CROP-OVER is here!With more than 70 songs already on the airwaves and the first Crop-Over lime on the official calendar for the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) kicking off today at McEnearney Quality, Wildey, the sights and sounds of Crop-Over are filling the air.Admiral Nelson of the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) told the WEEKEND NATION that in addition to the Soca Dons And Divas compilation from Blood, there was a lot of the music coming to the station from new artistes on the circuit.While he noted that there was a lot of “horrible music” in that mix, he explained that it was not unusual to have music of inferior quality at the “embryonic” stage of the festival.The volume of music was not as high at the Starcom studios on River Road. Ronnie Clarke said there were only a few other tracks outside of Blood’s album. Clarke commended Blood  for the start he had made to the season.He said Starcom was encouraging “top quality” producers to submit songs earlier, since they were desirous of rotating better songs more often. If that system were to obtain, it would redound to the good of all concerned, Clarke said. He figured it would encourage other producers to improve and seek to network with people of known high standards.The popular call-in programmes for the season that fuel tempers and discussion will be back this year.Admiral said the a new-look Festival Stage  would kick off at monthend. Unlike previous years,  the night-time presentation will be highlights of the daily shows, which will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.Among new initiatives is a more educational  and developmental Festival Stage this year. Rather than just critiquing an artiste or song,  he said he would bring in knowledgeable  people to point out improvements.Starcom’s show Fireworks will get under way  in June with usual host Dennis Johnson.Both companies will switch to 100 per cent Crop-Over on July 1. In the case of CBC, 100.7 is the official Crop-Over station, and 98.1 The One will be 100 per cent local at certain intervals.The music on the various stations will be largely from the 12 tents that are registered this Crop-Over. The Barbados Association of Tent Managers (BATMAN) tents are expected to open their doors  from as early as the end of the month, while the tents under The Alliance will be opening from early June.The six tents under The Alliance are working as a collective this time around. A spokesman said they were approaching some sponsors as a body, so members could benefit more and these very sponsors could gain wider exposure of their products or services.Members were also exploring the idea of having joint shows and the possibility of a season pass that would allow patrons access to all member tents.Crop-Over officially kicks off on July 3 with  the BNB Crop-Over Festival Opening Gala and concludes on August 2 with Grand Kadooment. 


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