No Baje for Kadooment

Don’t look for Baje International on the road this Kadooment Day.

Baje’s founder Richard Haynes made that announcement yesterday as he reflected on the band’s 25 years participating in the annual parade.

While the founders are taking a step back from producing the mas band, they are putting a succession plan in place to ensure the Baje brand lives on.

“This year we are not bringing the band for 2024. It is time for the original team – Val Bridgeman, Jason Cozier and Corey Knight – to take a back seat and hopefully get a new team on board and take Baje forward for another 25 years.

“We planned to do this about five years ago, but COVID came and disrupted the process but now we have very keen and interested buyers. However, unfortunately, the red tape that happens with legalities, lawyers and accountants, the process wasn’t completed in time,” Haynes said.

He said they were doing their best to ensure the next Baje team fully appreciates local culture.

“There may even be room for investors in Barbados and outside of Barbados. We are engaging people who are serious about Crop Over, who love Crop Over and who understand the Baje brand.

“We hope that going forward their mission will be to continue connecting the customer and trends as they move forward,” he said.

Haynes suggested that the next owners of the brand would have to evolve with the times and ensure they have support.

“Mas will have its challenges but it is an exciting time and whoever is taking the steering wheel next year have to make sure to keep evolving.

“We existed for 25 years because we didn’t become stuck in our ways. We tried to focus on what the new generation wanted and accommodated. It has been an awesome ride for us and I’m sure it will continue. We were tried, tested and proven and I think with our guidance they can have another 25,” Haynes added.

When the current succession plans are finalised, he said Corey Garrett would stay on as a director. Haynes and Knight would support the band as consultants.

Earlier this month, the National Cultural Foundation announced their plans for Crop Over Festival, which will celebrate 50 years.

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