Barbados Crop Over 2008 a Huge Success
Barbados authorities are already looking to next year after reviews of the just-ended 2008 Crop Over Festival concluded it was one of the best ever, with excellent weather and bumper crowds local and foreign.
“I think the whole festival has been a grand success,” says Ken Knight, chairman of the state-run National Cultural Foundation (NCF), main organizers of the six-week cultural showcase of Barbadiana.
The Barbados Police concurred: “We are satisfied that we generally had a very good Crop Over and we haven’t had any major incidents reported throughout the entire season,” said Police Public Relations Officer, Station Sergeant Anthony Depeiza.
Barbados Minister of Culture, Steve Blackett, noted that the turnouts for two of the key events, the annual calypso competition and the “Cohobblopot” cultural show – both staged at the modernized Kensington Oval – were among the best ever, with an estimated 12,000 people attending each one.
An energetic Adrian Clarke, better known as AC, won the 2008 Barbados calypso monarch title, and in the process took home a brand new fully-equipped car and $10,500 in cash.
Khiomal Nurse took his first ever Barbados Party Monarch title with the popular ditty “Unleash De Beast” and walked away with a trophy and $22,000. The elated Krosfyah lead singer had the best presentation out of the field of 20, which included three former monarchs.
Some 25 masquerade bands participated in the August 4th bank holiday last lap event, Kadooment, which saw thousands of costumed revellers “jumping” to calypso music in the street from the judging point at the national stadium to the Spring Garden Highway just outside of Bridgetown.
Veteran designer Betty West copped the coveted Large Band of the Year title for her colourful, lively portrayal of “Ah Feeling So”.
One new element this year was the TV exposure to the outside world of the Barbados Crop Over music through a partnership between the NCF and the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC), based in Bridgetown.
CMC, which operates a 24-hour cultural cable channel that is seen throughout the Caribbean and in North America, aired some of the live Crop Over shows, plus a series of videos of the Barbados calypsonians. CMC operations manager, Errol Clarke, said it was a first for the company.
Thanks to the National Cultural Foundation, also in for the festival, were journalists from far and wide, representing radio, TV and the print media, including America’s influential Billboard magazine.