coal of this recession; find real creativity because we are forced to, and produce by accident costumes and Carnival that people want to see and be a part of once again, instead of the hyper-business that our Carnival has become. And in place of culture for sale to the highest bidder we could return the mas to the social venting release that it was meant to be.
One could only hope.
Phillip Edward Alexander
Source: The Trinidad Guardian Newspaper