Pan Trinbago reintroduces steelpan music festival

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Beverley Ramsey-Moore –

THE returned Pan is More Beautiful will be held under the patronage of the Prime Minister, Pan Trinbago president Beverley Ramsey-Moore announced on April 8 at the prize-giving ceremony for the 2024 winning Panorama bands.

The ceremony took place at the VIP Lounge, Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain. The last Pan is Beautiful was held in 2013 and the event’s history goes back to the 1950s.

It is one of the events on Pan Trinbago’s calendar for this year and comes shortly after what Ramsey-Moore described as a successful Panorama 2024.

Ramsey-Moore said Dr Rowley called and asked, “Where is our music festival?” and Pan Trinbago agreed. It is to be held from June to August.

“There will be festivals this year after it was absent for a very, very long time,” Ramsey-Moore said.

David Rudder’s songs have been selected as test pieces, she added.

Registration is expected to begin on April 15.

Additionally, the organisation will host a World Steelpan Festival. The UN added World Steelpan Day to its calendar of events last year and a number of celebratory events were held in observance.

In her address to the winning bands’ representatives, Ramsey-Moore said 134 events were held throughout the country during this year’s Panorama.

She thanked the state for its support and said Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts Randall Mitchell has been giving the organisation the necessary support.

“We saw what happened when we worked closely enough and we realised the World Steelpan Day and very soon we are going to realise much more than that as the announcements will be unfolding by the minister himself in a couple of months.”

There were ten junior bands, ten medium conventional and 11 large conventional bands receiving prizes on Monday.

Mitchell defends TT’s Carnival

Mitchell delivered remarks at the ceremony and said Carnival 2024 was a success and it was important to put it on record.

“Especially because in the lead up to Carnival 2024, there was this narrative peddled by the Opposition and in the media that crime and other matters were keeping people away from Carnival 2024,” he said.

He thanked the stakeholders, including the Ministry of National Security, who “played a major role in planning and executing a very safe and enjoyable Carnival 2024.”

He said TT has the greatest carnival throughout the world and he could not understand why people liked to “bad talk” its own.

“There is no question about it and for those of you who saw Jamaica’s carnival you would agree with me,” he said speaking to TT’s Carnival being the best.

Mitchell said there was a marked improvement in visitors to TT’s Carnival as opposed to last year and said TT received over 41,000 visitors by air.

He said $634 million was spent in TT’s economy in the 19 days leading up to Carnival Tuesday (February 13).

“So don’t let anyone bad talk us or try to degrade our Carnival product, which is a powerful one.”

There was also increased airlift and seat capacity to come to TT’s Carnival as well, he said.

Mitchell also said there were 20,000 cruise ship passengers coming to TT in the days leading up to Carnival Monday and Tuesday (February 12-13). Those passengers spent on average US $50 within the eight hours they stayed on TT’s shores.

Mitchell commended Pan Trinbago for the hosting of successful events during the period. Specifically referring to the Junior Panorama, he promised to have the North Stand up by the hosting of Panorama 2025 so primary school parents and students would not have to be asked to leave because of the venue being filled.

He said this year’s Panorama saw a 20 per cent increase over last year’s figures and over 50,000 patrons attending Panorama events.

The prizes to winning bands amounted to $16.895 million, Mitchell said.

Speaking to the World Steelpan Festival, Mitchell said it will begin on August 9 and end on World Steelpan Day (August 11).

The festival is expected to begin with a conference hosted at Hyatt Regency and on the evening of that day, there will be a panyard lime for the conference’s attendees.

On that Saturday, there will be an event called Pan Jammer in the streets of St James and on that evening, a classical pan concert.

Celebrations on World Steelpan Day will again take place in Woodford Square.

The distribution of the players’ remittance will begin on April 12 at the Queen’s Park Savannah and then the body will go to the east, then south and Tobago with its distribution, Ramsey-Moore said.