Carnival promoter Red Ants has called for a review of existing Environmental Management Authority (EMA) laws saying that the strict level of decibels can kill Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago.
This follows action by police officers at the Tribe/Red Ants' Stumped fete at Queens Park Oval on Saturday night.
Halfway into the performance by soca king Machel Montano police officers ordered the reduction in noise levels.
The officers were acting on behalf the EMA.
Red Ants thanked Montano for showing “true professionalism” and rally through his performance despite the reduced sound levels.
The promoter stated that the low sound levels also compromised the experience of patrons at the fete.
Red Ants apologised to patrons, sponsors, vendors and performing noting that the situation was beyond their control. The release stated that an attempt was made to negotiate a compromise, but to no avail.
It stated that artistes, deejays and promoters would meet with the authorities and stakeholders as other promoters were also affected by noise levels. “This strict levels of decibels can effectively kill Trinidad and Tobago carnival and culture,” it stated.
Red Ants noted that in other countries with developing Carnival industries police, fire, environmental and other statutory bodies have been mandated to work and provide support to promoters and band leaders to ensure the success of their tourist industry. “Carnival is our National Festival and an income earner for our country, providing thousands of seasonal and permanent jobs from the promoter to the panman to the pieman, and even for those enforcing the laws,” it stated.
Red Ants further stated that tourism was a necessary industry that must be developed. It stated that Carnival was the single biggest tourism draw annually.
The release stated that the time had come for a review of the laws, even if it required seasonal licences for Carnival. “We must respect the law but the law in turn must support and respect the culture,” it stated.