The Chutney Soca Show which was billed as “bombshell,” ended up being a bomb! To begin with, the show bagan over an hour late much to the consternation of the patrons. The MC attempted to explain this by blaming the crowds for blocking the entrance, but this happened long after the show was billed to start. Artistes are supposed to be backstage before any show gets started. This late start was compounded by some electrical problems which got sort sorted out quickly enough. The first item was a sizzling dance by world famous maestro Dheeraj, but after that a lack of good programming was evident. The next item was a few songs done by an artiste who was acclaimed as the MC as a very talented performer. It was difficult to differentiate between his shouting, his singing and his lyrics, not to mention his panting for breath. He came back later to further haunt the audience!
Moreover, to the disgust of the audience, throughout the show each of the artistes and the MC continued to thank the Minister of Tourism, the sponsors, the Regional Vice-Chairman and the TV stations. They even thanked some of their relatives and friends who accompanied them; they certainly used the stage for their own benefit and not that of their audience. This could have been done at the end of the show when a proper vote of thanks would have been appropriate.
Another boring feature was that singers were made to sing as many as six or seven songs is succession, which became dull and monotonous after a while. These singers should have been alternated to add variety and to keep the crowd interested in the proceedings.
In addition, many patrons complained about the poor stage lighting. The patrons who were on the stands could barely see what was going on onstage, and even though numerous complaints were made absolutely nothing was done. Maybe Berbicians are used to darkness!
Another point to note was that the VIP seats seemed to have been oversold, and a number of patrons had to sit on the wet grass. Moreover, even though the stands and the ground were literally overflowing, the organisers continued to sell tickets; the cliche ‘packed like sardines’ was an understatement. In the end the crowd seemed to be nearly double the capacity of the ground. The overcrowding posed a serious security threat, since the number of police and community police present there would have been incapable of preventing any type of criminal activity.
Lastly, the toilet facilities or rather the lack of them was a great embarrassment to many persons, especially females. The least the promoters could have done was to construct some makeshift toilets to avoid such embarrassment. There was one toilet in the stand and the ladies had to endure a long wait in an even longer line. It was clearly unbearable for many of them. There were three dilapidated, dirty and unhygenic ones behind the northern screen without any lights.
Well, these things can only be gotten away with in Berbice, since we are by nature a very hospitable people even though we keep getting the short end of the staff.
(Name and address provided)