Sekon Sta held his carnival event, Sekon Sunday 2021 at Queens Hall in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago on 10th January, controversially merging the virtual and live experience.
As the son of the legendary Calypsonian “Merchant,” Sekon Sta is considered to be a pioneer among a new generation of Soca artistes and breaking new ground by putting on a show like no other.
Sekon Sunday is an annual celebration of Soca music hosted by Sekon Sta and has been dubbed a “fetecert” as it brings together elements of a concert and a carnival fete.
However in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, with carnival cancelled in Trinidad and Tobago and with events confined to the virtual realm, this year Sekon Sunday merged the virtual and live experience, causing some controversy.
Sekon Sta opened up the show with a rendition of his 2016 hit, Kings and Queens and guest performers included Nailah Blackman, Preedy, Erphaan Alves, Farmer Nappy, Voice and reigning International Soca Monarch winner College Boy Jesse.
Concerns about the physical distancing of the live audience at the venue lead to a probe launched by Gary Griffith, commissioner of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service.
Queen’s Hall management were reportedly very meticulous in managing the event. The venue is capable of hosting up to 850 people but COVID-19 protocols allow for 50 per cent capacity at permitted performances spaces.
For Sekon Sunday there were 240 invited guests in attendance. On arrival, all guests were required to sanitise their hands, had temperature checks before entering the venue and were ushered to allocated seating.
Groups were limited to six people, everyone was required to wear a face covering and contact tracing forms were completed by all attendees. At the end of the show, the audience remained seated until they were shown out by ushers.
Police Commissioner Gary Griffith later said he was satisfied with the protocols at Queen’s Hall, as well as an undertaking by the management to put additional measures in place for future performances.
In a release, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts Ministry said additional measures would be to ensure patrons remain seated during performances. Attendees will be not allowed to congregate in the front of the stage, in aisles or unnecessarily move around during performances.
Sekon Sta shared his feelings about the show in a social media post:
“I stand today, proud! Proud of my culture, proud of my Nation, proud of my team and proud of myself. Striking the perfect balance between entertainment and adherence was not easy but we did it. I am extremely excited about all the possibilities that using this template can bring to the entertainment industry.”
Watch the live show in full here…