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Champs of Steel Plus concert

By Innis Francis South Bureau

Eager to lap up the best of the Carnival 2011, tourists and locals flocked to the Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain, on Saturday night for the much-anticipated Champs of Steel Plus concert.

However, the patrons were left extremely disappointed after many of the top names failed to show to showcase their winning pieces.

Chutney Soca Monarch Rikki Jai, Young King Rodney "Benjai" Le Blanc, Groovy Soca Monarch Kees Dieffenthaller, South Monarch Brian London, Soca Monarch and Road March champ Machel Montano and Brian MacFarlane's band of the year Humanity—Circle of Life were absent.

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Before we get all worked up over this, please remember that these entertainers are business people. They don't sit around resting on their laurels after Carnival.

They leave Trinidad immediately to take advantage of the momentum achieved by their Carnival success.

They want to "strike while the iron is hot", to use an old saying.

Besides, after Carnival is the Lent, and traditionally its still pretty quiet in Trinidad for entertainers.


I see that pan Trinbago didn't want everybody....only 'specially selected' artistes. So, they went ahead and chose just like the Kaiso Judges did. They left out Heather with one really great kaiso......and she is the reigning Queen!

 It is almost as if somebody didn't want that kaiso to be heard. Dey 'fraid to offend the US!!!

So then, Pan Trinbago shouldn't complain now...they must live with their bad choices. They could have done better.

First things first.........I was at the Savannah....and there were no "thousands" in the Grand Stand........maybe 200 if so much....and I could count the people in the North Stand on the fingers of one hand (and I'm almost sure they weren't paying patrons).........


Additionally, this show was poorly marketed......seems as thiugh it was planned in hindsight......normally you hear announcements at every Carnival event held at the Savannah informing people of the show....none of that this year.....hence the poor patronage......


So...maybe...again...the lack of planning or proper implementation by Pan Trinbago may have led to the failure to draw crouds to this event???


I'm just saying................................

The name of the show was changed for the very reason you mentioned not being able to attract the winners the Organisation wanted and the fact that every winner of anything felt that they had a right to be on the show.Champs of Steel Plus means just that all the steelband champions plus the best that the Organisation could contract.




oh come on now - it's only three days after carnival - it's not like they are losing out on some big amounta time to 'hustle' for their next gigs........ that timeframe is still basically within the carnival season - and as mentioned, the champs show has been going on for years.  so NOBODY can tell me seh they don't know it's part of the TnT carnival season, and that it's ALWAYS on the Sat after Ash Wednesday.


 I agree the Champs show should be part of the contractual obligation for the big winners; so if yuh win your genre, it's part of the package to perform at Champs.  And besides, some of them JUST WON TWO MILLION dollars - how much more they need for performance fee? 


I was there last year and wondered at that time too, why the mas Band of The Year was not at Champs ...  at the time I thought it was cause of the controversy with MacFarlane last year,  but i really thought he'd be there this year, since he DID come out again (although didn't he say last year he was done, and "never again" -??) , and did win. 


this year again I was surprised and disappointed at the absence of the winning mas band, and all the others too. Since I didn't get to see all the different competitions i was real looking forward to those performances...




I don't blame them, if they are allowed to get away with it. Inspite of how great  is the lucrative attraction beyond our shores, a committment is a committment and a contract is a contract. Was there a contract in place with enough penalty attached in the event of it being broken? Is the payment received for this appearance attractive enough to guarantee their desire to perform, as tired as they might be? What a gross direspect to our tourists and local patrons. Would this event be on the cards for next year? Who will attend? I know who won't be there.


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