After a two-year hiatus, Crop Over enthusiasts will have the option of six new routes for Grand Kadooment and Foreday Morning Jam.
These changes were announced by Minister with responsibility for Culture in the Prime Minister’s Office, Senator Dr. Shantal Munro-Knight, and Chief Cultural Officer at the National Cultural Foundation, Andrea Wells, during a press conference in the Queen’s Park Gallery on Tuesday.
Additionally, there will be a return of the Pic-O-De-Crop Finals on Friday, July 29, at Kensington Oval, using the one-song concept introduced in 2019, and a staging of the People’s Choice Soca Monarch Competition at the National Botanical Gardens on Sunday, July 31.
The Minister said following extensive discussions with all stakeholders it was agreed that the “sweetest summer festival” could be staged in a safe way, mindful that it “would not make sense for us to have a Crop Over and have a good time and jump up for a couple of months and then it imperils the health of the nation going forward”.
Senator Dr. Munro-Knight added that everything was done to ensure that stakeholders were pleased with the outcome from the discussions. “We attempted to ensure that we did not walk away from the table unless all of the parties concerned expressed a level of willingness and agreement with what was put on the table,” she underlined.
The Minister continued: “I hope that the stakeholders would agree with me that, in many instances, they were able to get 90 per cent of what it is that they asked for…. We are very clear, however, that this is a national project and it’s bigger than the National Cultural Foundation and the stakeholders. We work in service of a population that are the owners of this festival.”
Meanwhile, Mrs. Wells pointed out that for Grand Kadooment, there would be two routes – one from Warrens moving along the ABC Highway on to Norman Niles Roundabout and ending at the National Botanical Gardens, Waterford, St. Michael. The second jump-up option would be Windward Cricket Ground to Bushy Park, St. Philip.
She added that Foreday Morning bandleaders could stage their events at Searles to Ball Park, Christ Church; Bushy Park, St. Philip; the National Botanical Gardens, and Farley Hill in St. Peter to Checker Hall, St. Lucy on Thursday, August 1.
The Chief Cultural Officer noted that there would be no judging points for events, and registration would be accepted from established bands. The location would be based on a “first-come-first-serve basis”. She added that Grand Kadooment bands would qualify for a $10,000 subvention, while Foreday Morning bands would receive $3 000.
She reminded performers and technical crews that they must be fully vaccinated, or present a negative rapid test taken at least 24 hours before the event. However, all catering and hospitality staff must be fully vaccinated and present a negative rapid test.
The Pic-O-De-Crop Monarch will receive a $100,000 cash prize or a fully loaded electric vehicle; calypso tents must be open three nights in order to qualify for subvention. There will be no Junior Kadooment, but a Junior Monarch competition on Saturday, July 16, where competitors can submit calypsos, soca or bashment soca songs, and the public will select the top 40 songs submitted for the People’s Choice Monarch. Each artiste will receive $2,000. The public will then select their favourite 20 songs.
COVID-19 testing is required for Grand Kadooment and Foreday Morning and the cost for testing between July 15 and August 3, will be paid by Government. Additionally, the Ceremonial Delivery of the Last Canes will take place at Portvale Factory, Blowers, St. James, on Saturday, July 2. A parade will begin from the Rock Hall Freedom Village, St. Thomas, and end at the Factory, where other activities will be held.