Calypsonians Divided: Controversy Erupts Over New Tent Process; Former President King Kaseeba Strikes Back with Private Tent

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The Calypso community in Antigua is embroiled in a heated debate as controversy rocks this year’s Calypso tent process.

Traditionally a bastion of live music, this year’s events have taken a dramatic turn with the introduction of pre-recorded tracks, igniting fury among Calypsonians and enthusiasts alike.

The decision to abandon live bands in favor of canned music has divided the community, with many decrying it as a betrayal of Calypso’s soul.

The heart-pounding rhythms, spontaneous jams, and electrifying energy of live performances are now threatened, leaving Calypsonians feeling betrayed and disheartened.

Amidst the chaos, former Calypso Association president, King Kaseeba, has emerged as a rebel with a cause. Refusing to bow to the new order, he’s defiantly launched his own private Calypso tent, complete with a powerhouse live band.

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This bold move has sent shockwaves through the community, challenging the authority of the established order and sparking a battle for the soul of Calypso.

King Kaseeba’s private tent promises to be a sanctuary for those craving the authentic Calypso experience, untainted by the compromises of modernization.

It’s a rallying cry for tradition, a stand against the commodification of culture, and a declaration of independence in the face of adversity.

But the drama doesn’t end there. As tensions reach a fever pitch, the official Calypso tent is set to kick off this Friday and Saturday at the highly anticipated Carnival New Tent City. It’s a showdown between tradition and innovation, with the fate of Calypso hanging in the balance.

Will the community unite behind King Kaseeba’s rebellion, or will the allure of the new tent city prove too enticing to resist? Only time will tell as Calypsonians brace themselves for a carnival season like no other, where passion, politics, and power collide in a symphony of drama and defiance.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Will this be the redemption of Kaseba? Or will he fold as all comrades do? Either way, what is left out of this story is the fact that Festival Commision owes former tent operators and most of the musicians, for years, and is refusing to pay them! To add insult to injury, they were asked last year to take a pay cut-“haircut” in the interest of the culture, from $3750 to $3250, on the understanding that it would be easier for them to receive payment. They did and, still they are not paid! So they can’t call on them again hence this mighty running around talking about singing from tracks etc.
    So what happens to the quarters, semi and finals? Are they purportedly going to force the police or defense force band to play? Problem here, many of the players are also from the tent and All-star bands and are owed for years.
    So, let’s see how they wiggle out of this unholy mess they have created for themselves. Not to mention, the calypsonians are also not paid and many have opted not to sing this year.

  2. What is this BS…. Calypso needs to have a live band playing consistently with the calysonians so that their performances are the best possible for the finals…. We are seeing the erosion of our culture year I and year out and no one is doing or saying anything about it… I hope and pray that this is a wake up call to all Antigua to stand up and fight for our culture

  3. This reads like a PR campaign for Kaseba’s tent. He is not without fault in this whole mess, he’s been an enabler for years and now that things have reached to a head he’s trying to appear as a saviour. Wise men and women will see through his ruse and recognise him for the self-serving wolf in sheep’s clothing that he has always been. Long live calypso.

  4. The more things change the more it remains the same and it really sad that we are accusing Kaseba for what is happening. It happens that I am privy to what is happening and I commend the guy for his stance irrespective of all the comments. Sometimes we need a pure in heart to defend what is right. I’ve known Kaseba for years and what I recognised he is not afraid of anyone he believes in what is right. However, Kaseba is only a part of a group who came together to have a tent he was not really the front runner and it sad he is now accused to be self serving wolf in sheep’s clothing.

  5. I am behind Kaseba 100% he is trying to keep Calypso alive! For years some Person/ Persons trying to kill our culture of Calypso on Antigua. 😡😡😡😡 I MACBETH GEORGE is a Calypso Writer for a number of years, many of my songs I have written while I was a member of the Royal Police force of Antigua/Barbuda some of the songs were not welcomed by The Government of the the day….. I simply told my singers do not mentioned my name as the writer. Kaseba and I went Calypso workshops from time – to – time, in my View Kaseba is a True Antiguan 🇦🇬 who wants to see 👀 our Antigua Calypso culture alive!! Bravo! Kaseba keep fighting for our Calypso culture. Open the Tent with Live Band I can assure you with a measure of certainty your tent will be full. In my View, I believe Calypso RAM , Sting Ray, Mighty junction, Franco, Calypso Joe, king Swallow and many others turning in their Graves 🥲🥲🥲

    MACBETH GEORGE
    Retired Police officer.
    June 7th , 2024

  6. Kaseba isn’t fighting for Calypso he’s fighting to win the crown. He has come up wih all kinds of machinations in order to do so but so far none have worked. He talks a good talk but once he can’t get his way he turns on, or discards anyone who doesn’t fit his agenda. Fellow calypsonians, Festivals, or the government. Kaseba is for Kaseba, no matter how benevolent he appears to be. Who feels it knows it and he can fool some people sometimes but he can’t fool all the people all the time.

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