(ZIZ News) — New judging criteria for the Road March title have been revealed by the National Carnival Committee.
In a press release, Chairman of the National Carnival Committee, Sylvester Anthony, explained that the changes have been approved, and are supported, by the overwhelming majority of J’ouvert and Grand Parade troupes, as well as three of the four major bands who participate in the annual competition.
Beginning with Sugar Mas 43, the Road March Competition will no longer be judged based on how many times a song has been played by a band when the band passes judging points. Under the new format, judging will take place at two locations along the J’ouvert and Grand Parade routes. These points are located between the Social Security Building and the National Museum Building and the upper part of Fort Street between Central Street and Cayon Street.
Additionally, judging on J’ouvert morning will now take place between 4 a.m. and 9 a.m. Each band will be judged only once at each point with the ability to amass a total of 1200 points.
Chairman Anthony said that the majority of those with an interest in the outcome of the Road March title, including revellers, agreed that the former system was deficient and needed to be changed. He said troupes complained that the focus on winning the Road March Competition under the previous format forced bands to play a single song throughout most of the J’ouvert jump up and Grand Parade. This, Anthony said, prevents masqueraders from fully enjoying the parade.
Bands and Soca Monarch artistes have shared a number of concerns about the previous system of judging as well.
According to Mr. Anthony, resolving these issues will occupy the attention of the National Carnival Committee as they work with all stakeholders to come up with a comprehensive system for the Road March Competition in time for Sugar Mas 44.
Meanwhile, thousands of revellers took to the streets of Basseterre on Friday to participate in the annual J’ouvert Street Jump Up.
The activities commenced well before 5:00am with scores of Hi-Fi’s and bands providing the music.
ZIZ Radio and Television’s outside broadcast team provided live coverage of the event.