Is Carnival a bacchanal?


In Part One of the Carnival 2018 review on Talk ‘Bout Us, Franka and Ardene are joined by radio broadcaster Sterling Henderson for what turns out to be a pretty feisty discussion. Henderson has been covering pan, calypso and mas on Trinidad radio station i95.5FM for more than ten years and has some strong views on the direction of the festival.

They touch on a range of issues including the near-closure of the Kalypso Revue Tent, the Dimanche Gras show, BP Renegades’ blistering tenth National Panorama win and the vagaries of mas in the Socadrome.


Produced by Franka Philip and Ardene Sirjoo

Theme music by Lyndon Livingstone (Razorshop Productions)

Additional music by Helon Francis, BP Renegades and Razorshop Productions.

Header photo of Tribe masqueraders portraying Once upon a Dream at the Socadrome by Mark Lyndersay.

Let us know what you think. Email us or send us a tweet at @talkboutuspod.

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One comment on “Is Carnival a bacchanal?

  1. Great show. Just to chook fire between the hosts, Sterling correct about the impression of divisiveness of some of the “party bands.” Maybe part of the society has evolved to think that that does not matter anymore. Maybe some part of the society are content with not being confronted with a “lower class visual reality” just for those two days of Carnival. Maybe that means evolution in their minds. They reach.
    With regard to the pan and calypso shows, concerts and live events are experiences where expectations MUST be exceed to register as great shows. Sometimes it’s the quality of the stars, sometimes is the total experience, sometimes it the quality of the performance of the stars, good or bad that makes or breaks expectations. Carnival shows from Dimanche Gras, to Soca Monarch to even Panorama Semis with the 18 hours show have devolved because producers have not kept in step with audience expectations and as such fail to deliver on those. The “private sector Carnival” — the Socadrome mas’, the exclusive must-get-into all-inclusive fetes, the burgeoning phenomenon of the corporate night in the major sponsored steelbands have cornered the market on an audience that moves the statistical needle on what works, and these events have also worked with their markets and the analytics to evolve even those events. All else have not gotten the message that we are in the 21st century.