The wisdom of junkanoo $1,000,000.00s bleachers and the business of junkanoo in The Bahamas.
by: Dennis Dames Nassau, Bahamas©2002
A lot is being talked about in The Bahamas regarding the rental of bleachers from a Canadian company- for the purpose of accommodating the demands for seats during the parades on the Cable Beach strip and Bay Street. The FNM, the official opposition says such a thing was not required before- and questioned the decision of the government relating to the lease of the bleachers.
Indeed, we have never had to do it before. That's because the former government (FNM), had every moveable bleacher on all public parks utilized for the junkanoo cultural shows.
In Mount Pleasant Village, for example- our bleachers were removed years ago for junkanoo seating and have not been returned. Only heaven knows where those bleachers are now.The concept of the government regarding the bleachers' lease, is very worthwhile.
The execution of realizing the bleachers' vision in the junkanoo zones, is where the political heat boils slowly. That's politics for 'ya' now.
Additionally, there are restless voices within the public's domain- who are demanding that the government should consult the masses on every decision that they view as: monumental and in the nation's best interest. The majority knows better than that- because no government, anywhere in this world- can function effectively if it feels that public consensus should dictate all decisions.It is reasonable to gather from the junkanoo bleachers situation, that timing was a crucial factor. Adding to that, is a government that is only six months old.
The quick decision to cater to the demand for paying junkanoo seats, is viewed by many as absolutely sensible and politically- a good move. Not all bleachers are erected for paying customers, and the idea is not to charge anyone who doesn't wish to pay to see the junkanoo festivals.
Junkanoo is still free, and standing up is still allowed. Who wants to pay for a seat, and does not use it because of the sweet junkanoo sounds- that sends them in a dancing mode, then- that's their business. From what has been viewed on the Cable Beach strip alone, looks profitable.
If only paying customers occupy the thousands of seats available there for them, then- we could be looking at a new era in junkanoo. The potential for more prize money, and revenue for the public treasury appears certain if we are successfully able to meet the full demands for junkanoo seats.
Despite the seating capacity of the leased bleachers, 50% of the demand is said to be still not met. That reality by itself, is good news for junkanoo in Nassau, Bahamas. If the results are profitable at the end of the 2002-2003 parades, the leasing capacity next year-God willing- will be automatically increased.
The business of junkanoo surely looks bright.One million dollars sounds huge for bleachers, but it is a proposition worth exploring. We say that we want to take junkanoo to another level.
For many of us, that next step has not been defined- and for others- they are ready to move boldly, and proudly to heights perceived to be promising and beneficial to the prosperity of junkanoo. Fulfilling the demand for seats may be the way to go.
Many are commending the minister responsible for Junkanoo, the Hon. Neville Wisdom, for his assertiveness and guts regarding the bleacher move. He is taking some public heat and opposition for the sake of opposition.
If his ministry and government succeed in their visionary plans regarding junkanoo and the business thereof; and if those bleachers become full with paying customers- Mr. Wisdom shall have the last laugh.
©2002,2003,2004,2005,2006 Dennis Dames