Crop Over 2003
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BARBADOS - National Cultural Foundation
Wednesday 06, August-2003
by Ricky Jordan
The National Cultural Foundation (NCF) is patting itself on the back for having pulled in some of the largest Crop-Over crowds ever.
According to its marketing officer Carol Roberts, Monday saw the largest number of Barbadians and visitors flocking to the Spring Garden Highway.
“And for the first time ever, there were over 30 000 paying patrons at the East Coast Party Monarch, and Cohobblopot had probably the biggest crowd ever. So we’re wondering what will we do from here,” she said yesterday.
While the NCF said official figures wouldn’t be ready until next week, DAILY NATION calculations estimated that the 30 000 East Coast patrons at $25 per head meant the foundation raked in $750 000 from that event alone, while Kadooment Day followers would have pumped over $1 million into costumed bands since the 18 bands with over 10 000 revellers paid a basic average of $100 per costume.
Roberts also noted the large turnouts to other paying events like the Pic-O-De-Crop Finals at the National Stadium where tickets ranged from $30 to $45, the Opening Gala at Queen's Park where patrons packed that venue at $15 each, and Cohobblopot where tickets cost $25 to $70 each. The NCF’s budget for Crop-Over marketing was down by about 50 per cent, she also said.
“The chief executive officer [Ian Estwick] challenged us to be more creative and to spend less, which we did. We spent the marketing dollars making people more aware, with the assistance of the media; for the first time the entire airport was decorated, and Cave Shepherd had a window dedicated to Crop-Over,” she said.
Last year had been unprecedented in terms of major funding, she also said.
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Ian Estwick (seen here at the opening Gala) said while all the figures were not yet fully compiled, the NCF was preparing a package which would give the public a full picture of Crop-Over spending and financial gains.
“What we can say at this time is we don’t count our success in terms of financial gains,” he said, adding that targets which the NCF had set were met and in some cases surpassed.
As members of the festival committee, both Estwick and Roberts expressed satisfaction with Crop-Over 2003, especially since the committee comprised a mere eight people, the core of whom produced three festivals a year (Congaline, Crop-Over and the National Independence Festival Of Creative Arts).
“It’s impossible but we get it done,” said Roberts.
Estwick thanked Barbadians for their high level of behaviour at all the events which, he said, allowed the NCF to produce a good festival.
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