SWEET PAN: Frontline members of the San Juan All Stars Steel Orchestra during their performance in the Single Pan Steelbands semi-finals at the Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain yesterday. –Photo: CURTIS CHASE

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Big Savannah party

By Gyasi Gonzales gyasi.gonzales@trinidadexpress.com

THE GRAND Stand, North Stand and the Greens of the Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain were bustling with activity yesterday afternoon amid the Panorama 2013 small band competition as preparations continued for today's Savannah party.

Despite the competition at the "Big Yard" yesterday the crowd was small which gave workmen breathing room to the put the finishing touches for today.

The Grand Stand appeared to be ready for the crowds.

The North Stand appeared ready as well with bathrooms, running water and ticket entrances to the north of the stand in place.

Except for a few police officers and a family with a lone red cooler the North Stand was almost empty.

The Greens was where the majority of preparations seemed to be taking place.

The entrance to the Greens is located on the area's northern side.

Around 3 p.m. yesterday two large stages had already been erected and plastic flooring material was being placed on the ground.

The only thing missing was a gateway between the North Stand and the Greens.

Therefore, according to security officials of the National Carnival Commission (NCC), if you don't have a North Stand ticket but you have a ticket for the Greens you will have to remain on the Greens or you can purchase a North Stand ticket if one is available.

It is a similar arrangement with regard to the North Stand.

If you have a North Stand ticket in hand, that is where your Panorama experience is going to be because unlike last year there will be no walking between the North Stand and the Greens due to problems last Carnival, NCC officials said.

During the Panorama semi-finals last year, the Fire Service blocked a tiny access point between the North Stand and the Greens because they said they needed to control the size of the crowd and there were too many people clustered in that area by mid-afternoon that Sunday.

The Sunday Express observed that day that there were more than 200 people gathered at the entrance and they complained that they were not able to get to the Greens to meet their friends and family.

That afternoon the crowd gradually grew angrier as police and NCC officials attempted to keep the crowd calm but around 4.30 p.m. a few people were allowed to go the Greens after a section of the protective temporary fence was moved to let them in.

This generated shouts of anger from other patrons who protested that others who knew people were getting through while they could not.

At that time more than 100 people surged forward as they attempted to burst through the police barrier following which violence broke out when the police attempted to regain control of the situation.

It was alleged that several patrons were beaten and a number of these complaints are still being dealt with the by the Police Complaints Authority.

Bands competing today

MEDIUM BANDS

1. Arima Angel Harps 2. Carib Dixieland 3. Courts Sound Specialists of Laventille

4. Curepe Scherzando

5. Melodians

6. NLCB Buccooneers

7. NGC Couva Joylanders

8. Pamberi

9. Pan Elders

10. Petrotrin Katzenjammers

11. Power Stars

12. Sangre Cordettes

13. Steel Xplosion

14. Valley Harps

LARGE BANDS

1. Birdsong 2. Bp Renegades 3. CAL Invaders 4. Humming Bird Pan Groove

5. Junior Sammy Skiffle

6. Neal & Massy Trinidad All Stars

7. NGC La Brea Nightingales

8. NLCB Fonclaire

9. PCS Nitrogen Silver Stars

10. Petrotrin Phase ll Pan Groove

11. Petrotrin Siparia Deltones

12. RBC Redemption Sound Setters

13. Republic Bank Exodus

14. Solo Harmonites

15. Starlift

16. T&TEC Angel Harps

17. WITCO Desperadoes

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