From left: Shane ‘Stiffy’ Atkinson the first-ever Bashment Soca King; Stephen Lashley, Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth; Collin Francis , CEO of Yellow Media Group; and Alicia Hintzen, Marketing Specialist, CBC (Official Media Partner - 98.1 the One/CBC TV 8), at the launch of Yello-Phenomenal on Friday.

‘Bashment’ can create economic benefits for B’dos

“Bashment Soca” in Barbados has gained its place in the Crop Over Festival and in only its second year of competition it is arguably now one of the most eagerly anticipated events.

The Barbados Yellow Pages Bashment Soca Competition Finals – “Yello-Bashment Soca” – was launched last week at the Mount Gay Visitor’s Centre. The entire show entitled “Yello-Phenomenal Friday” will be held July 7 at Kensington Oval .The event facilitated by 4D Entertainment and The National Cultural Foundation (NCF) is expected to be bigger and better according to officials of the event .

Stephen Lashley, Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth indicated at the event that his Ministry welcomed the involvement of the private sector. He also indicated that Bashment Soca has opened an avenue for young artistes and that this competition gives them the platform to show their creativity.

Lashley also expressed the importance of the Crop Over festival as being a critical component of our economy and he also reiterated that the creative sector creates new streams of economic activity, and that it is important to place more emphasis on the cultural industries sector to reposition the Barbados economy.

The Minister indicated, “Crop Over is no longer confined to the plantation; instead it has taken to the streets. It no longer denotes the “us and them”, as was so starkly showed on the plantation, instead it is the unifying force that binds Barbadians of all walks of life together in a revelry of cultural expression in which everyone finds their own niche.

Within this amazing festival is a niche for those looking for high energy and nowhere is this more clearly to be found than in the event, the 2017 Yello-Phenomenal Friday. This event, which is a collaboration between the National Cultural Foundation and 4D Entertainment Inc, has been described as a “massive Crop Over song competition party” which features the Barbados Yellow Pages - Bashment Soca Competition Finals and the 2017 Soca Royale and Party-Monarch Semi-finals. It promises to be an exciting soca dance party.

Soca a form of Calypso is the music that drives the festival in modern times. Some would say that it provides the ambience for the celebrations. Regardless, it is hard to imagine Crop Over without this genre of music and out of it has come yet another tier in the calypso genre, which has become known as Bashment Soca.”

“The Ministry through the National Cultural Foundation is committed to the growth and development of the Crop Over Festival. We realise that our success in this area is dependent on the involvement and good will of all our stakeholders. Hence when entities like 4D Entertainment Inc. Come on board, we know that our task is made so much easier. I invite all Barbadians to support crop Over 2017,” he stated.

Lashley added, “Crop Over commences the longest summer cultural experience in Barbados to date, as following on its heels will be CARIFESTA XIII, which will be held during the period august 17 – 27, 2017. One does not take away from the other, rather, the multiple staging is reflective of the cultural depth of our country and by extension our region as all are invited to celebrate both festivals with us.

As the festival fever heightens, let us get into soca drive and take off on our annual cultural pilgrimage. It promises to be great, catch the feeling!”

Collin Francis, CEO of Yellow Media Group in Barbados, reiterated that the Yello- Bashment Soca Competition remains a “winner takes all” competition and he reaffirmed, “we believe that the artiste should really want to be number one and there is no room for second and third place… in any business you strive for number one, we have increased the participant fee, but the underlying principle in this festival remains winner takes all…” (NB)

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