Pan lovers were at the mercy of scalpers at the Queen's Park Savannah yesterday after there was a temporary shortage of tickets at the venue.
In addition to tickets not being available, the semi-final judging of the Panorama steel band competitions which was scheduled to start at 9 am, kicked off 35 minutes late, because a police officer refused to allow the judges to enter the event.
Chairman of the National Carnival Commission Kenny De Silva said yesterday that there were no tickets available at the savannah's booths before the show started due to "a bit of misunderstanding among all parties."
This led to a group of scalpers selling tickets at black market prices.
Grand Stand tickets which the NCC sold for $200 were sold by scalpers for $300, while North Stand which was priced at $350 went for $400.
Last week, Pan Trinbago took the NCC to court over its decision to collect gate receipts for the competition.
On Thursday, Pan Trinbago and the NCC agreed to a compromise for collection of revenue from ticket sales in this year's Panorama competition.
This decision was during a hearing of Pan Trinbago's judicial review lawsuit challenging Community Development, Culture and the Arts Minister Nyan Gadsby-Dolly's to allow NCC to collect the gate receipts from the competition.
In turn, NCC agreed to continue to collect revenues through its ticketing agent and to place all proceeds in escrow until the substantive lawsuit is determined.
Yesterday, De Silva admitted NCC was faced with a temporary ticket problem while he condemned the scalpers' illegal operations.
"We will leave the protective services to deal with those scalpers. We can't legislate the law. It has to be the relevant agencies," De Silva said.
Although the scalpers have been making a killing on jacked up ticket prices for years, De Silva said they can't seem to get rid of them.
"They are becoming more and more difficult," De Silva said.
By 5 pm, De Silva said North Stand was 90 per cent filled, which translated to 7,000 patrons.
The Grand Stand, he said, was "sparse" which was not unusual.
De Silva said NCC was expected to collect "a couple millions dollars" from the event.
"This is one of the biggest crowds I have been seen in years. As the night progresses it would get bigger as people are waiting for the large band category. We have done very well. It is a good Panorama semi-finals," De Silva said.
Yesterday, acting president of Pan Trinbago Richard Forteau refused to comment on the unavailability of tickets, saying that their organisation had neither printed nor controlled the sale of tickets.
"That is NCC's role. I don't know what went wrong. That is a question you should ask the NCC. That is out of our hands,"
So where did the scalpers get all those tickets to sell ? This has been happening for years when Pan Trinbago were in charge of the gates receipts and it is no secret.Now that the NCC took over this season gates revenue for all Panorama events you are telling us that not much has changed. You don't have to be smart to smell a fish here and the problem is that there were sufficient tickets but somehow scalpers got a significant amount to sell on the blackmarket level and that answers the question as to why the North stands was overcrowded.They say that at carnival time that there are extra security and the police and Defense force are doubled to protect the foreign invasion and the large crowds. So where were the plain clothes and undercover police officers to stop all these scalpers(most likely drinking a rum with friends and family).The situation got so bad with the overcrowding of the North Stands that the event was put on hold so the Fire Dept could make a count and move some patrons to the Grand Stands. We Trinbagonians like to party/fete and have a good time but lets face it plain and simple we are just not good at managing any kind of event period. We are our worst enemies. Also you telling us with all the advance technology that a new system of getting tickets for high profile events like panorama is not in place and people have to go into some areas where there is high crime to by tickets.The scalpers take advantage of the foreigners because they don't have the slightest clue of where to purchase events tickets. Very poor management T&T and not impressive to boost tourism. It will be interesting to see how much revenue was made at the gates bearing in mind that an agreement was made for this money to go in an escrow by both the NCC and Pan Trinbago. To all event planners please put down the rum bottle and get serious because the younger generation need positive direction badly. Nuff said !
These two groups are pointing the finger at each other as scalpers make a killing. True Trini brand.
are we surprised
carnival = bakkanal
the best is yet to come
This is a NEWSDAY article from last year that was posted on WST. You all would be surprised to read what some of the responses to it focused on. I still don't know why people pretend (especially EXPATS) NOT TO UNDERSTAND the CULTURE.
Blatant corruption, let see how Pan Trinbago and NCC will spin this. having these two groups involve has only created a platform for baccanal then finger pointing. The court help to setup this situation.
Cecil: If you are surprised -- then yuh surprise me!!! And, by the way, since yuh mention court -- I don't know if you notice! But do you know who represented the NEW VISIONAIRES in court against PAN TRINBAGO? RAMESH!!!
And do you know who is representing PAN TRINBAGO now against the NCC and the MINISTER OF CULTURE? RAMESH!!!
Mi Amigo; don't u know that businessmen and attorneys and politricksters / politicians R in bed together ???
Politicking at it's finest...
odw; who do u think ??? PT of course, and remember that DIAZ isn't in this by himself, u r forgetting FORTEAU and the treasurer...