Wednesday, February 21, 2018

‘Pan Splash profits to help pay panmen’

Pan Trinbago president pleased with ticket sales for The Greens

Panmen are to benefit from the profits of Pan Splash, the all-inclusive pool party organised by Pan Trinbago, to be held on The Greens, during the National Panorama semifinals, at the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port of Spain to­mor­row.

This was stated yesterday by Pan Trinbago president Keith Diaz.

Diaz said the show will go on.

“I have a responsibility for this organisation to find salaries to pay the staff. I heard quite a number of comments from the media and other circles about Pan Trinbago doing this and Pan Trinbago doing that, but let me say very clearly, we have to find ways to attract people.

“As a cultural group who is not benefiting from any Government subvention, yet we are being hit left, right and centre for trying new initiatives. At the end of the day, we have to be self-sustained.

“Within our four regions, we have 42 members on staff that have to be paid a salary 12 months of the year, and since 2004, the Government subvention stopped,” Diaz said.

Diaz said last year’s festi­vities at The Greens cost Pan Trinbago over $2 million.

“The expenditure from The Greens is borne by Pan Trin­bago. We have to pay for the entire infrastructure. The Greens ran over $2 million last year, and we fund these things without any help from the National Carnival Commission (NCC).

“We are not sure how much it will cost as yet; we are still working out all the details. Tickets sales going very good,” Diaz said.

Diaz said steelbands will benefit from proceeds from The Greens.

“Part of the pro­fit from The Greens will be distribu­ted to the steelbands who will be in the semi-finals, that is a decision by the executive, and the steelbands have been informed about that at a general meeting,” Diaz said.

He said he is pleased with ticket sales for The Greens.

Proceeds from The Greens, Diaz said, are also used to host other community events like Pan in the Countryside.

“We reach out to many com­munities across the country with proceeds from The Greens with Pan in the Countryside, which calls for nearly half a million dollars, and we have not received any corporate sponsor for that. We pay the bands, the transport and the trucks,” Diaz said.

Michelle George, spokesperson for the group of companies putting on Pan Splash, said there is a lot of misconceptions about the event, which has affected sales.

Tickets have not sold out, according to George. Organi­sers have catered for 1,000 patrons at packages for $700, which includes the ticket for the Greens and the pool section.

George could not determine how many tickets have been sold so far.

“The area could accommodate approximately 700 patrons, 1,000 maximum. We catered for 1,000 patrons. We are happy with the support but we would welcome more. I think the scepticism and the bad press didn’t help but we are good.

“We want people to see that it is an experience that does not exclude pan. There will be a 40-foot jumbo screen, live feed for pan performances on stage, the PHI band Rhapsody (electronic pan),” George said.

“The pool is hygienic and features state-of-the-art pool filters, so no one should have any concerns were cleanliness is concerned. Certified lifeguards from the Lifeguard Association of Trinidad and Tobago will monitor patrons. The pool is 70 feet and four inches deep. It’s a security-enclosed area,” George said.

George said patrons will also be required to shower before entering the pool.