Soca Monarch scrapped for yet another year

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Soca Monarch scrapped for yet another year

For the second year running, there will be no staging of the International Soca Monarch competition in Trinidad and Tobago.

The event, owned by the Caribbean Prestige Foundation (CPF) for the Performing Arts, was cancelled last year due to a lack of funding.

National Carnival Commission chairman Winston ‘Gypsy’ Peters, in a GML interview, confirmed that the event, which had been a fixture among Carnival events and competitions for the past three decades, was again in limbo due to a lack of funding.

Peters revealed to the media house that neither the CPF nor the NCC, which had been seeking to assist with he project for this year, had been successful in securing the necessary funds required to stage the competition.

“The private entity would normally do it, we help facilitate it. But the funding is not there right this minute. We are still trying to come up with it to see if it could happen,” Peters said.

Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts Randall Mitchell also told GML that the Government had given the NCC an allocation to oversee events for Carnival, but stressed that Soca Monarch had been traditionally a private event.

“That is an independent, private organisation. They usually do their Soca Monarch. NCC has supported that private event. Last year they had asked for an exorbitant amount of money, $10 million, which was unsustainable,” Mitchell said.

“That would have amounted to the Government totally underwriting the event and that simply was unsustainable. The NCC was asked to look for an alternative for this year’s festival,” the minister added.

The International Soca Monarch was last held virtually in 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic, with Farmer Nappy winning the title with his hit Backyard Jam.

The last publicly staged Soca Monarch was held in 2020, with Iwer George and Kees Dieffenthaller winning the Power Soca crown with Stage Gone Bad while College Boy Jesse won the Groovy Soca Monarch with The Happy Song.