Senior Road March show cancelled: Singers miss deadlines again

POSTED: 03/17/14 6:35 PM

St. Maarten — For the second consecutive year the St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) is forced to cancel the Senior Road March Competition due to lack of cooperation from the singers despite the efforts of the SCDF to wait until March, two weeks before the event is scheduled to be held.

Last year the competition was also cancelled in December when there were not enough registrants by the stipulated deadlines but was salvaged by former Minister of Culture Silveria Jacobs in January 2013.

There was also no road march show in 2012. This year, the SCDF has stressed that there will be no rescue of the show and all efforts have been exhausted to try and get the singers in line with regulations. Jacobs at the time had urged the singers to adhere to SCDF’s rules and regulations the following year for their show to continue.

This time, SCDF explained, just 4 singers have submitted music sheets to allow the musical band to start working on their songs. The original deadline to submit these sheets was February 28. SCDF then extended the deadline to March 8, followed by another extension to March 10. The band was supposed to start rehearsing the singers on March 11.

“There simply isn’t much else we can do at this point. We waited until now, a few weeks before the show before taking any decision, giving ample time. We scheduled the show prominently as the first on the schedule so that the eventual winning song would get regular air play and general play throughout Carnival.

“We extended our deadlines three times, we called singers only to find out from others that some were away, others decided not to participate, but nobody told the foundation. It’s their art form, they have to be serious about it. To date we can’t hear new carnival songs on radio, not one. We were left with no other option after all of that,” the SCDF explained.

Looking ahead SCDF said it is unsure what the next step will be for the event. Possibilities are to determine a winning song based on the amount of airplay it receives as they do in other Caribbean territories.

The road march competition is the smallest local show on the Carnival schedule in terms of attendance annually, and the only local event that operates at a financial loss for the SCDF. It carries a budget of almost $15,000 and draws an average of 300 people.

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