- In the aftermath of a successful and historic
Panorama finals staged for the first time ever, outside of its traditional home
at the Queen's Park Savannah in Port-of-Spain, Withfield Weekes - Chairman, Pan
Trinbago, South/Central region looked back on the Saturday February 17 event
with a sense of accomplishment. Working in tandem with the office of San
Fernando Mayor Kenneth Ferguson, Alderman Junia Regrello, who is also the
captain of Skiffle Bunch Steel Orchestra, and the Pan Trinbago executive headed
by Patrick Arnold, who were all responsible for the 'infrastructural'
arrangements, Weekes and his crew took charge of the timely arrival of
participating bands and the efficient transition from band to band throughout the evening at Skinner Park
in San Fernando.
Weekes was definitive in giving credit
to the track stewards who ensured the smooth flow of steel orchestras on and off
stage. The South/Central chairman unhesitatingly identified their
diligence as a major component in the event's overall success. He remarked
on the three-hour time span from 5:15 - 8:15 PM in which the eight steel
orchestras in the medium bands completed their appearances - probably 'record
time' according to Weekes. Trinidad All
Stars, the final band in the large steel orchestra category, and the eventual winner of the championship title,
capped off their performance at midnight, heralding the end of the competition
phase in what was probably an unprecedented early finish. Winners of last
week's South Steelband Panorama Showcase - Fonclaire, took the stage and gave
the audience a performance that made their fellow southerners proud that the
band hailed from San Fernando. The panorama results were forthcoming
There appeared to be no insurmountable
issues that arose during the evening, according to Weekes. Factors such as
the necessary widening of the stage to accommodate the 120-player-strong
orchestras in the large category were addressed after the previous Sunday's
South Steelband Panorama Showcase which served as a dry run for the grand event.
In regards to the sound, Weekes said the sound engineer also had the opportunity
during that time, to get a sense of what would be essential for the 2007 Panorama
finals. As of Sunday February 18, the day immediately following the
panorama, there had been no negative feedback regarding the sound, which has
always been a major source of contention for both steel orchestras and pan
lovers alike at the Queen's Park Savannah. "I have not heard any negative
reports about the sound system, so that we believe we may have done something
right, there," said Weekes. Both the sound and lighting systems were
entrusted to contractors sourced by the NCC (National Carnival Commission); related
issues had additional input and feedback from such as Junior Regrello who,
Weekes explained, was experienced in similar type productions like the Calypso and
Carnival Monarchs shows.
with Withfield Weekes,
transportation of steel orchestras and their equipment out
of San Fernando, Weekes said that bands' equipment were well
on their way to Port-of-Spain and environs soon after they
completed their performances at Skinner Park.
Withfield Weekes told
When Steel Talks
that 'unfortunately he was not good in terms of
assessing crowds,' though he asserted that 'it was a large crowd at the park.'
"I must say that it reminded of when we had Panorama here in the seventies, it
was that type of crowd." For the record, a report carried in one
Trinidad media outlet put forward an estimate of twenty thousand at Skinner Park.
Reflecting on the pace of construction [of the new venue at
the Queen's Park Savannah] in Trinidad, the Pan Trinbago South/Central chairman said that
maybe the 2008 Panorama finals might again be held in Skinner Park in San
Fernando. The upcoming event post-analysis would contain lessons
learned to be taken into consideration, and with a longer period at their
disposal, "we will probably be in a better position, to produce
a better show next year, because we would have more time to plan for the event,
and with that planning, it should put us where we can really have a great show"