Some of the Calypsonians slated to compete on July 28.
Photo Credit: Gordon French/BVI Platinum News
The dust has settled following a final meeting with calypsonians yesterday, July 16 and the show will be held on July 28 featuring 18 calypsonians, including reigning two-time monarch Luther B, competing for the 2012 monarch, the top prize of a car and $3,000 cash.
Calypso sub-committee chairperson, Marvin Williams confirmed that the issues which were raised by the calypsonians, who had threatened to withdraw from the show, have been resolved and compromises have been reached. The agreement paves the way for the show to be held at the Claudette 'Boopie' Smith Festival Village in Road Town.
Williams told BVI Platinum News that the calypsonians slated to challenge Luther B are Mighty Rockey, Running 4 King Mushroom, Shereen, 4 King Man, King Paido, Mighty Ley Ley, D. Rankin Ijah, Collosso, Sistah Joyce, Mighty Reddo, Mighty Macko, Mighty KP, Mighty Cloud, King Henry, Oginga, Ranking Joey and Mr. Spice.
According to Williams, at the meeting it was agreed that there will be no elimination show as was the case in previous years and the calypsonians this year will perform one song on July 28.
During a press conference today, July 17, chairman of the Virgin Islands Festivals and Fairs Committee, Marvin Blyden said that the calypsonians who do not place at the show will receive $500, which is not a consolation prize, but is intended to help the singers with preparations for the show.
First runner-up will receive a prize of $4,000, second runner-up $3,000 and third runner-up $2,000.
As previously reported by BVI Platinum News, a number of calypsonians withdrew a plan to boycott this year's calypso show following a meeting on Thursday, July 12 with Education and Culture Minister, Hon. Myron Walwyn to resolve a number of pressing issues.
Luther Butler, whose stage moniker is 'Luther B', told BVI Platinum News that "the issues have been resolved in the spirit of compromise".
Twelve calypsonians had signed a petition and submitted it to the committee, hoping to have the issues resolved. Among those signing the petition were Luther B, King Henry, Reddo, Sistah Joyce, Queen Makisha, Ojinga, Mighty Cloud, Mighty Rockey, Rankin Joey, Nazarene, Shamazz and Mighty KP.
Among the issues prior to the meeting with the Minister was the requirement for all calpsonians to enter the competition with two new songs. In previous years, some calypsonians have performed at least one song from the Virgin Gorda show at the Road Town competition. The committee held its ground and the calypsonians to the requirement for new material.
As it relates to the issue of providing payment for the monarch to perform at Festivals and Fairs events, Butler said that issue has also been resolved. It was explained to BVI Platinum News that the Festivals and Fairs Committee wanted the monarch to perform free at all their events. Butler said that the monarch will now be paid a negotiable fee if the show features international performers and there is a gate fee being charged for the show.
Blyden explained at the press conference that it was agreed that the monarch will perform at the Miss BVI pageant for free.
Meanwhile, Acting Director of Culture, Brenda Lettsome-Tye announced that a decision has been taken to shift the opening ceremony from July 26 to the night of the calypso show. The opening ceremony is set to start at 8:00 pm, while the calypso show will commence at 9:00 pm.