EDITORIAL - Awaiting official review of Crop Over 2016


CROP Over 2016 has ended and as many Barbadians will say, it was “sweet for days”.
This is an indication that the activities that have been a part of the festival over the course of the last several years continue to be attractive, bringing a degree of satisfaction to those attending them. 
Over the years, several changes, including the additional competitions for juniors and the others calysonians; expanding the finalists in the Pic-de-Crop contest; the switching of venues for the competitions, among others, have served to give Crop Over much more flavour.   
So there is no doubt that Crop Over 2016 was a success and kudos must be given to the national Cultural Foundation (NCF), organisers of Crop Over, those who sponsored events, the 
participants and the winners of the contests, and the thousands of Barbadians and visitors alike who patronized the many activities during the season. In particular, one cannot leave out Aziza, who became the first female to win the Pic-o-de-Crop final since Rita did it back in 1988. So to her we must say well done! 
However, now that the dust has settled and everyone is back to their old habits, it will be important to hear the reviews that will be given to this year’s festival, and whether there will be any more changes made in the future. There is always the saying that if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
Many will want to know whether the festival, which started way back in 1974, is in need of a facelift or even requires some kind of  rebranding to make it even more attractive. This 
gives rise to a number of queries which should be considered based on the rumblings that have taken place in some quarters. For example, are the authorities happy with those who seem to be infiltrating Crop Over? Is there a case for the Festival taking in more of rural Barbados, similar to what existed in the early days? Is the Crop Over Festival producing the Cultural Industries’ practitioners who can go into the foreign markets with their products and services? 
One of the high points again this year was the quality of the music which continues to be of a very high standard. So are our entertainers ready to take on the world having used Crop Over as the launching pad for what it is hoped are bigger things?   
What was noticeable as well were the talents that were on show. People have become more creative with what they are doing, whether that be designing costumes, creating videos of some of the activities, writing songs and performing them, or even playing pan.
The country has reached the stage where it has to nurture the creativity of its people, rather than allowing a lot of it to go to waste.
For years we have been hearing that there are prospects for Cultural Industries’ products.
The country has been told repeatedly that the CARIFORUM Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) offers significant opportunities in the areas of services. Such opportunities must be grasped. 
These are just some of the things that ought to be discussed in the reviews so that in the future the groundwork can be laid for our practitioners.

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