Voices of discontent surface over non-inclusion of local Calypso in WCMF line-up

Dice performing at WCMF 2013
Dice performing at WCMF 2013

On the heels of the announcement of the line-up for World Creole Music Festival (WCMF) 2016, there are voices of discontent that local calypsonians were not included to perform.

The line-up was announced on Wednesday night and on Thursday morning, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Dominica Calypso Association, Davidson “Observer” Victor, said he is not happy with what he said is the continuous non-inclusion of local calypsonians at the festival.

“It is something that I have been noticing throughout the years. Calypso has been sidelined for too long and what I find over the years, Calypso has never actually gotten its true place in the festival,” he argued. “I just find that calypso has to get its rightful place, not a side act thing… I find for too many years that have been going on and nobody talks about it and it just continues.”

But Executive Director of the Dominica Festivals Committee (DFC), Claudine Springer, said the event is a Creole festival and it must be true to its identity.

“We have to remember, it’s a Creole Festival and we want to be true to the identity of Creole music wherever it is from,” she said.

Actually, local Calypsonians have performed at the festival in the past. In 2012 reigning Calypso Monarch, Dennison ‘Dice’ Joseph, formed part of the line-up. In 2013, he also performed alongside other calypsonians such as Tasha P, Daddy Chess, The Bobb, and Deryck “Hunter” St. Rose.

The Bobb also performed at WCMF 2013
The Bobb also performed at WCMF 2013

A calypso segment was announced as part of last year’s line-up, however, the festival was cancelled due to the passage of Tropical Storm Erika.

Victor believes the inclusion of local calypsonians should be an annual thing.

He explained that while he doesn’t expect every calypsonian to be included but at least the reigning calypso King of Dominica, ‘Dice,’ should have made the list of those to perform this year.

“What I am saying is that for something that we claim to love so much, we always say that during Carnival there is no Carnival without Calypso, this is how big we look at Calypso during Carnival, but when comes to the festival, Calypso can never seem to penetrate to get the true recognition,” he stated.

He explained that whenever calypsonians are chosen to perform during the festival, they appear on stage and “rush to sing” then rush to leave the stage or they are treated as side acts.

“We have enough good calypsos and good calypsonians that can match up to any acts that are being put on,” he stated.

Springer said she understands the concerns but noted that the festival is a Creole one.

“It’s a World Creole Music Festival and Creole music takes different forms across the globe,” she told DNO. “You know in Jamaica patois is their Creole, so dancehall is Creole music especially in these islands, in the Francophone islands Creole music is patois music, so I understand the question about Calypso music but when we speak of Creole music here, you know Creole music is the music that we have on the line-up.”

She stated that the matter is something that will be taken into consideration.

“I will definitely take it into consideration and forward it to my board,” she noted.

Springer suggested that “maybe” the Carnival season, which is also the Calypso season, could be extended.

“It’s something we can look at but in terms of it being at Creole Music Festival, I think we are very true to the fact that it is a festival to display Creole from across the world,” she stated.

Some of the major acts for the festival this year include; Reggae heavy weight Morgan Heritage and Dancehall star Popcaan from Jamaica, Kes, the Band from Trinidad, Mr. Killa from Grenada, Kreole La and T-Mickey from Haiti and Timaya from Nigeria.

Also hitting the stage will American rapper and singer Akon and Wyclef Jean, Haitian rapper, singer, and songwriter.

Local groups and artistes such as Triple Kay Global, WCK, Original Bouyon Pioneers, Ophelia Marie, Breve and More, Midnight Groovers, Extasy Band, Michele Henderson and Asa Banton are expected to perform.

The festival will be held from October 28 to October 30, 2016.

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50 Comments

  1. Sedonna
    June 27, 2016

    It’s a World Creole Music Festival and Creole music takes different forms across the globe,” she told DNO. “You know in Jamaica patois is their Creole, so dancehall is Creole music especially in these islands, in the Francophone islands Creole music is patois music, so I understand the question about Calypso music but when we speak of Creole music here, you know Creole music is the music that we have on the line-up.

    So on Creole day that is still the meaning of creole??????

  2. tidel
    June 27, 2016

    Mr. Observer, I tend to agree that calypso can have a rightful place in WCMF but not with the unmarketable garbage that being sung on a yearly basis. When Writers produce songs worthy of international appeal ………then and only then should calypsos will be included in WCMF………..food for thought.

