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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Oh yeah and ah macco Island People too

I thought I might give it a try to at least see their costumes in person, but after the wait at TRIBE I was not up to waiting at Island People. Besides there was no air condition under that tent in the yard and no chairs, plus I was given number 50 something and they were now calling 28 when I got to the mas camp! There was free STAG and water courtesy the sponsors but I had enough gatorade at Cascadia and that STAG is not good for my diet.

When I asked to go in just to see the costumes I was told I could not, I had to wait and the waiting period could not be predetermined since some of the people inside the Mas Camp (remember were in the yard) were taking their cool time leisurely looking at costumes.

With that answer I was out of there as fast as I got there.

Pics from Stone Street, Island People Mas Camp:

Drama Free Registration ....

So I am back from my sojourn to Cascadia this morning to register with TRIBE. I won't say what time I got there but suffice it to say there was a posse already waiting, armed with beach chairs and refreshments in anticipation of a long morning ahead. Well, firstly I want to say "Hi" to the girls and guys who kept me company all morning, even to the one who was boldface enough to ask me if I have a blog ....LOL...yes, it WAS me, and I will go on record on saying you all will be responsible when Warrior Spirit is sold out today, I mean allyuh register about 50 people in one grap!

Anyway, the beach chairs and refreshments were not necessary, talk about organization, TRIBE had it down to a science today and registration was a breeze (well at least for me because I was to the front!). We were ushered into waiting room #4 with air condition, padded chairs, a television showing TRIBE's DVD repeatedly and coolers with refreshments. Later on there were TRIBE employees assisting those who needed to be measured and ever so often someone would pop in and keep us abreast on the happenings. Mind you, there was also a waiting room #5 which started filling up after waiting room #4 had filled all their chairs. Oh, and that was another thing, we were seated as we came, so those who came last were, well last!

We were the first people there for quite a while, we had time to go view costumes again (Jab Jab's front line looked great in person, I encouraged the girls to try on headpieces and we even wondered if people were lined up at Roaslino Street and were not aware registration was at Cascadia. Well around 11 people started arriving, looking shocked that they were NOT first.....ahm, if allyuh want to be first get there EARLY!!!

Waiting room #4 filling up.

Waiting room #5

The thing is even though you were to the front of the line you could not be sure if by the time you were ready to register that the section you liked would be sold out, see each person might not be registering for just one, I registered four people and the posse registered REAL plenty and the girls I gave the seat next to me registered a few people as well. There were some very anxious people worried that they would not make it into their first choice section, but all that I spoke to after registration did get in, so I guess it pays to be early.

The whole registration process did have some hiccups, first they were late, a few minutes late but registration did not start at exactly 1pm. We were ushered from the waiting room to the registration room in groups of 20, the first 10 had to grab a chair at a computer station while the other 1o waited for a seat. The process was all online, with a TRIBE employee doing the actual data entry, I had a printing issue in that the printer refused to print out my even though I was first at a seat to register I did not get to the cashier first, there were about a dozen or more people ahead of me! The printer issue was resolved, I was able to get everyone into their section of choice and then it was off to the cashier, that took about five minutes and I was out of Cascadia by 1:45pm. No traffic, no rush to get out of Cascadia, nothing !

All in all a MUCH better experience than last year's even though I know online was not the same. I heard the online registration was delayed by 2 hours, but I said it, I said I don't trust online AT ALL!!!!! I am sorry for all those who had to sit in front of their computer all that time, I hope you got into the section you wanted...I did, I am in FIREMAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

See allyuh on the road!

Another one bites the Dust for Harts

Amidst all the drama with other newcomers on the Carnival scene Harts is holding strong with another section sold out, making it 3 sections so far. Shangri La is closed.

Have you guys ever read the "Did you know?" section on Harts website? Here are some interesting facts about what makes Harts a "leader" in the mas business with over 45 years and counting under their belt:

# Harts was the FIRST Carnival Band to be labeled “ The Fun Band” in the 1960’s by the print, television, and radio media.

