SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – The St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) has been informed of the decision by the organisers of the annual Soca Rumble of their intention not to host the event for Carnival 2020. The SCDF announced on Monday however, that if the funds are available, it fully intends to host the event next year. In this regard the SCDF said it has received several inquiries from potential sponsors and individuals to assist in doing so.
The SCDF pointed out that it has faced situations such as this before when organisers/promoters decide they cannot continue with an event for whatever reasons. “This is not the first time SCDF will have to decide if it wants to rescue an event or simply let it go,” President of the SCDF Alston Lourens said in a release. “Soca Rumble is important for the music culture not just of Carnival but local music in general.
“It’s not just the artists and their music. It’s the musicians, dances, make-up artists, costume makers ect. St. Maarten talent in all forms is literally on full display. So when you have an event of such impact for people directly or indirectly involved with Carnival and St. Maarten’s musical culture, then the SCDF will always take a look at what can be done,” Lourens said,” adding that it will do its due diligence and together with its corporate partners determine if it’s financially feasible to save the show. The foundation said it will also seek the involvement of the Culture Department for this cultural event.
The foundation thanked the Soca Rumble team for their work and dedication over the years on an event that also had SCDF support from the day it was given the green light by the SCDF. The foundation has supported Soca Rumble by significantly reducing or waiving all promoter fees entirely and always ensured that the event was given the smallest fee possible, so SCDF can cover basic Carnival Village expenses. Additionally, SCDF members have also personally contributed to the success of the event in various ways.
Lourens said the Rumble is not like a regular international show which can be replaced from one Carnival to the next if promoters don’t register/sign agreements by stipulated times. “It is scheduled automatically because we view it as a very important outlet for local music. It has never been treated as a regular international show,” Lourens said.
“We also host shows and understand the risks as a promoter. But often times we don’t have the luxury to walk away. We either have to work with other promoters to pull off an event or do it ourselves. SCDF has tried to involve as many stakeholders as possible in the organizing of Calypso, Pageants, and International Shows. When those stakeholders choose to move on, SCDF has to carry on. So like many times in the past, one door closes, others open, and Carnival carries on,” Lourens said.