  3. marie-claire
    June 27, 2016

    These so call leaders in Dominica and contradicting there words. You say its creole and you want to respect that but you have soca and dance hall etc… Claudine Springer are you all people alright. its sickening you all people killing the culture in addition to not supporting local but you all want to cry foul when local artist dont get the notararity in the industry but then too you all not doing anything to help. SMH

  4. John
    June 27, 2016

    Call the show whatever you want. There should always be a part for your local artists.

  5. Tortolian
    June 24, 2016

    While we are saying calypso has no right wmf ! Is dance hall have right in wmf.can any of our artist take part in reggae song splash.the answer is no .so if our own calyplsonians can then dance hall should not been allowed because it is not world music festival it is world creole festival

  6. wild
    June 24, 2016

    is not calypso music festival is world creole music festival

  7. sam
    June 24, 2016

    And how Creole is Akon anyway? Is he more Creole than calypso?

    • John
      June 27, 2016

      We have long gone astray when it comes to the music at the WCMF . AKON? seriously?

  8. Apple
    June 24, 2016

    Why they leave Jinping out? Put Quadrille too…..
    Calypso is outdated, why calypsonians discriminating against Quadrille?

  9. Leah
    June 24, 2016

    Observer calypso have it’s time..man behave urself eh!! it’s a world ‘creole’ music festival not calypso show..already it have bouyon and dancehall sttps..making it worst

  10. mine
    June 24, 2016

    IN order to make a profit there are too many complimentary given. when one person has about three its too many. The local calypsonians have time to shine during carnival. Observer be real

  11. Salop
    June 24, 2016

    Calypso artist need to step up in DA…

  12. Me
    June 24, 2016

    There is a time a place for everything. Save calypso for carnival. It’s better there

  13. Zor Bon La
    June 24, 2016

    Ms. Claudine, you lost me when you say that creole festival has to stay true to its name. Does Mr. Killa know a creole word? Do Jamaican dancehall artists know creole? The problem with you people is that you put your own two feet in your mouth. You allowed it before and you are allowing it now. If you want to change now, then say you are trying to keep it 100% creole. In the meantime, do not put in soca and dancehall, keep out calypso and talk about keeping creole fest real. Bull! I am a calypso fanatic but I think calypso has its place. Your excuse just makes no sense. Love the Saturday line up though!

    • awa wi
      June 24, 2016

      actually creole refers to ALL the languages spoken by caribbean people FRENCH CREOLE is probably what you are alluding to. when a Jamaican or an Antiguan speaks they are speaking english creole which is a combination of english, african and other dialects combined. wcmf is a celebration of our creole heritage as a region and not specifically our french heritage. so actually mr killa is speaking creole as well as the dancehall artists. get it right smh

      • Zor Bon La
        June 25, 2016

        Interesting. Did you google that? You are asking me to get it right. While you are at it, research creole versus patois. There are many dialects in the Caribbean and they are called patois. You have never heard of creole from Jamaica but you will hear of patois. Creole is French based. When you get it right, then you can smh!

      • Me
        June 27, 2016

        No, they are speaking a patois, just like our Creole is a, primarily French based patois, the Jamaican jargon is an English based patois.
        Patois=”dialect of common people in a region, differing materially from the litterarylanguage” (Oxford dictionary).

  14. cream sacrifice
    June 23, 2016

    does kkk have an album or even asa, this lady should be honest with her reasoning because they all are artist even the calypsonians . They were left out for whatever reason but please most song have a message either political or none so just lets respect our entertainers

  15. Africa Queen
    June 23, 2016

    I wonder if Popcaan is a creole person and what is he and the other artists that cannot speak one bit of creole bringing to the festival in term of creole music. The new director of the Festival committee needs to wheel and come again. Miss Springer need to withdraw that statement and learn a little more about the origination of calypso music. Davidson Victor is right to speak about the non- inclusion of calypso for Creole Music Festival.

  16. Annon
    June 23, 2016

    Calypso?? Are you kidding me, how about Pan/Steel Band?? Carnival gone, anti-gov’t songs boring. Trinidad doesn’t even play calypso any more, Soca take over years ago and they have moved on to new beats like Montano. Calypso??

    That’s old for the visiting patrons who are not interested in our anti-gov’t songs.
    Dice and others just need to stay current and become singers of other songs to be taken seriously.
    Come on now people have moved move on.