# We were the FIRST band to forgo our chances of winning a Carnival title or prize in order to ensure that our Masqueraders are provided with a non-stop party experience for the entire two days of Carnival. And we remain to date, the “only” large Carnival band that consistently puts you, before, us.

# Harts was the FIRST to introduce amplified Steelband music on the road, Carnival Monday and Tuesday, bringing an entirely “new” experience to the people that played in our band.

# The FIRST Carnival Band to have a female designer of Mas Costumes had to be Harts! Competing with the likes of legends of Carnival such as George Bailey, Harold Saldenha, Wayne Berkeley and Carlysle Chan, the first woman of Carnival, Lil Hart, made an impressive statement of costume design and mixtures of colors in Carnival that was never before attempted. The reviews were astounding. One radio commentator of the day described one of Lil’s fledgling Carnival designs this way “ absolutely stunning, when Harts is on stage, the whole Savannah lights up”.

# Lil Hart, the original designer and co-owner of Harts was the FIRST designer to take the then described “bold step” of producing a Carnival Band with costumes in fluorescent (neon) colours. “ So brilliant were the colours of Lil’s designs that press photographers complained that their photographs were coming out blurred”. Thank God for colour film, because you just could not stop Lil Hart in producing yet another FIRST.

# Drink Carts? The original drinks cart was the brainchild of three Harts Masqueraders: Ransford Thomas, Wayne Dalla Costa and Desmond Caracciolo. These innovative drinkers used a grocery cart as the original version of what is now a standard feature of Carnival. The cart, which was packed with what these young men referred to as their “vital supplies”: rum, whiskey, beer, and “chasers”, and which was pushed by hired hands, was FIRST seen in Harts Carnival Band. By the following year, several variations of the “ Drinks Cart” were out...long handle carts, broad handle carts, and yes, even a few more “grocery carts” suddenly appeared with additions like Roti, Pelau, Chinese food and other goodies. A far cry from the current carts with showers, cell phones and Johnny Walker Blue!

# As you know, Carnival bands and music go hand in hand. The younger generation of Harts, Luis and Gerald, nagged their parents to let them mount Purple Haze, the boy’s Disk Jockey title, on the trucks. Purple Haze put together a concoction of amplifiers, mixers, microphones, cassette players and, according to Edmond Hart, “ boxes the size of a short man” on top of the trucks to play for two whole days of Carnival. While “no other band would dare to do this”, as Edmond said at the time, the boys put DJ music as “par for the course” into Trinidad Carnival.

# Beads and under-wire two piece bathing suits for women? Yes…again Harts was the FIRST to take such a daring risk. We tried it with just one section at first and the result? … Well, look around at all the bands today and what do you see?

# By the end of the 1980s, security of the Masquerader became an issue. The Harts responded by being the FIRST to introduce organized security in a Carnival Band. It was a bold step and many thought they were mad to do it but the response from the Masqueraders was astounding. Nowadays, is there any large band without a security force?

# Well, after all this, what else? What about the fact that Harts was the FIRST Carnival Band to see the need for and develop an internet Website with online registration, HARTSCARNIVAL.COM. ? Never satisfied to be second best, Harts led the way again.

# Wouldn’t it be really nice for Masqueraders to be able to move through a Carnival Band hearing the same song in each Section without having to change rhythm of dance because you’re hearing two tunes at the same time? We thought so… and introduced the FIRST linked up music truck system so that our Masqueraders don’t have to miss a beat… drunk or sober, is only one sound throughout the band, so yuh still stepping good

Island People Prices

Don't shoot the messenger, but these are only some of the prices I saw posted on IMIX, since the website is not up no one can really confirm or deny if the following are true but for entertainment purposes I decided to post them anyway.

The thing is people would have been in for a sticker shock when they went to register yesterday afternoon, I wonder if they went ahead with the costume they loved at any cost or they changed their minds when they saw the prices? I also want to know if they got time to examine the costumes up close, ask questions about fit/bra options or was it one big rush to get IN. And for those overseas masqueraders who had to pay full price upon registration, how did you know what the prices were, did they email you a price list? I would love to hear from anyone who registered yesterday and your experience, leave a comment!

