getting ready: Workmen lay out ground cover yesterday, in preparation for Sunday’s annual Panorama semi-finals on The Greens, at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain, ahead of today’s inspection by Pan Trinbago officials. —Photo: CURTIS CHASE

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POOL PARTY FOR PAN

New $700 attraction for weekend’s ‘Savannah Party’

By Gary Cardinez and Nigel Telesford

Patrons are paying as much as $700 to be a part of the “Pan Splash” posse, which is a new feature added to The Greens for this weekend’s Panorama semi-finals at the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port of Spain.
According to Pan Trinbago vice-president Byron Serrette, “This is an experiment with a ‘pool posse’, the perimeter of the pool will be 70 feet (21 metres) and four feet (1.2 metres) deep. We are just trying new things. All the necessary safety measures are in place, lifeguards, the works. This will be in an enclosed area and there will also be the PHI band.”
The Panorama semi-finals, which is also known as the “Savannah Party”, is expected to draw thousands of patrons over a two-day period. Saturday will see the single-pan and small bands, and on Sunday, the medium and large bands.
At the North Stand, President An­­thony Carmona will have his space, just as George Maxwell Richards before him, but word is the President is interested in The Greens and would use the North Stand as a base.
Serrette said that this year, security would be at a maximum in The Greens. Each gate will be manned, including the emergency exit. The Greens has been expanded to 304,000 square feet, moving further north and east onto the paved area of the North Stand. This paved section will be used for service access.
Pan Trinbago is expecting 50-plus posses and several merchandising booths. Toyota will have a car on display, Coca-Cola and Blue Waters have the mist towers and Digicel has two branded tents.
Serrette assured the action in The Greens will not hamper Panorama. In addition to making sure security keeps the noise down while a band is on stage, four stacks of speak­ers have been added in the middle that would feed the music from on stage.
Patrons will now have the use of trailer toilets, instead of the usual Porta Potty. Serrette says they are trying to make The Greens a premium space for Panorama.
“The National Carnival Commission (NCC) is not funding The Greens. Pan Trinbago will bear the entire cost and it is simply a matter of us becoming self-sufficient,” he said.
Serrette said patrons will enter The Greens through 12 lanes, with one being wide enough to accommodate coolers.
Serrette said, “We have detractors but The Greens is one of four spaces in Panorama, there is still the North Stand, the Grand Stand and the Drag.
“The fact that people are coming to The Greens shows that we are doing something good, people come for entertainment.”
Contacted for comment yesterday, event co-ordinator of the Pan Splash Michelle George said:
“We have been getting a lot of interest and a lot of scepticism as well, but the whole idea behind it is for re-education of the young people and rethinking the art of entertainment, in regard to the national instrument. We believe that young people need to integrate and be taught how to appreciate the pan, and the point of going on The Greens was for the pan, so it’s not a concept that means to take away from the pan because we are making sure we do not interrupt the pan at all, and once a band is on-stage, the Jumbotron goes up and all other music in the area is ceased, so all the Pan Splash patrons will be able to see and hear the steelbands as they perform and compete.”
George further described the pool as “a much cooler gimmick to get you into the pan and trick you into enjoying it”. The capacity of the Pan Splash area is 1,100, inclusive of staff and security, and, therefore, approximately 1,000 paying patrons can be accommodated.
The $700 entrance fee includes the price of a ticket to The Greens, as well as lunch, finger foods, drinks and, of course, access to the pool.
Additional attractions include six showers and six changing rooms, and photo-booth streaming live to your social media site, as well as the steelbands on stage streaming live on screens.
The Pan Splash area will have a separate entrance from The Greens entrance, as well as a VIP entrance and exit to The Greens. Only 200 people are allowed in the pool at any given time.
Pan Splash is owned and sponsored by Aqua Fun Park, the Blue Waters group of companies and Jus Juice.
Tickets for The Greens cost $350 and can be had online at TicketGateway.com or at Pan Trinbago’s office. Patrons will pay $250 for the Grand Stand and $350 for the North Stand.
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