ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Minister of Culture is zero for three with his plans for this year’s Carnival, as the newly appointed Carnival Development Committee (CDC) yesterday overturned registration fees for participants in the spirit of reconciliation.
In March, Adams said he was opposed to allowing any individual artiste to monopolise the Wednesday evening slot, generally allocated to the LIAT Caribbean Melting Pot show.
This was in response to a request that a show in honour of Sir McClean “King Short Shirt” Emanuel be slated for that night. At that time, Adams said he and the committee would not approve the show for Wednesday, but for the Friday instead.
In a turnaround, CDC announced it has amended the Caribbean Melting Pot show to include a tribute to King Short Shirt and the show will be held on the Wednesday.
Last week, the organisation agreed to a three-month payment plan in an attempt to stave off threats from the Working Committee of Carnival Artistes to boycott this year’s Carnival festivities if they did not receive a payment plan.
This decision came days after the minister declared that he would not cave in to the artistes’ demands.
Last year, after artistes broke their agreement with the CDC to pay the registration fee, in negotiations with Adams, it was agreed to waive fees for 2011 and stakeholders would begin paying fees for this year’s festival.
However, yesterday, in a press release, the CDC said the registration fees would be waived for this year’s registration as well in an effort to continue the good rapport that seems to be building between the two factions.
“It is a sign of good faith and we hope that from now on, us doing this, they will work along with us to ensure that they bring their best foot forward that the calypsonians are at their best; that mas’ is at its best as well. We will all benefit,” Chairman of the CDC Kayode O’Marde said.
According to O’Marde, artistes have agreed to pay registration fees for the 2013 Carnival.