Sahara Sunset
Sahara Sunset Regular (without Backpack): TT$2695
Sahara Sunset Frontline (with Backpack): TT$3295
Sahara Sunset - Male: TT$2295

Arabian Nights
Arabian Nights (Arabian Princess): TT$2595
Arabian Nights (Arabian Dancer A): TT$2795
Arabian Nights (Arabian Dancer B): TT$2895
Arabian Nights (Harem Girl Orange): TT$2795
Arabian Nights (Harem Girl Pink): TT$2795
Arabian Nights (Sultan - Orange & Pink): TT$2295
Arabian Nights (Arabian Prince - Green): TT$2295

Cacti Regular (without Backpack): TT$2695
Cacti Frontline (with Backpack): TT$3095
Cacti - Male: TT$2295

Goddess and Defenders
Goddess Regular (without Backpack): TT$3195
Goddess Frontline (with Backpack): TT$4595
Goddess and Defenders - Male: TT$2695
Goddess and Defenders - Male (with wings): TT$2895

Jewel of the Nile
Jewel of the Nile Regular (without Backpack): TT$2895
Jewel of the Nile Frontline (with Backpack): TT$3995
Jewel of the Nile - Large Headpiece: add TT$400
Jewel of the Nile - Male: TT$2295

Sahara Jumbie
Sahara Jumbie Regular (without Bacakpack): TT$2795
Sahara Jumbie Frontline (with Bacakpack): TT$3395
Sahara Jumbie Male: TT$2495

Mirage Regular (Small Headpiece): TT$2795
Mirage Frontline (Large Headpiece): TT$4095
Mirage - Male: TT$2295

Nubians Regular (Small Headpiece): TT$2895
Nubians Frontline (Large Headpiece): TT$3395
Nubians - Male: TT$2495

Oasis Regular: TT$2995
Oasis Frontline (without Backpack): TT$3495
Oasis Frontline (with Backpack): TT$4495
Oasis Fan: add TT$1400
Oasis - Male: TT$2495

Raiders of the Desert
Raiders of the Desert: TT$2595
Raiders of the Desert - Male: TT$2395

Sacred Sand
Sacred Sand Regular (Small Headpiece): TT$2895
Sacred Sand Frontline (Small Headpiece & Backpack): TT$3795
Sacred Sand Large Headpiece: add TT$400
Sacred Sand - Male: TT$2495

Sirocco Winds
Sirocco Winds Regular (without Bacakpack): TT$2895
Sirocco Winds Frontline (with Bacakpack): TT$3495
Sirocco Winds - Male: TT$2495

Tuareg Regular (without Bacakpack): TT$2895
Tuareg Frontline (with Bacakpack): TT$3595
Tuareg - Male: TT$2295

To me the best deal is Oasis frontline, it looks like a Nylon Pool copy and costs much less but the biggest rip-off has to be the fan for $1400.00TT, I mean I was loving the backline costume because of the fan so that means with the fan the backline costume costs $4395.00..hello, for $100.00 MORE I would go with the frontline!

And I don't get charging a seperate price for the backline with a larger headpiece like with Jewel of the Nile and Sacred Sand, I honestly think they should come with the headpiece we saw at the launch...I saw no small headpieces on any of those backline costumes at the bandlaunching. Those big headpieces do not warrant the costume costing over $3000.00 but then again I can't justify Imp, Majorette or Jean and Dinah beaded bra crossing $3000.00 either! Tell me then, the frontline costs only $700.00 more for Jewel of the Nile and $500.00 more for Sacred Sand why play backline with a big headpiece?

So I guess I would have been relegated to a small headpiece or Oasis backline (minus fan) if I was playing with Island People because my budget is not crossing $3000.00 this year. And comparing Oasis backline with my beloved Fireman, guess which one wins at $2935.00 ? Yup, Fireman I need that extra money for my stockings and spray paint!

Aye, if anyone has more or official prices please email me:
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