St. John’s Antigua- The calypso and mas’ associations seem set to renege on their agreement with the Carnival Development Committee (CDC) to begin paying a registration fee from next year to compete.
President of the Calypso Association, Adelza “Lypstick” Sheridan and Vice President of the Mas’ Association Barrymore “Zadawi” Thomas said they will not pay the fee that goes into effect from January 15, 2012.
“If they can’t even talk to you when Carnival done about payment for you prize monies that you win and deserve…nobody can talk to me about no registration fee,” Thomas told The Daily OBSERVER. “I’m not paying no registration fee.”
The associations are owed in excess of $700,000 in prize monies for this year’s Carnival. Authorities have given no indication when this would be paid.
Sheridan said the non-payment is just one of several issues that have caused her to have a change of heart about the agreement reached in May with the CDC and Minister responsible for Carnival Eleston “Namba” Adams.
“We will not be paying no registration fee next year,” she said. “It doesn’t matter what time they are going to be giving us.
“You have calypsonians who never passed the quarter-finals singing for over 20-30 years and then you’re going to pay registration fee. You’re not benefitting anything. And then at the end of the day as well, calypsonians still have to pay to come into the ARG on the night of the competition to go into the ARG,” Sheridan said.
The registration fee for mas’ bands ranged between $100 and $300, while calypsonians, like soca artistes, were required to pay $50.
The dispute over the introduction of the fee led to a stand-off between the CDC and the different groups.
In the ensuring controversy, some calypsonians broke ranks with their association, and opted to register.
The Carnival minister later intervened and brokered a deal with the associations that included the decision to defer the registration fee until next year.