Roots pictured during this year's New Year's parade.
88 total votes.
By Earyel Bowleg
Tribune Staff Reporter
JUNKANOO Corporation of New Providence Chairman Dion Miller said the annual parades have outgrown their Bay Street venue –– and Youth, Sports and Culture Minister Mario Bowleg agrees.
However, Mr Bowleg said moving Junkanoo parades to another location could only happen if various stakeholders push this.
Their comments came after frustrated residents complained about securing Junkanoo tickets when they became available on the ALIV Events app on Monday.
Mr Miller said the demand for tickets exceeds the available seats, with interest in Junkanoo parades and the size of groups growing since the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The JCNP estimates that an additional 4,000 seats are required to comfortably satisfy the demand for seating,” he said in a statement. “In this vein, we have begun to have discussions with our partners in government to identify areas in the current venue where additional seats can be installed without taking away access to our parades from traditional bystanders.”
Mr Bowleg noted the Thomas Robinson Stadium can hold 15,000 people, with this capacity expected to increase after renovations.
“If the stakeholders feel, you know, that is an idea that they all want to do as relates to moving it, then it shouldn’t be no big deal,” he said.
ALIV chief information officer Dwayne Davis suggested on Monday that many people struggled to get tickets because 37 per cent of seats in prime locations –– Rawson Square and in front of Scotiabank –– are reserved for government partners, groups and sponsors.
Mr Miller reiterated this yesterday.
“We acknowledge that without our stakeholders and the financial support that they extend to the various Junkanoo groups, the parades would cease to exist,” his statement said.
“As the sole body responsible for parade ticketing, the JCNP takes this responsibility seriously. The decision to reserve these tickets was made to honour the contributions and support of our key stakeholders. The current seating capacity for each Junkanoo parade sits just under 8,000, with the premium seating in Rawson Square holding 1,728 and the section located in front of Scotiabank holding just 624.”
Yesterday, Free National Movement leader Michael Pintard said on Twitter that a multi-purpose Junkanoo stadium and several multi-purpose Junkanoo shacks should be constructed. Mr Bowleg said the Davis administration is not considering this.