Pan groups and Festival Commission bicker over money, stage

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The Chairman of the Festivals Commission, Maurice Merchant has promised the Pan Association that today it will get money owed for last year’s carnival.
The Captain of Gemonites Steel Orchestra, Jowato Henry says Merchant gave the assurance when the Pan Subcommittee met last night with the Pan Association.
Henry says he does not know how much money is outstanding, but a reliable source who did not want to be named, has said it’s $25, 000.
Meanwhile, Henry tells OBSERVER media that expanding the ramp is another sticking point between the Festivals Commission and the Pan Association.
He says the Commission told them during Wednesday’s meeting that it’s no longer making the ramp bigger. Henry also says no proper explanation has been given.
But, he says a bigger ramp is key if the Commission is to enforce the 30-minute regulation as has been announced by head of the Pan sub-committee Petra Williams.
The steel bands will be penalised if they do not set up, perform and come off the stage in half hour.
The Gemonites captain also tells OBSERVER media that the roof of the stage at Carnival City is another issue they want the commission to address since, according to him, it compromises the sound of the bands, especially the larger ones.
Like Henry, Khan Cordice, the arranger and musical director for Hellsgate Steel Orchestra, says has no problem with the 30-minute stipulation once all of the necessary logistics are in place.
Cordice is advising the Festivals Commission to rethink the way the stage is built.

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