Festivals Commission back-pedals and Tian Winter will perform with his own band at Thursday night’s Melting Pot

Soca star Tian Winter will be performing with his band iConic at Thursday night’s Caribbean Melting Pot event as the Government – specifically the Antigua and Barbuda Festivals Commission – reportedly has backtracked on an earlier decision.

Winter had complained publicly and bitterly that he was not being permitted to perform with his band and entourage at the show, which forms part of the Carnival celebrations.   

REAL News understands that local artistes, including Winter, were advised they could not use their back-up bands onstage, but should perform to the accompaniment of a CD track.

Winter, however, was adamant that he would not take to the stage without his band, and reportedly said he would pull out of the event and, possibly, the competitions, as well.

Meanwhile, the Triple Kay Band out of Dominica was being allowed to have its full entourage on stage for the event.

Winter subsequently posted his complaints on social media, attracting a slew of comments that were critical of the Government and Festivals Minister Michael Browne.

This is reportedly what prompted the Government’s about-face.

A very supportive Franz deFreitas, the United Progressive Party Candidate for City South, says Antigua and Barbuda would be a better place if more people stood up for their rights in order to effect change.

Meanwhile, the Festivals Commission is said to be pushing through with last-minute preparations for the official opening of Carnival 2022 on Wednesday, July 27.

A source says that painting is taking place on the perimeter wall and there are other activities inside the grounds. Reportedly, potholes on the parade route have been patched, as well, although other streets in the City remain in need of similar repairs.

The derelict Double Decker Stand has been entirely removed, but a patron at Sunday night’s tribute to King Short Shirt commented that the other stands “look rather run-down.”

“Since Carnival was on hiatus since 2019, I expected that, for the first year back, this place would look glorious. I’m disappointed,” he said.

In the meantime, another man says, it makes no sense to have the “opening” of the festival in the middle of the week when the T-shirt Mas’ and other events, including a Teen Rave, have already been held.