Calypso Tents Today | Crop Over Info

Calypso Tents
Originally Calypso Tents were actually ‘Tents’ made with poles and covered with any material available that would stop the rain from entering, usually with branches from palm trees. It is where Calypsonians with strange nick names perform on stage during the Carnival season or in Barbados’s case the Crop Over Festival Season. There were benches for seating the patrons as they enjoyed being entertained by Calypsonians performing unedited calypsos, beautifully penned with lots of innuendos and double entendres. In Trinidad Calypso Tents usually complimented masquerade bands, as they attracted people from the neighbourhood and entertained the members of the band. Today they are held in community centres or auditoriums with comfortable seating and dapperly dressed performers, singing controversial social commentaries and party songs to "wuk up" to or just move the waist. These songs touch political and current events on the island while giving you a good laugh to distract you from the many stresses of the day. In recent times Calypso Tents have become more versatile offering a variety of entertainment, as well as showcasing the young talent on the island. There is also a new addition with the introduction of the Junior Calypso Tents.

Calypso Music
Calypso music with its infectious beat is unique to the Caribbean despite the many modern influences (European & North America). It is the art of story-telling in song, yet not being a folk song.

The Calypso rhythm was introduced to Barbados and the rest of the Caribbean during the 1600’s by the first slaves to the region. The artform was further developed in Trinidad but was only really embraced in the 1960’s. It was taken serious and properly organised in Barbados during the 1970’s for the revival of the Crop Over Festival in 1974. Calypso has since become synonymous with Crop Over and by extension plays an important role in Barbados’ culture. The National Cultural Foundation (NCF) has been instrumental in structuring and maintaining interest in the artform from its inception in 1984. During the 1970’s a new form of calypso was developed called Soca. This faster tempo was influenced by funk & soul from America and helped calypsonians to get into the International market. More Info...

The Band

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Pic-o-de-crop Competitions:
(16 years of age & over)
Calypsonian artistes from various tents during the Crop Over Season are judged in social commentary on particular nights and chosen for competition. Eighteen Calypsonians are chosen from the nine tents (usually) to compete at the Pic-o-de-crop Semi-finals, where seven then advance to the Finals to compete against the reigning Calypso Monarch. Each participant sings two songs before a panel of judges where points are based on lyrics, content, performance, melody and diction.

Party Monarch Competition
(16 years of age & over)
A high energy cast of 19 calypso artists compete for the Party Monarch, against the picture perfect ocean view backdrop of the East Coast. These Soca artistes would have been judged in their respective Calypso tents and then competed at the Party Monarch Calypso Competition semi-finals, prior to the finals.

Road March / Tune-of-the-Crop The Road March Competition is judged on Kadooment Day, a day of revelry and masquerading in Costumes. This is when songs are judged on popularity and response from the revellers by judges along the route of this massive Street Party.

Junior Calypso Monarch (15 years of age & under)
Categories: (8 – 12) & (13 – 18).
This is where eight singers from each category are chosen to go forward to the finals.