Gross Disrespect to Steelband Musicians - Bands Boycott Grenada Panorama 2017 - Performance Stage Not Built

No 2017 National Panorama in Grenada

St. George’s, Grenada, W.I. - Incredibly, what was expected to be the annual Grenada National Panorama competition, a musical showcase with hundreds of musicians at their best - never was. As a result of the lack of a proper stage, facilities, and overall venue preparation - the eight participating Grenada steel orchestras have just voted to boycott the 2017 Panorama at an emergency meeting.

This - as the Panorama itself was scheduled and advertised to get underway earlier this evening at 7:00 p.m. EST, Saturday August 12th - two and a half hours ago. So, at showtime, the bands REFUSED to mount, and perform on, a stage that was incomplete and not ready for the steel orchestras.

“Stage” at Panorama competition time (Grenada National Stadium); image by R. Cadet
“Stage” at Panorama competition time (Grenada National Stadium); image by R. Cadet

In the “Chat room” associated with the Pay-Per-View for the event, viewers were incensed at this totally unexpected turn of events. Reportedly - though not confirmed officially - refunds are supposed to be processed.

The mounted platform for the Panorama judges was also incomplete at competition time (Grenada National Stadium); image by R. Cadet

Tonight’s occurrence of an inadequate stage for performing, follows the pattern of disrespect meted out to the Grenadian pan musicians. Reports further state that there were NO LIGHTS or SOUND SYSTEM in place, and the Judges’ seating area was also incomplete.

Empty field, and unmanned refreshment area (at right) with no Panorama.  Pan lovers with tickets were reportedly given back their money at the gates; image by R. Cadet

Last year, 2016, the winners were physically shoved off the stage when they tried to come on and celebrate which is the tradition.

Commancheros Steel Orchestra at the 2016 Grenada National Panorama
Commancheros Steel Orchestra on stage at the 2016 Grenada National Panorama

Additionally, there had been no presentation of any awards, including the 2016 Panorama trophy to that year’s champions Commancheros Steel Orchestra, or any acknowledgement following the so-called announcement of results. Instead, the preparation by Event organizers, were underway for the apparently more-favored music event that was to follow the Panorama, and equipment already set up on the stage.

WST had written after last year’s incident, “Let’s see what transpires for 2017.”  It is 2017, and it has been unimaginably worse. Last year, in the view of Brian Sylvester, the manager of Angel Harps Steel Orchestra, "Since the new chairman [Kirk Seetahal] of the SMC [Spicemas Corporation (responsible for the staging of the National Panorama and related Carnival events] has taken over, he [Seetahal] has blatantly disrespected Pan and other art forms....).  Seetahal became chairman on October 1, 2015.

There has also been no official word from the Grenada Pan Association on this matter.

One could just imagine how palpable the disappointment—putting it mildly—of the pan players is.  The many, many nights spent practicing with the exhilaration and expectancy from all the musicians, but especially the pre-teens and teenagers - all for naught.  Unless you are someone who has practiced and geared up for Panorama, you cannot begin to imagine how this fiasco resulting in no Panorama, has affected them, especially. 

So - the disrespect for the steelband art form continues...

   Live stream from Angel Harps Steel Orchestra manager Brian Sylvester explains the situation surrounding the National Panorama fiasco in Grenada

Following is the Order of Appearance, should the Panorama have taken place.  Defending champions Commancheros were supposed to have performed in position eight, playing Never Idle.

Order of Appearance - 2017 Grenada National Panorama

Play position Band Selection/
Arranger /
#1 Florida All Stars Steel Orchestra Open Up The Door
Joel Joseph
#2 Pan Ossia Steel Orchestra Music Man
Robert K. Cadet, Sr., arranger for Grenada's Pan Ossia Steel Orchestra
Robert K. Cadet

#3 Grand Roy Pan Angels Sweetness
#4 Angel Harps Steel Orchestra No Company
James Clark, arranger for Grenada's Angel Harps Steel Orchestra
James Clarkson

#5 Pan Lovers Steel Orchestra Wadada
#6 New Dimension Steel Orchestra Hurricane
David “Peck” Edwards, arranger for New Dimension Steel Orchestra of Grenada
David “Peck” Edwards

Bertram “Birch” Kelman
Bertram “Birch” Kelman
#7 Rainbow City All Stars Steel Orchestra Ajamu On The Road Again
Oscar Alexander
#8 Commancheros Steel Orchestra Never Idle
(Marcus“ Lavaman” James)
Andre Greenidge

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