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Panorama Fiasco on a Global Stage Caught on my Blackberry

Panorama on the Net 2009

In the last few weeks, hundreds of thousands of pan historians, fans and players hooked into the When Steel Talks online network and site seeking to gain and/or share information on the panorama happenings, and become associates and friends with others of like minds. Our WST amalgamation of PanOnTheNet.com, bolstered by our presence on emerging technologies like Facebook, Ning and Twitter - to name a few - heated up our ‘lines’ into unprecedented numbers.

We at When Steel Talks are particularly pleased with the unprecedented lineup of prestigious educators, historians, management, arrangers and players who have become members of our recently-formed WST forum. You represent some of the greatest minds and talent in the global steelpan community. You hail from every corner of the planet. We are honored with your presence. Moreover, we look forward to your contributions in making this a community that will propel the steelpan music genre and art form to new levels. Your accessibility, exchanging of ideas, and interaction with the youth, are priceless.

The selfless interaction that we have seen between players and arrangers globally has been very encouraging. The ability for a budding pan player in Europe, Africa or Japan to exchange concepts and tips with a noted educator, arranger or player in the Caribbean or any place in the world, is awesome. The fact that you have availed yourselves to such an undertaking is impressive and we at When Steel Talks applaud your commitment and efforts.

Here, the steelpan music community has an opportunity to take the steelpan music experience and culture to a new plateau, globally speaking. The opportunity is there to bring fresh perspectives to new and existing challenges.


Panorama Fiasco on a Global Stage Caught on my Blackberry

The flip side of the attention to all the great pan availability on the internet and mobi devices, is that when something stinks, it is a global stinker and moreover, it is instantaneous. Is there anyone who has not heard or seen what went down at the finals of the large band panorama, in relation to the removal of able pan men, women and youth - from the Trinidad and Tobago flagship steel orchestras/organizations - at this competition??!! Even if we didn’t want to know, we at WST are getting an earful!!

To all the pan folks who were - just before they took the stage, and in one case, on stage - so unbelievably dismissed and robbed of performing in this year’s panorama, we feel you and share your agony, anger and aggravation. If all eight of these, the greatest steelbands on the planet gathered in final competition, had said “size is not an issue” among themselves (and is in fact rumored to have been the case) - pray tell: just who made it an issue - live and in vivid color on my Blackberry screen, and that of countless others - as well as for those listening in to the radio stations online? Clearly, no one thought of how this was playing out on the international stage...

Ah - Panorama is no longer a ‘local event’, it is now “unleashed” on the internet. Trinidad and Tobago are you listening? Mr. Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago are you listening?

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Total disqualification would have been better than what happened. Play but do not expect any points,not humiliation for young people , thirty players who have come yearly from London for the honour of the "Bid Yard" will no longer return, they have not migrated to the small and medium bands, they just not coming back to Trinidad.
Okay, so there were indeed some issues with bands exceeding the maximum number of pannist allowed at Panorama finals, etc. . . .The problem I believe is the on going dialog on WST---in front of the world---which exacerbates the issue. This is the real FIASCO! There’s a lot more to which we should be directing our attention as far as pan in T&T is concerned. The fixation on panorama---and believe me I love panorama---is part of the problem. Let’s start the dialogue on ways to generate sustained income for pannists, explore avenues to provide educational opportunities for young pannist to pursue university degrees in music, music education, management, marketing, etc. so we can build stronger steelband/business enterprises. Let’s talk about starting microenterprises in panyards. Let’s talk about putting pressure on local promoters to use steelbands at their events--year round-- believe it was Rudy Piggot who said “Ah steelband in every fete!” Let’s start talking about Pantrinbago owning a chrome factory, to combat Mustapha’s almost monopoly in the pan chroming business in T&T and decrease the cost of chroming pans. Lets diversify the pan dialog as WST does. NUFF RESPECT!!!
How did the Prime Minister get into this discussion? And, oh gorm, please don't think that I hold a brief for him.....in fact, quite the contrary. Now for years Pantrinbago has been a cluster****. However, if there's a rule that says large bands can perform with a max of 100 players, then if there was no agreement prior to the preliminary stages of the competition to change this rule, why in Heaven's name would you try to do so on Final night?!?!? I, for one, think that the listening audience would benefit tremendously with 100+ men, women & youngsters playing the national instrument at its flagship event. But as disorganized as Pantrinbago is, they have issued a rule and some bands - including the most disciplined band in the fraternity, Exodus - chose to break it. Pay the price.....simple! I'm surprised that WST has taken this position to encourage breaking the rules. Remember, this is a competition....not a concert.
Warren, you know better than that. WST never said anything about breaking rules. You are spreading false information. What they did indicate is that this never should have happened and that this is not good for pan. How does an event that is over 40 years old get so messed up? Panorama was always more than a competition. It use to be about people and communities. You are right about one thing, it nothing but a competition now. In the past one could have easily expected a band to be willing forfeit the competition than to have one member of their band suffer this embarrassment

