St Vincent and the Grenadines is exploring hosting the first ever Carnival in the Metaverse, dubbed ‘Metaverse Mas’
With a new year comes new concepts, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) is definitely pushing the envelope on groundbreaking ideas as they explore the possibility of hosting a carnival in the ‘Metaverse.’ The Southeast Windward island nation through its Minister of Culture Carlos James has been in discussion with relevant entities to examine how best they can accommodate events occurring in a virtual space so that life can resume and people can get back to having fun and feeling normal again.
Partying in the Metaverse speaks to utilizing 3D mixed concepts that fuse a real-world platform with a digital world, thus accommodating more people taking part in a series of activities, which in this case would be partying. The announcement came last weekend during the 2022 budget presentation by Minister James as he updated Vincentians on what may take place regarding their Mas for 2022. This comes as rising numbers, and COVID-19 protocols have made Mas and other forms of annual revelry that generally boast mass gatherings grind to a screeching halt.
Covid, he emphasized, has taught the world to re-imagine how things are done, and therefore it is only fitting that SVG is the first nation in the world to possibly begin the exploration of alternative platforms. “St Vincent and the Grenadines can tap into the virtual space to provide the right avenues for creatives to express themselves and to earn revenue. It’s a new topic and new conversation and for those who are unfamiliar with it, I suggest you google it,” he stated.
With the possibility of a ‘Metaverse Mas,’ Minister James, whose portfolio covers Civil Aviation, Sustainable Development, and Culture, said that his team is working assiduously with the health officials to put together a strategy that would work for both sectors so that people would be both safe and entertained.
“I want to say there is still the possibility of a carnival in 2022 and I know the Carnival Development Corporation and the Chief Medical Officer are working to put together a comprehensive plan and once they are comfortable with what is put forward, we will likely see 2022 have Vincy Mas this year. I am hoping that we can work closely with all the stakeholders to ensure importantly that vaccination, boosters, and safety of persons are paramount in this exercise,” he expressed.
SVG has not been able to host Vincy Mas, its biggest cultural festival, for two years due to the impact of covid-19. The island, which has approximately 110,000 inhabitants, has been hard hit by the pandemic as it relies heavily on tourism revenue to keep its wheels turning. Therefore, any return to some semblance of normalcy is welcomed. For the second year running, the SVG government will also continue its support of artisans affected by the eruption of the La Soufriere Volcano and the pandemic. With a value of $120,000, the fund will be shared among mas bands, arrangers, pan men, mas men, calypsonians, cultural ambassadors, and soca artistes.