MINISTER of Community Development, Culture and the Arts Dr Nyan Gadbsy-Dolly is sure that Carnival 2021 is not going to be the same as the Carnival held at the end of February this year.
Gasby-Dolly in a phone interview with Newsday said the ministry was looking at what happens over the next two to three months.
Around the world, festivals, major events and Carnivals have been cancelled with Barbados’ Crop Over being the latest. Official word of the cancellation was issued on Sunday.
“Well the festival industry around the world right now is just reeling. A lot of discussions are going on around that, ‘How are festivals to proceed,’” she said.
Gadsby-Dolly added that, by nature, a festival involves a crowd and that is part of what makes the festival enjoyable.
“For our Carnival, one of the things that will really make a difference is if a vaccine is found and how soon that happens.”
Even when the vaccine is found, considerations of when it is found, if people feel comfortable with the success of the vaccine and whether they want to take it, need to be looked at.
In general, any festival, including Carnival, will have to take into account if tourists are going to be travelling and how borders are going to be open.
She said some fetes in TT have dedicated foreign audiences and chartered flights – a development which took place over the years and which promoters worked hard to build. With the pandemic, it is uncertain as to what would happen with people flying into different countries.
She said a lot of foreigners patronised a lot of fetes and private events and asked: "Will those events be able to take place in 2021? And without those events, what would a Carnival look like?"
The minister does not think music production is going to be much of a problem. The issue will be: how much does Carnival depend on the foreigners and what would that shape our Carnival to be?
She added that because the situation was so fluid no firm decisions had been taken.
“We are looking at what is happening worldwide. We are looking at who is planning to reopen. It is so dynamic we are keeping all of the options open, looking at what is happening but we have not made any decisions as yet as to how we proceed.”
She added there was a cut-off time for a decision on what should be done for the next Carnival. She said the festival was going to be even more critical for the private mas bands and so on.
“They are going to have a much more accelerated timeline as to whether they are bringing a band or not... having the fete, not having the fete...because there are preparations to be made.”
She said for Government events had more leeway.
She said nothing had been finalised yet and all of the discussions were on the table. She said the ministry was looking at how things progressed with the covid19 pandemic to make firm decisions in terms of TT Carnival.
She said it would really have to be looked at as it is a matter of life and death.
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