Pan in a Vice - Steelbands suffering due to cutbacks...
With a mere 15 per cent of the 147 bands registered for Panorama 2019 having the financial support of a title sponsor, guava season economic conditions are hitting the steelband movement hard and forcing a collective rethink of the future of the steelband and pan’s path to growth.
The financial impact of reduced private sector sponsorship, grants and donations has been worsened by a $500,000 reduction in the State subvention to the competition organiser, Pan Trinbago, which responded by, among other things, cutting out the $1,500 player stipend for 2019 and 2020.
The hardest hit are the most vulnerable bands operating on the margins of the steelband economy. Many are on life support, waiting to be saved by the mobilisation fee given as a grant by Pan Trinbago.
By Sunity Maharaj
Trinidad Sunday Express