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Friday, February 22, 2008

Island People Review

Written by a Carnival Virgin!


This was my first time in Trinidad and my first time playing mas. My experience with Island People was great- mostly because of their obvious experience and organization.

It began with me picking up my costume @ the Jean Pierre Complex. Every section had designated pick-up days the week before carnival which cut down on lines and wait time. I received my Great Egret costume in a white box and also a cowboy hat for Monday and the headpiece for Tuesday. Possibly just as exciting as the gorgeous costume was the goodie bag!!! It was filled with snacks, samples, an Island People Animal Instincts bag, zebra-print umbrella, zebra notebook, and mouse pad. When I got home I looked at the bikini and realized that it was a medium (I’m a 36DD so that was not making it). I thought I would have to go back and make a scene but when I went on the Saturday and explained to a woman at the counter she did not make me wait in line and simply gave me the correct size- problem solved!

Carnival Monday the band left on time, I know this because my friends and I had to run to catch up. The bar was stacked, but the bartenders were not the happiest looking people- I made sure to say please and thanks as much as I could and they warmed up over the day. Lunch was not great- I asked for fish and got a veggie meal which was pasta salad and really over-cooked corn. I wasn’t impressed. However, a veggie burger made up for that and more drinks also made me forget about the not so wonderful food. Honestly, I think IP was the sexiest people I have ever seen. People were wukking, wining, and jumping from 10am on! I had the most fun and danced until my feet hurt to wicked DJ’s and hot music.

Day 2 was full costume and more fun. The food was better and I think bartenders had come to grips with the fact that we’d be asking them for drinks…all day. The whole band stopped for a lunch break and sweet reggae and dancehall kept people in the groove. My friend had to visit the first aid truck which had helpful people and benches to relax and cool off. Security was good until we got to St. James and then it got a bit lax, I saw nuff people jumping into the band but I’m from Toronto where jamming with any band is part of carnival so I didn’t mind at all- more jammishness! A friend was annoyed because she believes that if you pay money for costume you pay to party- but to each his own. As we neared the stadium where the afterparty was the band really heated up. I didn’t intend on going to the party but as we waited for a friend playing in another band we decided to check it out. Lots of over-drunk people and non-masqueraders, and it took 3 tries to get 2 beers- not too hot. Every masquerader got a ticket to give a friend but I think security was just letting anyone in. The music was non-stop soca and reggae so we jammed a bit and left just before it was over.

Overall IP was fiyah, I’ll definitely play with them again and will eventually play with Tribe so I can see the difference. The organizers deserve credit, it can’t be easy to deal with all these people but they pulled it off. This carnival virgin is satisfied!

As the Carnival world turns......the soap opera continues

Got this email in my inbox:

If you read Saucytrini's blog today, you may be wondering whether members of TRIBE are going their separate ways ... whether the band is splitting into two ... etc.

The situation is as follows:

For Carnival 2009, TRIBE will be offering masqueraders two options: an all-inclusive option and a non-inclusive option:

ALL-INCLUSIVE OPTION: Masqueraders will receive everything that they have been receiving since the band's inception: costume, drinks, food, etc.

NON-INCLUSIVE OPTION: Masqueraders will pay for costume only. However, costumes will be different from costumes provided in all-inclusive option and masqueraders will receive different colored wristbands. Masqueraders will also have the option of renting carts, where you (and your friends) will be responsible for supplying your cart with your own drinks (and food). Of course, costumes offered through this option will be less expensive than those offered in the all-inclusive option.

If this really comes to pass it is an EXCELLLENT business move by TRIBE. The waiting list for people wanting a costume was ridiculous this year, so what better way to not only make masqueraders who were left out happy but those who complain about not wanting all the “extras” and about the price can have more choice now.

On the positive side, I am hoping that this would mean the band is not as large as this year, but of course I can also foresee TRIBE 1 (original TRIBE) jacking up prices as you can always get a costume in TRIBE 2 for cheaper. TRIBE 2 sounds like it can work very well since Harts is a non-all inclusive band and was the only other band to sell out along with TRIBE. Once costumes are priced competitively, TRIBE can posie themselves to have a monopoly on Carnival! Ah the critics will have a field day!!

Anyway, as long as Super Mo Mo stays with TRIBE 1 that’s where I will be since I do enjoy my all-inclusive package and I lover her costumes. I can make a suggestion of which designers/section leaders can high tail it over to TRIBE 2 but I am thinking the smart move would be to still have the TRIBE trio,Gail, Lana and Monique design for BOTH bands!

I tell allyuh, I love Carnival, I love the bacchanal!!!!!




p.s. The Band I was referring to in the first paragraph of my "gossip" post yesterday is NOT TRIBE... I think that is a BIG enough hint right there!
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