WACK 90.1 fm ‘Culture Krazy’ station forced off the Internet for Steelband Panorama and 2010 Carnival Events

WACK FM CEO Kenny Phillips

Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. - With the Trinidad and Tobago 2010 carnival season almost upon us - one of the country’s leading champions of their performing arts and culture, radio station WACK 90.1fm, finds itself the victim of an ironic twist of fate. The upstart station will not be allowed to broadcast over the internet, this season’s major carnival events to the very audience that it has almost single-handedly served, cultivated and captivated with a continuous stream of local music genres like calypso and steelpan music.

There will be effectively an ‘internet blackout’ for WACK 90.1fm and other local media houses for all broadcasts of the major carnival events, which includes the Trinidad and Tobago national Panorama finals set for Saturday February 13. Only one media organization will be providing a Pay-Per-View stream over the internet.

There are few organizations that can boast a continuous, relentless and unblemished record for support of cultural activities, events and ideas in Trinidad and Tobago as that of radio station 90.1 WACK fm.

Indeed, from its very inception WACK has been committed to culture as it has made it their mandate and purpose. While the support of Trinidad and Tobago’s cultural endeavors is, at best, a part-time occurrence for many of the media houses in Trinidad and Tobago, it is a full-time occupation for the people of WACK - who take their lead from owner Kenny Phillips.

Mr. Phillips, in addition to bringing his professional recordings, broadcasting  experience and technological skills to the table, also exhibits an unbridled passion and commitment to the concept that performing arts, indigenous  musical culture and art forms are to be treasured and promoted 24-7, 365 days a year.  Indeed, as many in the steelpan music world can attest to, WACK has been - at many times - the lone organization covering most, and broadcasting many of the ‘less high profile’ steelpan music events in the twin-island nation

The recently-concluded 2010 steelband panorama preliminary ‘pan yard’ exercise around the country, is a clear indication of  WACK’s unyielding commitment to the steelpan art form, as they were the only media house present, capturing and/or broadcasting live - most of the time not only to local listeners but to the global steelpan music community.

In an interview on WACK 90.1fm Tuesday, Mr. Phillips expressed his deep disappointment that decisions and policies were put in place without anyone considering the ramifications they have on WACK fm. The NCC (National Carnival Commission) granted exclusive rights to one media house - this move leaving WACK ‘out in the cold’ as it relates to their internet stream.

For Carnival 2010, state-owned Caribbean New Media Group (CNMG) acquired the Broadcast Rights for the premiere events of the carnival season covering radio and television, for Carnival events.  In this regard CNMG has exclusive Rights to broadcast these events live from various venues.  Panorama is one of these events.  CNMG has also acquired Web Streaming Rights and this year for the first time, will pursue packaging select events for international Pay Per View.

What is clear is that after the allure and excitement of Carnival and Panorama are over there will again be only WACK fm to carry and promote the cultural mantle of Trinidad and Tobago full time... As one of the WACK fm announcers so aptly put it : "when it comes to culture - we are not part-time lovers."

What is WACK? WACK, or We Are Culture Krazy - is a station committed to the promotion of local music, news and the culture of Trinidad and Tobago.

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