No Vincy Mas this year! – PM Gonsalves
Vincy Mas 2020 has been cancelled.
The decision was taken this week by Cabinet, following a recommendation from the Carnival Development Corporation (CDC).
The annual festival, which generates revenue for local mas men, artistes and other areas of Vincentian culture and businesses is just one of many areas being impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking on WE FM on Thursday morning, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said the various components of Vincy Mas (pan, mas and calypso) wrote to the CDC recommending that they cancel the festival which would have this year run from Friday June 26 to Tuesday July 7, 2020.
The CDC then wrote to Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture and their recommendation was brought to the Cabinet, which took the decision to put off the festival.
The letter from the CDC gave several reasons for cancelling the festival, among them, the economic fallout which will affect the spending power of potential revellers and sponsors, the difficulty sourcing materials in a timely manner, and the appearance of insensitivity to the plight of others affected by COVID-19 had we proceeded to play mas and party.
The Prime Minister however noted that the door has been left open, depending on the evolving circumstances, for a summer festival.
“People might call it carnival still but clearly not how it has been conceived. The festival might be over a five-day period way down in August and not 10 [days] as it usually is if the circumstances permit for that sort of thing,” the Gonsalves commented.
He opined that when the COVID-19 pandemic passes, there is going to be a lot of pent up frustrations and persons would look for whatever releases appeal to them.
“Already thoughtful persons are talking about the psychological damage done during this time and the release that people would want.
“Some will find the cleansing in a spiritual revival and awakening, others will find it in both, a festival style.”
The Prime Minister said a financial package is being considered for persons involved in the entertainment industry such as hotel entertainers, mas men and cultural artistes, who over the carnival period would have made money.
He noted that other persons and businesses will be affected by the cancellation including disc jockeys and promoters.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the CDC Ashford Wood and Chairman Ricardo Adams could not be reached for comments when contacted on Thursday.