Trinidad and Tobago: The staging of the International Soca Monarch competition has been again in the discussion for the 2024 Carnival. Due to the lack of funding, it is expected that the Carnival event will be cancelled for this season as well.
National Carnival Commission chairman Winston “Gypsy” Peters said that they are looking for ways to secure the necessary funds and make it happen, but the chances are giving good signals. He said that the funding is not available right this minute, but the efforts are being made by the authorities to come up with a solution.
He also admitted that he still has nothing to say about the possibility of staging the Soca Monarch for Carnival 2024. Notably, the competition was cancelled for last year’s carnival due to a lack of funding. Back then, the event was owned by the Caribbean Prestige Foundation for the Performing Arts, which was unable to make it happen.
This year, the speculation about the hosting of the event is still under the looming situation as the clarity has not been made by the authorities.
However, one of the stakeholders of the festival stated that the chances of the staging of the International Soca Monarch are nearly impossible due to the lack of funding and limited time. The Carnival of Trinidad and Tobago is all set to kick off on February 12, 2024.
The stakeholders added that they are disappointed, as several artists who are seeking to make their names in the business through this platform will not be able to showcase their skills. These artistes have also approached the authorities and requested to make it happen.
The stakeholder added that competitions like Soca Monarch are significant for Carnival festivities, and the investment issue should be taken seriously on the part of the administration.
Minister of Tourism, Culture and Arts of Trinidad and Tobago- Randall Mitchell added that the Soca Monarch is a private event which is supported by NCC. The Minister added that the NCC is looking for ways for this year’s festival.
Notably, the International Soca Monarch was last held in 2021, however it was virtual staging due to the COVID- 19 period. During the time, the title was secured by Farmer Nappy with his Backyard Jam. The last public staging of the event was held in 2020 during the Carnival season in Trinidad and Tobago.
The title back then was secured by Iwer George and Kees Dieffenthaller with Stage Gone Bad. They were crowned as Power Soca, while the Groovy Soca Monarch was secured by College Boy Jesse with the Happy Song.