By RESHMA BAAL Thursday, February 23 2012
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TRIBE MAS: Revellers from the large band Tribe make their way along Cipriani Boulevard on Carnival Tuesday....
OFFICIALS from Carnival band Tribe yesterday issued a public apology to its members and revellers for being banned from crossing the stage at the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port-of-Spain on Carnival Tuesday.
In a statement on its Facebook (FB) page, Tribe blamed poor management by organisers of the Parade of the Bands competition for Tribe going off route at Carnival Tuesday’s Parade of the Bands Competition in Port-of-Spain.
“The Savannah stage incident was unintentional and certainly regrettable. Rest assured Tribe will be working with all the major stakeholders to ensure that this will never occur in the future,” the FB statement read.
Tribe, whose 2012 presentation “Take Me To...” went up Frederick Street to get to the Queen’s Park Savannah. Bands were restricted from using Frederick Street and instead should have used Abercromby Street.
Police on horseback and foot patrol were forced to intervene and allowed the approximately 5,000 revellers in the band to continue along Frederick Street to the Savannah. However, due to the breach of the designated parade route, Tribe was prevented from entering the Savannah.
Tribe, in its FB statement said the band came up Abercromby Street from Duke Street at 6 am on Carnival Tuesday, but was blocked by another band which was then assembling. The officials had no choice but to go on to Frederick Street.
“Assembling on the official route is a violation of the rules outlined by the National Carnival Bands’ Association (NCBA). Due to the fact that the official route was blocked by such bands that were not even moving but, assembling, the Tribe Road Management team took a decision to make the detour in order to keep the band flowing and to move the tail of the band out of the way of other bands.
“This action resulted in the officials choosing to penalise Tribe for not sticking to the official route despite the fact that several other bands who also flouted the rules were allowed to access the Stage. However, Tribe does acknowledge and take responsibility for deviating for the official route,” the statement continued.
Chairman of the National Carnival Development Foundation (NCDF), Mahindra Satram-Maharaj said such an incident could have been avoided if the route had been cleared. Tribe is registered with the Foundation. He explained for such an incident to be prevented, the parade route must be cleared of all vehicular traffic or other bands.
However, at a press conference yesterday, president of the NCBA David Lopez said all mas band leaders were informed of the route changes. “Bands were supposed to go up Abercromby Street up to Keate Street, head east on Keate Street, then north to the Savannah. No one has any reason to come up Frederick Street,” Lopez said.
He said Tribe stretched from Park Street to Keate Street on Frederick Street, which caused a major security concern as the band was in front of the PoS Prison on Frederick Street.
“We decided to allow Tribe to continue around the Savannah and it was decided they would enter the Savannah after lunch. They did make communication and was (sic) designated a route to come back. However, they started to head east on Tragarete road and went down Murray Street, which was not the route,” Lopez explained.
He said due to complications with overhead lines on Murray Street, Tribe headed north on Cipriani Boulevard, which meant they could not enter the Savannah. Lopez said although Tribe did not cross the Savannah they were registered to compete in the Band of the Year competition.
“To compete you have to go to three out of the four judging points. Tribe did not do this on Tuesday, or in previous years. The most Tribe has done is two, the Savannah and Adam Smith Square. Therefore Tribe has disqualified itself,” Lopez said.