Thursday 24 September, 2020

Antigua and Barbuda to hold virtual Party Monarch competition

With COVID-19 forcing the cancellation of Carnival activities in Antigua and Barbuda, this year's  Party Monarch competition will be held virtually.

The Antigua and Barbuda Festivals Commission (ABFC) announced that for the first time, a Virtual Party Monarch Competition will be held on Saturday, August 1. 

The competition is open to all citizens of Antigua and Barbuda, 18 years and over.

Participants will be abe to enter with any soca song (jumpy or groovy) from previous years.

The event is styled as a two-round competition, a preliminary elimination, and the final event.

For the preliminary event, songs will be adjudicated on tracks only, and subsequently, a panel of judges will select 10 finalists to participate in the Virtual Party Monarch on Emancipation Day.

For this event, each artiste will perform with the accompanying band.

This year, Antigua and Barbuda would have celebrated its 63rd anniversary of Carnival. The ABFC  said they received many appeals to host an event to keep the spirit of Carnival alive this year and the Government made the decision to host a Virtual Party Monarch, merging two of the Nation’s favourite elements, “Soca Music” and a “Festive Competition”.

"By doing this, the social conversation is kept alive thereby allowing persons to enjoy the spirit of our culture and Carnival from the comfort of their mobile device and home. Every soca artiste and entertainer has been affected by this pandemic, and as such, this competition provides a beneficial avenue for them to expose their talents to the online world, which spans beyond the borders of Antigua and Barbuda," the ABFC said in a release.

The artistes who have produced good music over the years will have a financial incentive to participate as the winner will receive $15,000; with the runners-up receiving consolation prizes.

Daryll Matthews, the Minister with responsibility for National Festivals, said: “Out of crisis comes opportunity, and this platform gives us the chance to begin the marketing campaign for Antigua’s Carnival 2021 – The Caribbean’s Greatest Summer Festival”.

Registration for the competition is currently ongoing at the National Festivals Office (NFO), located upstairs the Cecil George-John Building on the corner of Redcliffe Street and Corn Alley.

Participants can also complete their registration online by visiting the Antigua Carnival website,

Tracks (music) can be hand-delivered to the NFO on a flash drive or CD, or submitted online by emailing abfestivals@ab.gov.ag.

The deadline for registration and track submission is Friday, July 25.

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