However in the aftermath, I got to thinking....where else have I felt such a sensation???Hmmmm....The North Stand in Panorama Semis maybe??? Lol. Now this has always been a serious concern for me, being in the building industry. I am completely obsessed with how structures and materials fail. It is a very real concern, as some of you will remember the now notorious "Real Unity" Machel Montano Anniversary concert where the VIP stand collapsed and injured several people .
Everytime I go into that North Stand and see the type of system used to erect it , I am a bit uncomfortable. Worse yet, when you see the ridiculous amount of people squeezed in there, I get nervous. People bringing in fully laden coolers , full bars etc. Well when the band start playing, the riddem sections start jamming and 10,000 people start jumping at the same time the sensation is very much like what we experienced here this morning. I mean, I wining same way but......! What I want to know is, does the government/contractors take any steps to determine the max. loads that the North Stand can take? Does anyone seriously monitor how many people are in that stand at any one time? Ok so now and then the Fire Services make noise and stop people from going up, but they are not engineers..so how they know how much is too much ppl?
Well the plan is that a new Cultural Center is to be built in the Savannah (see pic). Due to political red tape (bobol again) this project has yet to be started. Plan was, that it was supposed to have begun immediately after Carnival 2006 and that the parade of 2007 would have no stage to cross (noooooo!!!). Well so far , it looks like we still have the old stage that we have had for close to 50 years. However the stands will have full seating, not an open plan like the current North Stand. Which means no more riddem sections and no more bars. There is actual a movement of people who are rejoicing this impending change as they feel it takes away from the true purpose of the competition. Who in the North Stand does really go to hear pan in Panorama? I am definitely somewhat guilty in this respect.
In my North Stand Posse's defence, I believe that this tradition has become an inherent part of our culture. It has actually introduced a new generation to the art of Panorama. Yeah so I first went for the lime, but it does not mean I don't appreciate the performances. I actually developed a new respect for the pan as our national instrument. Playing in a band in Panorama is still on my list of things to do. (Big up Carnival Jumbie Dad again who do it all). Nonetheless, I do believe some regulation is needed at this point. People's North Stand Posses are getting a little out of hand. Not just in terms of numbers but with the large drums and bar equipment and musical equipment that they are bringing in.
So I hope the tradition stays on but please let the earthquakes stop!!
N.B please note doorframes and stairways are dangerous places to seek shelter in an earthquake.