By Loshaun Dixon
Basseterre, St. Kitts-Calypso tent organizers in St. Kitts are hastily seeking sponsorship ahead of the new Carnival season as the National Carnival Committee has indicated it could no longer afford to subsidize the venture.
In an exclusive interview with Proud Sounds Tent organiser and Manager of the Grand Masters Band Wingrove Hicks, indicated that the tents are scheduled to open very early in November and gave details on what it means for the tents.
“It means we will have to seek additional sponsorship,” Mr. Hicks said.
Hicks said for the past three years the carnival committee had been assisting the tents — two under the chairmanship of Sylvester Anthony and last year with current chairman Noah Mills.
He said it was very expensive to sponsor the tents. The majority of the money that was spent did not go to the band because the band fee was very minimal. They claimed that they spent a lot of other monies for lighting, sound system rental of tents chairs and other items.
Hicks also said the search for additional sponsors was unsuccessful and warned that failure to secure enough sponsorship could severely affect the tents.
“Sponsorship has been very slow in coming,” he added. “We are still hopeful that we will get enough sponsors but If not what it means is that the tents would be minimized. We won’t be able to have the same amount of tent we usually have.”
He said they will be having roughly 35 calypsonians participating in his tents and also indicated that the tent has been going on over the entire lifetime of Grand Masters Band. The band will celebrate its 30th year in November.
Calypso tents normally are seen as an informal opening to the carnival season with the tents travelling all over the island and also to Nevis and is eagerly anticipated by a large cross-section of the Federation.