By Elesha George
The Covid-19 pandemic has forced the cancellation of the West Indies Oil Company (WIOC) Gemonites Moods of Pan steelband festival – a staple event which has been staged uninterrupted or 21 years.
The event would have had its 22nd hosting this November and would have likely featured regional and local acts, if not for the coronavirus.
‘It was a hard decision to make,” Captain Joseph Henry told Observer, as he explained the reason for the group’s decision.
“When the Covid situation happened at first, it was in March, so we didn’t really believe that it would go right down until November. Moods of Pan is usually a two-day festival and one of the competitions is 25-a-side and ironically 25 is the allotted number of persons you can have to congregate at one time so that in itself was a challenge,” he said.
Henry said they chose not to hold a virtual event because it would take away from the heart of the show.
Moods of Pan has been an outlet for young arrangers and pan players to showcase their talents and provides entertainment for hundreds of patrons who attend each year.
“Everyone who takes part in Moods of Pan, they are paid, so your talents are not taken for granted,” he said.
It is the only music festival of its kind in the region and receives contribution from the government and private companies.