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Pan Elders Struggles - Unsponsored 5-time medium band champs in crunch

Trinidad Newsday

FIVE-time medium band champion Pan Elders’ quest to successfully defend its title for 2019 is in jeopardy.

Bandleader Hollister Smith told Sunday Newsday that as of yesterday he did not even have 40 players in his band, “because everybody want money.” Preliminary judging for the band from Carib Street, San Fernando is February 10.

Pan Trinbago’s decision to withhold players’ stipend for the next two years as well as the drying up of assistance from the successor companies of former state-owned oil company Petrotrin, once a major sponsor, has adversely affected Pan Elders' ability to attract players. A medium band can have up to 75 players for the preliminaries and semi-finals and a maximum of 90 players in the finals.

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Before I read this article I heard the news on the radio that Pan Elders are in trouble for Panorama 2019 and I said they have been victorious for so long and should be ashamed to even be making such a statement publicly. Having read the story it does not change my view because the band should have been operating more businesslike and not exhaust all of its earnings with the hope that next time around financial assistance is guaranteed. Living beyond ones means is not a smart way to be functioning and this is true across the board, not just for steelbands. If I am operating a shop and is unable to pay for the goods that I am ordering then I need to get out of that business or seek some financial advice.

I can vividly recall the elders long ago telling us that we ought to save something for the rainy days and maybe this needs to be repeated in some of these cultural entities who wish to survive for a long time.

Ah going to open a company and hire persons whose salaries would far exceed or be equal to my income!!!!! How long could this be sustained and what purpose am I serving?

I have been saying for quite some time that we have too many steelbands in this country and it seems to be getting worse everyday because every Tom, Dick and Mary wants to be in charge and thinks the easiest is to start their own band.

Honest and objective voices are hard to find on THIS FORUM!!!

Ah think the count (according to Richard Forteau) is TWO HUNDRED AND TEN STEELBANDS (210).

Band leaders must be creative during the year to make money especially when they're the winning band and they've been winning for about 4yrs now where all that money gone 

who is to blame for not having members for your band for panorama 2019, we always believe that Petrotrin will be there all the time, after winning five years in a row where all the money gone, lesson learn.

"The inevitable fall-out on culture and Carnival was predicted but bands seem to have been caught napping, as they were still holding out hope especially as government has slashed its annual subvention by some $10 million."


Great commentary. That is precisely what we have been doing for years and it won't stop. With Pan Elders track record for the past years, I made a suggestion recently that they should at least cut a CD with Roti and Talkarie, or one of their winners, or all, on one CD. These are avenues administration should be opening their blinded eyes to and take opportunity to capitalized on to advance the band's reputable and financial status. No sponsorship? I wonder why! As you so succinctly put it, it's the old adage, too many cooks......It's so sad!...... Would we ever learn?

All of their WINNERS and you add a couple popular songs played in CALYPSO TEMPO to complete the CD!!!

dont give 

 you may end up with the new  heritage  oil company

 in due course they will start spending $$ to look good in the public view

 the culture after a while is to get comfy


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