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Cohobblopot Analysis

August 12, 2008

I found an interesting article on tonight. What do you think?

Lil Jon, Pitbull, TOK in Tow
FOX FOTOS: Machel Montano with surprise guests Lil Jon and Pitbull
headline Cohobblopot in Bridgetown, Barbados on August 3, 2008.

“NEW YORK, NY (RHONA FOX, INC.)- Soca superstar Machel Montano brought the excitement and thus the masses to the annual Crop Over celebrations in Barbados, last week. First with the bMobile EnVy concert on July 26, followed by the Brian Lara All-Inclusive Fete on August 2, then performing to a sold-out crowd at Cohobblopot on August 3, and finally hitting the street parade for Grand Kadooment on August 4, Montano was the face of Crop Over this year.”

As entertainers and Barbadians, we should note with concern the above international media report.I have been hearing local cultural administrators patting them selves on the back on a successful Cohobblopot and I have been seeing your comments as to how “ram” the show was. Let’s examine its success more closely shall we?
The National Cultural Foundation has a mandate to develop the Barbadian entertainment industry, I believe that’s what “National” means. To re enforce concepts that are suppose to help us define our bajan identity and highlight things that are Bajan. Cohobblopot 2008 failed miserably in that regard. As evidenced by the above excerpt NCF produced a show where bajan acts were relegated to second bananas “begging for a blight”, while Machel was paid the biggest fee and given the most performance time (2 hours) and the highest production budget. Our own Lil Rick had his stage time reduced to “five stinking minutes” as he described it. Other bajan acts had their time reduced which would have diminished their impact. Rupee’s set was interrupted several times to facilitate drawing the car.
There was not enough room in the budget for Bajan Alison Hinds or Mr Dale but enough for an American rapper.
Cohobblopot 2008 deviated so far from highlighting Barbadiana it was not funny, Bajans were on it but merely as supporting acts. While NCF achieved the objective of cohobblopot being a financial success, it was a cultural failure. In the opening review of the event they are not saying that Krosfyah, Lil Rick Asiba or RPB dominated the show, they say it was conquered by the Trinis’s and Americans. Instead of 100% bajan music being featured on radio stations as with previous Crop Overs, our national festival airplay time was now diluted with Trini music.

It is not unknown that a Cohobblopot featuring 100% local acts would work, in the 1990’s the event was given to a private promoter and with only local entertainment being featured attendence went to over 25,000 patrons.
Any commercial promoter could have put on a show featuring every foreign Tom Dick Machel and Jon and generated money, the National Cultural Foundation had a further cultural responsibility which they needed to adhere to.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Karen permalink
    August 12, 2008 3:41 pm

    CropOver was fantastic to say the least! It is disappointing to hear all the negative feedback regarding cohobblopot. The problem with show was not that Machel Montano was the headliner but the failure of the NCF to have a balance between the local acts and the HD presentation. In the last few years the show has suffered form poor attendance, however in an attempt to draw an audience to much focus was placed on Machel. Yes he is a crowd pleaser but the crowd also when wild for Krosfyah. Remember Bajan artist travel throughout the caribbean to may carnivals and participate without any issues. Balance is needed and until the promoters and the NCF can create a balance of local and international artists Cohobblopot will continue to suffer.

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