Not to make an unfair assumption, but it’s safe to say that Eurovision is the major interest of most readers of this website. But of course, you also know about the ABU Song Festival, or as some would call it, “Asiavision”. Perhaps you’re also aware of the recently created Türkvizyon Song Contest for the Turkic regions of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, or the Bundesvision Song Contest for the German states. But the enduring legacy of the Eurovision Song Contest has spawned more than these spinoffs worldwide, including one you may not have even heard of before – the All For One Caribbean contest.
Yes, while many fans have been musing the idea of a USA-vision or something, anything in the Western hemisphere, the dependencies and island states of the Caribbean have already been joining together in song since 2013, and the competition draws more parallels with Eurovision than most other spinoffs so far. Both of the contests that have taken place so far were held in Fort de France, the capital city of Martinique, a French overseas territory. Guadeloupe joins Martinique as the other French territorial interest in the competition, with Saint Martin calling it quits after the first contest in 2013.
So how does All For One Caribbean work? There’s no semi-finals, the voting system is different (juries rate songs out of 100) and artists often get to showcase two songs, but otherwise it’s the Caribbean’s answer to Eurovision. The show is televised to all of the member states of the contest and sees a similarly lavish production to the European counterpart on a smaller scale but possibly with a bigger heart; messages of love, connection and pride are often much more prominent in this setting than in the contest’s bigger brother. Check out the first winner’s performance from St. Lucia’s Mongstar to see what we mean;
All For One is in its purest form one of the most faithful tributes to Eurovision’s ideals in another environment – mixtures of English, French, Spanish and Creole cultures are celebrated and explored and promotes an ideal of togetherness and integration between the Caribbean – echoing the sentiments of Eurovision’s humble 1950s beginnings. The contest continues its slow growth and will once again be held in 2015, although information on the upcoming staging of the competition is scarce. 12 territories (Barbados, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia and Trinidad & Tobago) took part in 2014, but it is unknown whether we will see more joining the party in 2015.
Here’s hoping that the latest addition to the family of song contests can continue to flourish for many years to come!
Check out 2014’s winner, Rosaly Rubio of the Dominican Republic, below;
Should more regions of the world unite in song? Will any emulate the huge success of Eurovision?