Of course the Prime Minster is responsible this happen while the world was watching and to mostly our youth. As for Exodus the only thing they did wrong was remove any of its players. They should have kept the full band and allow themselves to be disqualified. The rule is ridiculous, buy moreover the harmony of their organization is more important than a panorama win. In fact every large band should have allowed themselves to be disqualified and make a statement.
But Pan Woman, WST did ask the question that if all 8 bands agreed to disregard the rule, "just who made it an issue?" What does that suggest? I do agree with you that the rule is ridiculous and it should indeed be scrapped, but that doesn't make breaking it the right thing to do. One rule that they need to implement is what I call "The Set-up Time Rule": You have x amount of minutes to set-up on stage and each 30 secs that you go over that time, you lose 1/2 point - and we all know how much that could mean in a Final. Can someone from the pan fraternity explain to me why the bands can't get into formation on the track and then roll on the stage in that formation? Am I missing something here? And Pan Woman, I would beat up on the current and last PM on any given day, but you can't tell me that the Panorama Final Night fiasco was the responsibility of the country's CEO. Let's not diminish the meaning of the OFFICE.

Trinidad is the land of Pan and Calypso is it not? Pan is the national instrument- right? Either it is or it isn't? Panorama is the National Steelband competition held in Trinidad and Tobago. Is this not the Superbowl of pan? If pan is a serious part of Trinidad and Tobago culture and is expected to attract global recognitions and respect, then the buck stops at the Prime Minister's office.

I mean no disrespect but it is that same attitude that pan is not something that the prime minister should be responsible for ultimately, that has created the nebula pan finds itself in. The President of the US gets involved in every aspect of US baseball - from strikes to steroids and most importantly - global image. Now there are video cellphone clips of all the nonsense that went on floating all over net. Just wait for the YouTube version. When will it become important? Does Obama have to call the Prime Minister of TnT and say I was watching my blackberry and saw the police escorting your youth crying off the stage at your national steelband competition.
These are the type of comments that encourage the likes of Pantrinbago and others to behave as they do . Are you for real. I do not see the Queen of England or Gordon Browwn interfering in the working of their London Philharmonic Orchestra unless like our Pm and President they go to listen. Good luck ot Mr Obama he loves sports but he surely do not interfere he has more important agendas , Like the man who built his house on the river bank then blamed the government when the river broke its bank you also feel the government is to be blamed for all our ills
Often the track and/or the ramp to the stage are not the same width, so it would take a lot of organization (and practice) to line up, narrow down, and arrange onstage. Most panyards have no room to do this. Also, there are huge crowds intermingled and inhibiting the movement of the racks...on the track especially. I've seen clashes of racks, racks gone into drains, all sorts happen. You also have "helpers" who don't know what they are doing, getting in the way of peopel who ARE trying to move the racks in order....and add to that the drunkenness of the onlookers....you can't even imagine it unless you've "run the gauntlet" towards the stage. However, it is exciting, to say the least, and adds to the experience of playing for Finals!!!
I do not agree that the Prime Minister is responsible that is silly. But I do agree that the larger bands should have all have made a statement in a proper way.
Sarah-Ann do you remember what was on of the first set of information that came out of the prime minister's office when they released the news of the G-Pan? They said it was going to reduce the number of players needed for panorama. Reducing the number of players participating in panorama seems to be a directive of minister's office. Maybe they simply want to reduce the number of people playing pan in Trinidad and Tobago.
to done the whole thing is for the panorama ,as is should be scrapped ,as it's only an ARRANGERAMMA ,,best thing is to have all bands small,large or whatever entertain the pepole who pay good money for a few minutes as they will have a time limit to do so, and LET D PEOPLE decide who entertained them, well all bands get an apperance fee and transportation and trophies as per votes casted
It is always easy to blame the government and the Prime Mimister in this country. We the public are the government but we have not realised it as yet.


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