Alister Bain, Chairman of the Spicemas Corporation, said that although he has heard the talk that there were persons selling carnival tickets outside of the computer coded system, it was impossible for anyone other than those authorised to have access to the ticketing system.
“I am hearing those allegations myself but it’s not possible for anyone to steal the tickets and sell them. What could have happened is that a person who was assigned complimentary tickets can decide to sell the tickets provided to them; then those who purchased those tickets, not realising that they purchased a complimentary ticket,” he said while explaining that it’s not acceptable under any circumstance for someone to sell a complimentary ticket.
During the carnival season complimentary tickets are provided to a number of persons, including members of the Board of Directors, who are each provided with three tickets, some special invited guests, as well as sponsors and others who are partnering the Corporation to host the various events. Calypsonians who made it the semifinal rounds of competitions are also provided with complimentary tickets to the final events.
Since the conclusion of carnival celebrations, a number of persons have been using radio programmes and social media website such as Facebook to express their concern about the allegation of “selling of complimentary tickets.”
“To date no one has come forward and provided the proof that they actually paid for a complimentary ticket, but we are hearing the allegations. If anyone has information or the evidence they should bring it to our attention,” the Chairman said.
2014 marks the second year since the SMC employed the service of TicketPal as the official agent for selling tickets for all carnival shows. All tickets are electronically identified with a unique number at the entrance gate, making it virtually impossible for two different tickets to have the same ticket number.
However, before the use of the electronic tracking system, the SMC printed and numbered the tickets. A few years ago three persons were arrested and charged for stealing a batch of tickets, following an investigations conducted by the Royal Grenada Police Force. The tickets were found in possession of persons who were preparing to enter an official carnival event.
By Linda Straker