CONCERNED: Louis Lee Sing

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'Carnival will go on'

...with or without MacFarlane

By Kim Boodram

PORT OF SPAIN Mayor Louis Lee Sing said Carnival will go on in the absence of seven-time Band of the Year winner, Brian MacFarlane.

Speaking on MacFarlane's self-imposed departure from mas, Lee Sing said on Wednesday he was concerned that people attempt to take Carnival onto themselves.

"It worries me that some people give onto themselves the powers of the Pope where Carnival is concerned," Lee Sing said.

"I do not believe that without MacFarlane, there will be no Carnival."

As the bandleader's 2013 presentation Joy-The Finale made its last call before the judges in downtown Port of Spain on Tuesday, MacFarlane lamented a lack of creativity and a lack of investment by the government.

He expressed concern that the art forms associated with street mas were seeing their death, making way for a takeover by bikinis, feathers and beads.

Lee Sing said MacFarlane was repeating just what celebrated masman Peter Minshall had said when he too left the stage for good.

The Mayor said Carnival was in metamorphosis and there is no telling where it will go next.

The younger generation of mas makers and fete promoters are "perhaps the smartest young people" who are chasing the lucrative part of the business, he said.

He added that criticising the bikini mas phenomenon was not helpful at this phase and the fact remained that it is this type of costume that attracts the hundreds.

Speaking on Dimanche Gras, Lee Sing, who was among the first to criticise the show's new format, has suggested that monarchs be declared throughout the preliminary stages of the competition, in the various categories, leaving only the winners in those categories to compete at the finals.

Lee Sing said the top three or four of each category can perform on the final night and bring a "tighter" show that offers the cream of the competition.

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