  17. Sousse
    June 23, 2016

    what she saying there ner? zorrrrrr.. does she even know what creole is.. but she should.., isnt she St. Lucian?
    So Missy what you are trying to tell the public is that Akon and kes and d rest sings creole music but our local artist doesnt???
    Creole music applies to two genres of music

  18. Zuma
    June 23, 2016

    World music creole festival.. French Creole.. Dominica, gwada, Martinique, France, cap vert , Haiti , Mauritius, French Guiana, Guinea, Tahiti, Seychelles. Now please explain the calypso, the bouyon. Reggae and soca.. Unless we are marketing a world music festival but being the idiot that I am I did not read this here. My interest is in creole speaking musicians and all Creole musical artists.. Zouk, compa Cadance and kazumba….

    • Mc Carthy MARIE
      June 23, 2016

      You Have small typo. the word is Kizomba; for those who are not familiar it is essentially Zouk love sung in Portuguese and /or Cape Verde Creole. It originates from Angola and is quite popular in France, Portugal, Sao Tome Principe, Brazil and other lusophone countries. Here is a link to a Kizomba song :

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f88foFFna8o

    • Princess Natari
      June 25, 2016

      I agree with you 100% why is bouyon music in there? No wonder calypsonians want a piece of the pie. There are so many french creole musicians and music why include all these other musical genre in our creole music festival?
      This festival has become diluted no wonder we no longer have a heavy french presence anymore. Stupeeeeeees

  19. Longfellow
    June 23, 2016

    Write a letter nuh. It’ll get this issue fixed.?????

  20. anonymous
    June 23, 2016

    every body wants to perform in a three night festival. magwey ca. then when the ticket prices go up, a next set of complaining. but on another note, we really need to define creole. because after all, why the american rapper? or will he be singing some african based music? i stand corrected but he is originally from one of the African states. Other than that I think the line up is great this year.

  21. Toneh
    June 23, 2016

    Stop already people …STOP IT!!! It’s a CREOLE music festival and it’s bad enough there are dancehall etc people in it and we have been trying to get it to stay strictly CREOLE music. So please let’s not add more to it but instead work on keep it true to its origin. Calypso has a entire season beginning from Dec to Feb/Mar during the carnival season. So please don’t be greedy and allow our other genres to shine as well. A A…….For a small country I find we like plenty controversy eh. Can we all unit for once!!!????

  22. Wino
    June 23, 2016

    Ms springer are you serious? We have to remember, it’s a Creole Festival and we want to be true to the identity of Creole music wherever it is from,” she said. So going back to the origin of calypso isn’t there any creole identity?? Maybe somebody needs to clarify that for me. Am I to believe that all the other artists and their music has creole identity???

  23. June 23, 2016

    I really hope that this year, the ticket price is reconsidered. More persons would attend if the price is lower. it would be a win-win situation.

  24. Zouk
    June 23, 2016

    Be careful with this view. Many people just don’t know how “creole” Calypso is. It is an essential part of the creole music roots/foundation… If you don’t have the proper information, yes you will believe that American Rap is more “creole” than Calypso. Let’s inform ourselves.

  25. my own
    June 23, 2016

    :lol: :lol: :lol: Miss springer, with all due respect mam, are you sure you know what you’re saying. It you want to stay true to the identity, please remove….Asa Banton, Tripple Kay, Morgan Heritage, akon and gentleman. Are you telling us these are more creole than our OWN calypso music? I am maybe lost on that statement or by the whole festival true identity.

    • Plato
      June 23, 2016

      Do you even understand what creole is?

  26. MIA
    June 23, 2016

    Let us not forget the objective of the festival, its called World Creole music festival and it must meet its objective. Calypso has its time and again so many foreigners will be at the shows, its has no place in the festival, they are to political and not marketable.
    would the calypso association bring down a French ban to play at the finals? hell no because again it makes no sense…………….

    • Tjebe Fort
      June 23, 2016

      Mia, our P.M. is political and not marketable but he is still here.

  27. Interested
    June 23, 2016

    I have no problem with calypso being included but calypsonians have to understand that the WCMF is an International event and not a local event. What would visiting guests know about our local affairs. Are calypsonians prepared to write songs that will entertain the International arena.

