“Lunch Time Calypso” has begun gaining momentum since its 2013 launch a week ago and, overseer of the event, Haynes Smith, said he expects participation to improve upon last year’s inaugural initiative.
There have been four sessions thus far, and the fifth takes place today from 11 am to 2:30 pm at the corner of High Street and Corn Alley.
“We’ve had it on June 19, June 21, 22 and 26 and the last event was the best, when we had about 15 calypsonians coming out, some with new releases. So, we’re gaining momentum,” he said.
Smith, who is also a member of the Carnival Calypso sub-committee, said the event is to give artistes an opportunity to practise their songs and to give them more exposure up July 26.
“It’s a free event for everyone, anyone. We’re urging calypsonians to come out. Let’s get calypso to the people, make people familiar with the songs and build interest. We really need to market the art form because it really needs a boost,” Smith said.
Among the calypsonians to take the stage thus far are Determin, Lady Lypstick, King Short Shirt (The Monarch), Solo, Rom Guts, Artist, Black Mahdi, Shambac and Faithful – to name a few.
But while more calypsonians are showing interest in the Wadadli Beer- and Carnival Development Committee- (CDC) sponsored event, Smith noted however, public attendance is still low.
“It might be an issue with marketing, or that we started earlier than last year but we expect that as Carnival gets closer, people would come out to see the performers on stage,” he added.
On occasion last year, the turnout was so good, the 2:30 pm cut off time was extended until 5 pm.
“This year, we’ve gone beyond 3 pm and it’s still early,” he said.
In a press release last week, chairman of the Calypso Monarch sub-committee Dion Simmons said, “The series of events supports the airplay, the tent appearances, and other avenues for getting the music out there where the artistes are concerned. It gives the sponsors, who have been investing in Carnival, and specifically calypso for 13 years, more mileage; and it builds the interest and the hype for the quarterfinals, semifinals and, ultimately, Carnival Sunday night.”
Finals for the Calypso Monarch competition is on Sunday, August 4.