Government wants to see the Crop Over Festival receiving increased global exposure.
Minister of Information, Broadcasting and Public Affairs, Senator Lucille Moe, expressed this view over the weekend as she addressed the launch of De First Citizens/Digicel Big Show Tent, at ‘Pig on de Rock’, Paynes Bay, St. James.
Senator Moe told her audience that there was no reason why the Crop Over festival or elements of it should not be annually broadcast, and become fixtures for global audiences on the scale of the Eurovision Song Contest, Cricket World Cup, or even the Grammys.
“There is scope for both commercial and developmental relationships between stakeholders in the industry, and information entities like CBC, other broadcasters, and social media producers, to look towards penetration of the global market by our creative industries. My ministry, through its portfolios of Information, Broadcasting and Public Affairs, stands ready to assist and to collaborate with other government departments to make this a reality,” she stated.
According to her, calypso and other genres of music, through their lyrics, were vehicles of information.
She expressed the view that the effect of information on society and values, whether conveyed through an article in a newspaper, a news item or through the lyrics of a Crop Over song on radio, should not be destructive, violent or divisive.
“The instrumentality of information and broadcasting in shaping socio-cultural behaviour is one of which I am keenly aware, especially now in this globalized environment in which we live, which in one sense promotes interconnectedness, but from other perspectives can also generate identity crises, rootlessness and alienation.
“Some of our schoolchildren, from the time they get on some of the minibuses and ZRs, start their day exposed, in some cases, to lyrics and songs of dubious impact on their outlook and disposition. I would like to see a sense of responsibility prevail in our choices of what we broadcast and put in the public domain, particularly when it is more likely to reach the youth,” she stressed.
Senator Moe said the Barbados Government Information Service created a project that intended to establish an Information Centre, which would embrace an Archival Data Unit.
She explained that the content of this unit would include audio-visual resources about the evolution of Crop-Over, the tent system, and other aspects of the festival.
“We see this as a valuable part of Barbados’ cultural heritage for which we need to create information and research services,” she stated.
Now in its 14th year, De First Citizens/Digicel Big Show will open on Saturday, June 15, at the Sea Rocks Dome, Maxwell, Christ Church.
The performers are: Mac, Mistah Dale, Ado, Mikey, Natahlee, Biggie Irie, Pompey, Kirk Brown, Jslo, Classic, Marvay, Chrystal Cummins-Beckles, Adrian Clarke, Edwin Yearwood, Mr. Blood, TC, Joaquin and Grynner.