Five more weeks to go for Carnival and a main venue is yet to be decided. It appears that a main venue for Spicemas 2014 is yet to be accepted by the Board of Directors of the Spicemas Corporation (SMC).
This is due to the costs involved to upgrade the Tanteen Playing Field into an accepted entertainment venue for the island’s biggest display of indigenous culture. On Wednesday morning Chairman of the Queen Show Committee Shirma Wells, disclosed in a radio interview that the main venue will be the National Stadium and not the Tanteen Playing Field as was originally announced in May at the media launch of Spicemas.
She said that many factors were taken into consideration, including the cost of upgrading the facility and the issue of rainfall. She said that Tanteen floods easily, and because of what has happened before, people prefer to wait and see, before they purchase tickets for events carded for Tanteen.
Culture Minister Senator Brenda Hood has not confirmed or denied that the stadium will be the carnival venue, but admits consideration is being given to changing the venue. “There are lots of factors involved and we are discussing, but there is no official confirmation as to what will happen.”
Chairman of the SMC Alister Bain in support of Minister Hood said that a change in venue is being discussed as an idea, but a concrete decision is yet to be made. “I therefore cannot confirm that we have made such a major decision with regards to a main carnival venue,” he said.
The cricket grounds at the National Stadium have over the years become the venue for all final carnival events, but because of CPL games in mid-July and the international cricket games in mid-August, the facility is unavailable.
It is understood that the discussion to revert to the stadium for carnival events will include cricket officials and the National Stadium Authority. Consideration is being given for only placing the stage on the field and for patrons to be in the stands.
Whereas that arrangement may work for most of the show, the Soca Monarch competition, which is the biggest event, will be challenged by that arrangement due to the thousands expected to attend.
By Linda Straker