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,"
NCC agreed to continue to collect revenues through its ticketing agent and to place all proceeds in escrow until the substantive lawsuit is determined.
They didn't say if this money is going to be held in an $$$ interest bearing account... but they did say until the substantive lawsuit is determined. One can only guess how long it will take to make a determination. De Silva said NCC was expected to collect "a couple millions dollars" from the event.
With the ticketing system, I say computerize the whole process, you have the serial numbers of legitimate tickets printed and you scan the ticket holders at each point of entry against the serial numbers in your database.
Bandits everywhere....check out the operation.
odw; they're gonna do the very something PT did, won't be no surprise too me...
The organization cannot be accused of corruption if two misguided workers are found selling complimentary tickets at panorama, or letting people pass through a back gate for a fee. Those are matters that would always be dealt with in our domestic settings. - See more at:
the grand stand might be to expensixe