    • Me
      June 23, 2016

      Well then, we should stop calling it Creole Festival!

  28. LorriJ
    June 23, 2016

    Sorry Ma’am, but that is a BS argument. Why then are Kes and Mr Killa included in the line-up? I stopped attending this festival several years ago when the headliners became dancehall or TNT soca artistes and those acts permeated. But if you’re going to have soca/calypso artistes form other countries, why leave out Dominica’s?

    • Padna from Zicack...
      June 23, 2016

      Because not ONE of those Dominican artists apart from Michele Henderson and Ophelia has an album, the tool that permits them to exist as an artist and represent their art form. Is like having a big argument why you should choose a carpenter to do woodwork and he don’t even have a hammer… When they become professional in all aspects I suppose things will start happening.

  29. Truth Hurts
    June 23, 2016

    Observer behave! You guys will have your time on stage to send out all your mepuis and political commentaries next year febuary or march. But for now free up the people festival padna with your makakwee

  30. Righteous
    June 23, 2016

    “It is something that I have been noticing throughout the years. Calypso has been sidelined for too long and what I find over the years, Calypso has never actually gotten its true place in the festival,” he argued. “I just fine that calypsonian has to get its rightful place, not a side act thing… I find for too many years that have been going on and nobody talks about it and it just continues.”

    I have always had an issue with the “Creole Festival” becoming just another Fete. I do understand that in-order to create some more diversity and market to a wider base, you may go outside that genre. In my humble opinion, the festival should be kept unique and only “Creole Music” acts should be allowed at the “Creole Music Festival” lest it become just another “Fete in October.” That is no Reggae, No R&B, No Calypso etc. Strictly Creole Acts at the Creole Festival if we want to create something profitable and unique. Just my opinion. If you have another perspective, help me see…

  31. Me
    June 23, 2016

    Don’t beat about the bush lady, our carnival songs & music are definitely part of our creole tradition.

  32. KID ON THE BLOCK
    June 23, 2016

    Donkey has no place in Horse race….Those BS calypsos some of you sing has no place on the World Market….Talking of Dice is 8 times Calypso king and his songs can’t leave the Dominica shores? After Carnival…That’s it…Something must be wrong…Dice must stop being a PUPPET and SLAVE to his master.

    • mine
      June 24, 2016

      well said.

  33. Whistler
    June 23, 2016

    issue seems Dominicans are headless…unable to identify what are their goals for the WCMF, shows a lack of planning period..
    they start planning too late and not including locally different genres of music locally..
    the time frame in term of the hrs of the show are questionable…this belief of 9pm ish start off till 630-7am daybreak isn’t clever. as musical acts performing at wee hrs in the am lacks hype as well as patrons are tired, plus the production crews feel it harshly..

    so a early start like 5pm ish daily will get more value of money…Da must start doing things in a Professional and International manner. the WCMF isn’t a road side Jam

    Akon is a brilliant studio act, but i don’t think for festivals these acts have that live edge appeal to give a 145mins package in my view, so the committee who selects needs to think along those lines…

    in summary planning should take place for 2017 by Nov-2016 for the latest…
    we must strive to raise the way we do things in…

  34. Thomian
    June 23, 2016

    Claudine Springer I want to applaud you for taking your stance. Observer it is a World Creole Music Festival. Calypsonians will have their time when Carnival comes next year.

    Ms. Springer again, for the past years the Festival is making a great lost…..please I begging you to put a stop to ALL those free complimentary tickets…..the real reason behind its failure. Yes you have a board, but put down your foot….don’t allowed politics to take control of WCMF.

    • sweet
      June 23, 2016

      I agree…too many conplimentary tickets!

    • Springer u good
      June 23, 2016

      A lot of Bobol too. The gate people allowing friends to pass. All entries should be accounted for. We also hope we can hear about the profit too….if any no matter how small.

      No Calypso. A non issue. Idiots that think they know it all and just want t politicize everything.
      Truth is truth. These calypsonians are as boring as dying stars. Wrong setting.

    • MIA
      June 23, 2016

      You are right because half the park is VIP…………….. REALLY

      • Anonymous
        June 23, 2016

        And these are exactly the people, who canafford to pay! Dominica upside down, back to front and corrupt.

  35. Noneya
    June 23, 2016

    Calypso has no place in creole festival. Leave them out. During that time most people go have drinks, floor is empty.

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