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All citizens of the twin island over the age of 18 are being offered the unique opportunity of participating in the first ever Virtual Party Monarch Competition on Saturday August 1.

Artistes who have produced good music over the years will have a financial incentive to participate as the winner will receive $15,000, with the runners-up receiving consolation prizes. The deadline to register and submit tracks is this Friday.

 “One of the most exciting features is the ability for participants to enter with any soca song (jumpy or groovy) from previous years,” a release from the Festivals Commission said.

As the first of its kind to be held in Antigua and Barbuda, the event is styled as a two-round competition, a preliminary elimination, and the final event.

For the preliminary event, songs will be adjudicated on tracks only and, subsequently, a panel of judges will select 10 finalists to participate in the Virtual Party Monarch on Emancipation Day. For this event, each artiste will perform with the accompanying band.

Antigua and Barbuda would have celebrated its 63rd anniversary of Carnival this year, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and as the health and safety of citizens and residents became the nation’s top priority, the festival was cancelled.

“Nevertheless, after many appeals to the ABFC to host an event to keep the spirit of Carnival alive this year, the government made the decision to host a Virtual Party Monarch, merging two of the nation’s favourite elements, soca music and a festive competition,” the release said.

“By doing this, the social conversation is kept alive thereby allowing persons to enjoy the spirit of our culture and Carnival from the comfort of their mobile device and home.”

Every soca artiste and entertainer has been affected by this pandemic, and as such, this competition provides a beneficial avenue to expose their talents to the online world, which spans beyond the borders of Antigua and Barbuda.

Registration is currently ongoing at the National Festivals Office (NFO) located upstairs the Cecil George-John Building on the corner of Redcliffe Street and Corn Alley.

Registration can also be completed online by visiting the Antigua Carnival website, and tracks (music) can be hand-delivered to the NFO on a flash drive or CD, or submitted online by emailing [email protected].

The artistes who have produced good music over the years will have a financial incentive to participate as the winner will receive $15,000; with the runners-up receiving consolation prizes.

As the Minister with responsibility for National Festivals, Honourable Daryll Matthew explains, “Out of crisis comes opportunity, and this platform gives us the chance to begin the marketing campaign for Antigua’s Carnival 2021 – The Caribbean’s Greatest Summer Festival”.

Registration for the competition is currently ongoing at the National Festivals Office (NFO), located upstairs the Cecil George-John Building on the corner of Redcliffe Street and Corn Alley. Persons can also complete their registration online by visiting the Antigua Carnival website, www.antiguacarnival.com. Tracks (music) can be hand-delivered to the NFO on a flash drive or CD, or submitted online by emailing [email protected] deadline for registration and track submission is Friday 25th July.

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