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Monday, February 26, 2007

TRIBE pics

Well I cannot believe Warrior Spirit has their OWN gallery on who I believe were the offical TRIBE photographers. Anyway, finally we have exclusive TRIBE pics (yes I am biased I got tired of sifting through too many photos to see TRIBE) so go check out the galleries at Carnival Scene.


Now that Carnival has come and gone and I am left with too much time on my hands to think of all the events that unfolded I have some comments, suggestions and observations to make to the bandleaders, specifically for TRIBE since it’s the band I played with, but others can feel free to take my recommendations to heart or not.

I first want to address the costume issue as it is the most important element of the Carnival experience for women. I appreciate the fact that TRIBE caters to all and sundry regardless of size, but personally I think the past two Carnival presentations the costumes were “nice” but not spectacular with the exceptions of one or two sections. Now, I am a different type of masquerader, some would be quite happy with a simple costume and small headpiece, but I love glamour! To me you are regular Jane Doe 363 days a year and Carnival is that one time where you can channel that inner Diva, therefore I am partial to costumes that are lavishly decorated and plumed.

Seeing that TRIBE has to cater to everyone’s taste which is a difficult job to do in itself, I would suggest having more Frontline costumes available as a choice. This year we basically only had a few frontlines in Bat, Pierrot Grenade, Imp, Jab Molassie, Dragon and Jab Jab none of which appealed to me. Not wanting to make band versus band comparisons, I have to say I liked how Island People offered frontlines for almost all their sections, therefore giving the choice to those who want simple or more elaborate costumes. And what would make the frontlines even more attractive to masqueraders wanting more than a “basic” costume would be not to price them exorbitantly, not all of us are willing to pay $1000.00US for a frontline costume! Island People’s frontline costumes last year ranged from $3295.00 (Sahara Sunset) to $4595.00 (Goddess and Defenders). I would also like to make a plea for the male costumes to be more than just board shorts, an arm band and foot pieces. I saw many guys, hubby included, in Warrior Spirit who went the extra mile and added more to their costume so the men are paying attention to what they wear.

The next thing I have issue with is the wait between band launching and actual registration. Last year we waited over a month to register following the band launching, which was a bit too long if you asked me! Ideally after the band launching the website should be launched the following week, putting in place all the necessary tools for overseas masqueraders to register online. Thus, even though registration is delayed slightly I can obsess over costume choices, and prices, on the website. Harts tried to follow this formula but kept those overseas masqueraders waiting for quite a while, one section selling out in the interim, which really is not fair to those who are physically unable to be in the country to register at the mas camp.

I have no complaints about the registration process at TRIBE, last year things went quite smoothly for me and even though there were some glitches with those registering online those were sorted out as well. Unfortunately I also had to make the trip to Island People to register someone and what really caused the long lines and wait was the fact that they allowed people to view costumes at the same time as registration, so those people took their cool time looking at costumes before anyone could be let inside the mas camp to register. To circumvent that issue this year I would offer a suggestion that either registration be moved to another venue seeing as the mas camp is too small for the number of people that descend upon it for registration or they allow costume viewing prior to registration allowing ONLY registration on the days specified.

As for costume pick up, I would really like to see costumes distributed two weeks in advance of Carnival instead of one and give overseas masqueraders more than ONE day for pick up! The difference between picking up hubby’s costume on the Wednesday and my costume on the Saturday (designated day for overseas masqueraders) was like night and day. His costume pick was painless with a minimal wait while I had to wait for a long time, moving from room to room. Also, if costumes are distributed within enough time masqueraders in need of adjustments can get them done either at the costume adjustment centre (without a rush) or on their own if they so choose. In addition it is much easier to match accessories when you get your costume early!

Although the advertised “goody bag” does not make or break my total Carnival experience the bag we got this year was pretty useless and to take TRIBE to task, it did not provide me with any Carnival essential well except for the cup! Masqueraders are pretty easy to please; offer what is advertised and we are all happy. Therefore a real goody bag, to me, would provide the one thing that I was left lacking on the road; a mini purse to match my costume! A simple request, I know but I had no where to put my cell phone, vex money, blotting sheets, mirror and lip gloss! Hubby became the official man purse on both days, much to his chagrin! A cute mini purse that could be either looped around your belt or across the body would be very nice to have in the goody bag next year, in addition to a bandana and mini bottle of sun block.

A big issue with lots of TRIBE masqueraders this year is the fact that no type of Monday wear was provided. Now I know there are the die hard “I wear my costume on both days” masqueraders but honestly I don’t know how they do it as the costume is so sweaty and grimy at the end of the day I cannot fathom how it gets cleaned for Tuesday. Most ladies really have no problem purchasing the extra pair of boy shorts from TRIBE and I think what most of us would have liked was a simple vest or tank top , t shirt for the guys, with a TRIBE logo on it to wear on Monday. I know the excuse is that persons use the Monday wear to “storm” the band on Tuesday, but really there are ways to get around that, we all have to wear wrist bands now don’t we? If it would help stamp a big “MONDAY ONLY” sign on the back of the garment so security could easily identify the alleged stormers on Tuesday.

One problem I had with my costume on Tuesday was that the decorations on either leg kept hooking on each other as I walked resulting in some of them being ripped off the leg of the costume. What I needed was a “costume repair” truck, but alas there was none! So, my idea is to offer this service at the lunch stop. A tent where any masquerader with “costume issues” whether from someone pulling too hard on the back pack or a wardrobe malfunction, could go and get a quick repair of the costume. All that would be needed is a few hot glue guns, some able bodied workers and maybe some extra beads and sequins on hand. In addition, to take an idea from Carnival Jumbie, mas tights can also be on sale at the lunch stop for all those rips, runs and tears that befall some masqueraders on the road. I have to say it happened to me on Monday but I was wearing TWO pairs of tights (I was prepared) and simply took one off at the lunch stop and voila, perfect looking tights for the rest of the day!

There are no complaints about the drinks or bar service from me, when I met the band on Monday and a drinks truck stopped in front of me the bartender politely asked “what are you drinking miss?” Talk about nice service! Lunch on both days tasted good, I was hungry and went with the herbed pasta and parmesan chicken on Monday and Bar B Que on Tuesday, so I cannot comment on anything else that was served. I do think the snacks could be improved, even if that means offering less options for lunch. Really, I would not have been starving if there was more “nibbles” to snack on while we were waiting to cross the stage; you know something to help absorb all the alcohol! The tortilla chips (way too salty), Crix minis, cookies and Dixie biscuits were really poor choices in my opinion. Next year I hope the snack choices are improved greatly. I had only one complaint about the afternoon snack and that was the Bake and Shark needed some condiments!

Finally, to be totally frivolous and off the wall what I really, really needed on Tuesday was a masseuse! I think it would be quite decadent for the “bourgeoisie” band to provide a masseuse service for its masqueraders! Think about it, we can have a roving massage bus, with an on hand masseuse as well as masseurs at the lunch stop giving aromatherapy massage during lunch!

And to all those with suggestions, comments and even complaints of your own as per TRIBE’s website and Member’s Guide feel free to send them feedback either through the website or email:
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