I know a lot of you are still fighting against accepting the reality where Crop Over 2020 is concerned...but denial never does us any good. Crop Over 2020 is not gonna happen guys. It just isn't. Even if this disease was to miraculously disappear in a couple months, the financial reality a lot of persons (bajans and visitors alike) will face post-covid19 will be grim to say the least and that will significantly affect the turn out and overall vibe of the festival. It's safe to say that we should all just focus on staying indoors and looking forward to a Crop Over 2021.
With that being said, I want to take this time to make a giant appeal to all of the promoters and powers that be around our festival. Crop Over is a glorious thing in it's current form, but any true veteran of the festival can tell you that it has drastically changed over the last few years and I'm not altogether sure it has done so in a good way.
At the moment the Crop Over festival, although technically scheduled to begin in June, has most of the major events being crammed into the last two weeks leading up to Kadooment day, with maybe a few major events from brands with a loyal following scattered throughout the summer.
Years ago Crop Over used to be action packed from June straight to it's end in the first week of August. We had parties or limes to attend almost every single night in the week and were guaranteed to go to work the next morning running on 4 hours sleep max. We went to Straw Hat on Tuesday, Wadadah on Wednesday, Berger Boyz on Thursday, Pork Lime, Baje or Brewsters Road on Friday, Passion Network or Power x 4 on Saturdays and Campus Boyz on Sunday. Come to think of it...Monday was the only day we had to recover from the pace and most of us took it gratefully. These Limes/parties had different themes every week (Wadadah's back to school fete, Power x 4 all white or all jeans affair, just to name a few) and we actively looked forward to dressing up accordingly.
And then there were the actual major stage shows where you could go out and watch the artistes perform live and learn their music. NCF calvacades, Ten to Ten, Wet Fete...y'all remember when Brewsters Road gave us 24?? We used to have live bands performing sets: Jabae, Krosfyah, Soca Kartel, Eletrik and Strategy. We had male groups like Spin Pooch Ink, Grass Skirt Crew and Immigration Federation (Nard, John Mohammed, Chowmein and Stabby) to give you real entertainment.
Now I fully understand Crop Over from the business/economic side and I get that things are a lot more expensive in Barbados now and a lot of these brands simply couldn't afford to continue in the festival. Sponsorship is also much harder to come by as companies are limited in what they can give.
I'm not trying to say that we don't have brands who try to maintain this vibe in the current festival; Bacchanal Thursdays (for the older crowd) and Waiki Sundays (for the young uns) have filled a definite void, but things have painfully mellowed and I think it has drastically affected the quality of our cultural product.
Now, when new brands DO try come into the festival, everyone tries to slot themselves into the week before Kadooment Day and I get that it's because that's the time when most of the international visitors will be here and everyone's trying to maximize their profit, but the problem with that is that it makes it seem as though Crop Over exists for the international patrons...and it does not! Crop Over is for Bajans...it's ours! It belong to we! OUR festival, OUR summer, and WE are suppose to be the ones to get the most out of it. It's our product and we're simply welcoming the visitors to share it with us.
I'm hoping that this break from Crop Over 2020 will give promoters and key franchise holders in the festival the time and opportunity to reconsider how they approach 2021. It's time for a revamp; Crop Over activities need to span the full range of festival time, June to August. Bajans deserve better! I need better!
Now...I'ma need all of y'all to STAY THE HELL INSIDE and WASH YOUR HANDS so that we can be outside in 2021 and make up for this shit show that has been 2020. Peace and Love.