Cash and Calypso
The DCA sells only 3,500 tickets at Calypso Finals, cashing an estimated $300,000.
Somehow, the melody doesn't sound as sweet as last year, the music not as satisfying.
"We didn't do as well as last year," said the man who manages the money.
Somehow, the song doesn't have the familiar ring of past years, the words not as gratifying.
"We didn't do as well as we had been hoping."
Somehow, the tune doesn't have ringing chink of years past, the refrain not as flattering. However, despite a less than stellar season as it pertains to gate receipts, all is fair in love for calypso, suggested Derrick "The Hunter" St. Rose, the treasurer of the Dominica Calypso Association (DCA). Just fair. Nothing further.
"The season was fair," St. Rose told The Sun, "not great."
There were the usual controversies which St. Rose speculated "may have dampened" things somewhat. But it didn't take a palmist to figure out that things were flat from the very beginning, with the DCA having to compete with the post-Christmas blues that everyone sings. Because carnival was early in February, the contests began in December and ran through the tough month of January. And this didn't make for a happy song, St. Rose stated.
"The closeness of the Christmas season (had a negative effect). Most of our shows were held in January and January is a hard month," the former calypso king stressed.
The impact was felt at the gates where ticket sales seemed like singing a strange and unfamiliar song in a strange and unfamiliar land. For the calypso final, for example, St. Rose revealed, the DCA printed "five thousand plus" ordinary tickets and about four hundred VIP tickets.
"We still have tickets left from both," he said.
While it was not immediately clear how many from each were left unsold, St. Rose told The Sun that "just over" three thousand, five hundred tickets were sold for the grand finale.
The DCA was still crunching the numbers at the time of going to print, therefore, St. Rose said, it was not possible to give an accurate count of the takings. However, a rough estimate by the Sun – tickets for the grounds cost EC$70.00 and VIP tickets were sold for EC$180.00 - suggests the DCA would have earned well under EC$300,000 from this year's calypso final.
"Last year was a better year," St. Rose explained. With the bills still coming in at the time of going to print, the DCA treasurer was unable to disclose the association's expenses for the season or if, after all bills are paid, there would be anything left in the coffers.
Most of the earnings will go to the bank to repay the EC$600,000 loan which the association took to construct the much touted "Calypso House", which opened in January 2010. Under the terms of the loan agreement, the association makes one lump sum payment a year and this money comes from the earnings during carnival.
Therefore, when the crunching is over, there may be little left to sing about. And, somehow, the melody won't be as soothing, the music not as lively, the song not as rewarding as last year.