Trinidad and Tobago will not crown an International Soca Monarch winner at this year’s Carnival, despite it being one of the highlights of the season.
International Soca Monarch is an annual competition. The finals are held on every Carnival Friday (aka Fantastic Friday). Contestants vie for the Soca Monarch (aka the Power Soca Monarch) for up-tempo songs (135 beats per minute and above), and Groovy Soca Monarch for slower-paced songs. Soca enthusiasts worldwide look forward to this event but this year there is no budget for it.
Geoffrey Wharton-Lake and Ricky Ragoonanan, directors of the Caribbean Prestige Foundation, the body behind the competition, decided to cancel it this year.
“We can no longer carry the burden of what the event is,” said Wharton-Lake. Ragoonanan said the money offered to them by the Government was not enough to pay prize monies and stage the event. He said to put on a good show they need more resources.
Ragoonanan said: “Soca monarch is the only stepping stone for new artistes but the Government has to see that, and if they don’t see it fit, they killing the culture. The promoters are not bringing the new singers on stage, that is the only platform these guys have.”
They said that the budget offered was equivalent to only US$370,000. Mr Hype, is the reigning monarch.
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