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Monday, January 08, 2007

The Best Things in Life are Free!

Before the revelation that there would be no Machel at BLISS I was quite willing to pay the $400.00 that TRIBE was calling for the “ultra exclusive” event seeing that I usually kick off my Carnival fetes with one all-inclusive. But this year I cannot justify the price of that ticket, especially as the cost of my costume went up by that said amount over last year’s price AND there is no Machel!

Since then I have made the decision that unless I am getting a complimentary ticket to any of the “high priced” all-inclusive this month I am quite content to stay at home; after all I would very much prefer to use that money to pay off the balance on my costume, collect my boots or purchase my other Carnival accessories. It may seem like a drastic move, but trust me, there will be much more fetes in the coming weeks!

Some lucky bloggers like Carnival Jumbie have scored free fete tickets already and you can read her review of B.G. all-inclusive at her blog. That’s the spirit right there, I don’t think I have ever enjoyed an all-inclusive more than when the ticket was free! Over the years I have scored my share of “complimentary” tickets or have had some willing sponsors to fetes. Thus, it is very hard to adjust to the idea of paying to party. I even had a hard time paying $150.00 for Panorama last year, imagine, all the years I have stormed pan semis and over the past two years I actually had to pay!

Next month I might be more inclined to pay for a few fetes, especially during Carnival week however, even then I am not killing my pocket to fete this season. Yesterday’s Newsday featured a piece on the cost of all-inclusive fetes this Carnival season, highlighting the exorbitant prices. Now I am not too sure where they got the figures, but the article might be of interest to those enquiring about prices for some of the more popular fetes:

Ticket to ‘ultra inclusive’ fetes — $700

By JOAN RAMPERSAD Sunday, January 7 2007

Fete admission prices for Carnival 2007 will be hotter than ever.

Promoters have now introduced “Ultra All-Inclusive” parties. Entry to one fete can set back an individual up to $700.

The prices have been heading up for the last five years, so much so that public parties are becoming somewhat extinct, especially given the high crime rate in the country.

People from just about every walk of life may opt for these all-inclusive fetes, this year. As a result some promoters have now gone the step further coming up with what is now called “Ultra-Inclusive fetes.”

For the ordinary citizen who would like to party in a peaceful atmosphere, they will be at pains to attend more than one or two of the $150-plus parties that are currently being advertised for Carnival 2007.

A quick check on the prices of some of these parties revealed that they are averaging about $400 per person.

When Sunday Newsday questioned what the “ultra” was all about, a fete promoter responded that they had decided to make their party bigger than an all-inclusive, by adding champagne, caviar and escargot to attract more exclusivity.

The cheapest all-inclusive fete is being held by the Trinidad and Tobago Associ-ation for Responsible People (TTARP), where a ticket to that event is $150. But for the so-called ultra-inclusive fete, patrons will have to fork out at least $700.

However, the schools that have grabbed at the opportunity to raise their own funds for improvement of their learning institutions, with the exception of Bishop’s Anstey High School, the price range of those school fetes is between $300 and $400.

These schools include St Francois Girls’ College and St George’s College at $300, St Mary’s College fete costs $375, and both Fatima College and QRC fetes will be going at $400.

For a regular Bishop’s all-inclusive ticket, it will cost $450 but to get to the champagne area patrons will have to pay $700.

Some of the other all and ultra-inclusive fete tickets include St Augustine East Lions’ Heartbeat — $350, Blood Bank — $400, Tribe’s “Bliss” Ultra-Inclusive — $399 (for members) and $450 (non-members), Celebrity All-Inclusive — $450, “Chillin’ In South” by Karamboully Kreations and UWI — $500, Hilton — $600 and “Dancing in the Sanctuary” — $600, “Friends To The Max” and “Playa Del Este” — $700.

Mc Farlane Mas Camp Visit

Last evening I visited Brian Mc Farlane’s mas camp, en route to check out the lime at Peter Samuel’s mas camp which is one street away. Surprisingly Mc Farlane’s camp was opened and of course I took the opportunity to have a look at the sketches up close.

The entire building, inside and out, is painted pristine white and apart from the framed costume sketches on the wall is rater minimalist in d├ęcor. All of the sections are priced and named, with the exception of the two all female costumes as reported before. Upon enquiring I was told these are priced at $4700.00 for Antim Yatra and $7200.00 for Swaagatam.

The latter costume is made entirely of silk, with a back pack and silk paneled skirt over a “can can” to get the full skirted effect. It is also very ornately decorated with “jewelry”.

Further enquiries into the section that allegedly sold out. Anna Dhan, revealed that it is not completely sold out as yet, but being the cheapest section it is almost sold out!

Two other sections which are not on the website these are:

The strange thing is that an employee at the mas camp assured me that all the sections were on the website with names and prices however I have been checking the website regularly and nothing has changed. If anyone is seeing something different, please let me know!

In the meantime here are the rest of sections with names and prices compliments "iggy" all the way in Norway! thanks a bunch!

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