SCDF loses yet another night due to decision to grant outside event permits | THE DAILY HERALD

~ Legal advice could be considered ~

PHILIPSBURG–The snowball effect of granting outside event permits for the Carnival season continues unabated as yet another major show promoter has decided that the risk is too high for Carnival 2024.

St. Maarten Carnival Development Foundation (SCDF) informed the general public on Wednesday that Sisu BV, promoters of the Afro Riddimz show on Friday, May 3, has informed the foundation via letter that it is no longer tenable to host that event. However, Sisu BV will still host its other show night on April 26.

“The decision by the minister of justice to allow outside events in the Carnival period has not only pitted shows against each other, but has reduced investor/sponsor confidence and contributions across the board,” SCDF lamented in a press release. “The SCDF from the outset had stated that the ‘bigger picture’ everyone is missing is the financial consequences of the minister’s decision for not just the SCDF, but all stakeholders involved.”

In the letter dated March 18, Sisu BV states: “The reality of the Carnival period now having competing events is not an occurrence that anyone could have planned for after 53 years of Carnival. As promoters you try to minimise your risk while hosting a quality event.

“No one expected to be faced with the challenges created this Carnival season, which increased the risk for promoters significantly and reduced investor/sponsor confidence. As stakeholders who cherish Carnival, it is crucial to deliver a high-quality product that adds value to the festivities while ensuring profitability to reinvest in Carnival for the future.

“This year’s edition of Carnival has been faced with quite some negative challenges, placing promoters and the SCDF alike in some unprecedented and untenable situations. The uncertainties surrounding Carnival have left many sponsors hesitant to invest in specific events within the Village.

“Of great importance to recall is the dim experience of Carnival 2023; with all of the unexpected challenges linked to the organising of the Hip Hop Night, Sisu incurred severe financial losses, and the intention with regard to Sisu BV having two nights this year was

to recoup some of those financial losses. However, given the current situation, it appears that more losses may occur than in the prior year, a risk that Sisu BV cannot afford to take.”

SCDF President Edwardo Radjouki repeated what the foundation said was going to happen after the unprecedented move to allow other events in April. “Many people do not understand that at the end of the day, that decisions would negatively affect the product of Carnival and how. There were no consultations to grasp the severity of those decisions. Here we are today now with open nights on the schedule, a significant loss in revenue and a volunteer organisation like the SCDF struggling to figure out how it will pull off this Carnival,” he said.

He added that he has no answers to give the public at present, but assured that the foundation will do everything within its power and within its financial means to try to address the situation. He also said that the foundation cannot guarantee that there will not be additional changes coming, considering loss of revenue. Radjouki also did not rule out seeking legal advice to address financial losses and damages.

Sisu BV concluded by stating: “Our focus will now be on making April 26th ‘Stink & Dutty’ (Jouvert soca show) an unforgettable experience for all attendees, as our utmost contribution to the Carnival’s success.”

Source: The Daily Herald