Written by: David Lawrence
Last Saturday the launch of the 2024 Trinidad & Tobago Carnival took place in a fog of invisibility. What normally would have been a total crowd-pleasing event with great performances by many of today’s and yesterday’s top soca artistes was fogged up by an overzealous fogman. During many of the performances, both the artist and the dancer dressed in beautiful and at times sexy costumes, were immersed in a wall of smoke that engulfed the entire stage and persisted for the duration of their set.
What is amazing and prompted the writing of this article is that apparently at no point in time during the show did someone in authority tell the fogman to turn it down; because the annoyance continued throughout the night. This indicates that this amateurish use of the fog machine is acceptable by T&T promotors for it is not the first time that I have noticed this trigger-happy behavior.
It is important to point out that Stage lighting, Pyrotechnics, and Fog Machines should be used to enhance an artist’s performance and not distract from it. When used sparingly, they have a positive effect, but when overused, they can be distracting.
Besides the overuse of fog and smoke machines at many live Soca events, is the unprofessional stage lighting that is quite common these days. It can be a simple case that the stage may not be built to accommodate the correct placement of overhead frontal lights that illuminate the front of the performers, but the emphasis these days is on lights that shine from the back of the stage illuminating the back of performers and often blinding the audience in front the stage. While this is beneficial to the photographers on stage for their social media shots, the inadequate illumination of the artist’s frontal view robs the paying patrons of a high-quality experience.
So imagine that you purchase VIP tickets so that you can get a closer view of the performances but when you get there you are faced with a consistent wall of smoke that blocks the happenings, and when it clears you are blinded by a beam of light emanating from the back of the stage. Ever too often there are pyrotechnics going off on stage that punctuates the flow and distracts. So, Dear Promoter, you see that fog machine dey; Control that! You see that lighting dey; Fix that! You see that Pyrotechentic dey; Control that!
For coverage of the show see our YouTube Playlist: Launch Of Trinidad & Tobago Carnival 2024
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