Matthew Says There May Be A Soca And A Calypso Monarch Competition Online This Year

Daryl Matthew

Daryl Matthew, the minister responsible for National Festivals, Culture and the Arts, says some of Carnival’s popular shows, including two of the popular musical competitions, could be staged online this year.

2017 Calypso Monarch King Zacari

“We are having some discussions about not necessarily how we can move Carnival online but how there are certain components of Carnival that can be conveyed to the public in a different way,” Daryll Matthew said.

He also revealed that a soca monarch competition and a calypso competition online are currently in the planning stage.

“I know there is at least one promoter who has approached us and who I believe are in advanced stages of planning to have a soca monarch competition online and a calypso competition online,” the minister said.

Matthew added that there are plans to showcase Panorama online, but with all these events, a date has not yet been finalised.

“We are having some preliminary discussions about perhaps a Panorama online and to think about how that can work. Perhaps a ‘five-a-side’ and each of the established bands present a ‘five-a-side’ ensemble and we set up somewhere and just display to the public the talent, the skill and just put some sort of judging in place. So, although you may not be
the 2020 Panorama champions, you are still being heard and showcased.

“We just want to let the public have that sense of appreciation that, despite the challenging times we are going through, culture and carnival and the festivals still exist within the jurisdiction of Antigua and Barbuda, and we will find any opportunity we can to push it forward,” he said.

As for the fete component of Carnival, Matthew is less optimistic saying he does not see any change in the established protocols to allow these events. He explained that it poses too much of a risk locally to relax that guideline as “our borders are open”.