Trinidad and Tobago


Fans threaten boycott...
Gypsy pulls out of Panther show

November 01, 2001

FOR "safety reasons", Junior Culture Minister Winston "Gypsy" Peters has been removed from the playbill of the November 17 show Pink Panther in Concert, where he was due to make a guest appearance.

Show promoter Randy Glasgow yesterday said his organisation had received "an overwhelming number of calls" from persons who either threatened to disrupt the event when Gypsy came onstage or vowed to boycott the concert because of his inclusion.

"We're getting the same story from the ticket outlets," Glasgow said. "They are reporting that people who come to purchase tickets are saying outright that they will boo Gypsy and some even said they will pelt him while he is onstage.

"Whether it is political picong or they are serious is not something we could know before showtime. And that is not the kind of chance we want to take. There is the question of safety and security for Gypsy and it is Panther's first concert and we do not want anything to disrupt or devalue his work," Glasgow said.

Gypsy, a former national calypso monarch and four-time winner of the extempo crown, was scheduled to make his first appearance as a performer since his ascendancy to the House of Representatives last December.

Panther, in whose honour the concert is being held, said yesterday: "This is sad. And I'm not just thinking about the concert, but about the calypso art form. I have also received a few calls. Some people seem to be taking their political feelings to another extreme, which is not something we are accustomed to in either calypso or Trinidad and Tobago."

Glasgow said Gypsy did not at first agree to step down but, as the promoter, he felt it necessary to avoid any kind of confrontation that could result in violence.

When questioned on the matter, Gypsy told the Express yesterday said: "I told the organiser that I found the show was becoming too political and like a PNM rally, and I decided to pull out of it. When you listen to the advertisement you could tell what it is ... it's like a whole PNM rally ganging up against me."

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