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Saturday, August 09, 2008

Casino Royale ... the Elements Advantage

Some points to touch on that were revealed last night at Elements pre-launch media briefing:

The Size of the Band:
Target market is 2,500 in the inaugural year and a maximum of 3,500 masqueraders for years thereafter. Elements plans to keep all sections to a size of 250 masqueraders

Sections and Drinks/Meal Options:
There are 11 sections with a possibility of one more being added later on. One of the 11, Jubilee is an All Girls section. 10 All Inclusive Sections where everything (Premium Drinks & Food) is included.1 Non Drinks Inclusive section called Cabaret (Everything other than our premium drinks is included, meals are provided)

On the Go Grill
For the first time ever in T&T Carnival Elements will be introducing an “On the Go Grill”. Easy to eat, quick grilled food items will be available all day from the grill. Masqueraders get hungry at different times and also prefer not to eat a huge boxed meal but an easy snack that provides them some nutrition and energy boost.

More Dance Less Rest
Lunch stop will not be hours long, on Monday it will be only half an hour.

Drink Package Options
Elements offers you the choice of drinks inclusive and non inclusive options.

Ok, so some good ideas that if executed as planned will bode well for Elements future. However I have some points to note.

  • I am somewhat disappointed that the whole idea of having “options” is not really the case since basically the whole band is all-inclusive save ONE section where only lunch is provided. My thinking was that masqueraders would have been given the options of drink packages for ALL sections; especially since they have touted that the small man on the side of the road selling phulorie and soft drinks has been left out of Carnival and they intend to give them business. The drink package option is really not an option at all unless you choose to play in Cabaret.
  • The on the go grill is an excellent concept, I like it. More bands should think about providing small hearty snacks throughout the day. But if memory serves me right Island Events was the first band to have an “on the go grill” where they made hamburgers and hot dogs to order; they also had sushi as well!
Other than those two points, Elements seems to have a very good plan. The band size is manageable and I would love to see if in future, that they really do keep to their limit of 3,5000 masqueraders maximum for the longevity of the band. I also like the “more dance less rest” motto, less time at the lunch stop!! I remember Harts used to start up the music and charge ahead after lunch, no rest for the wicked. The only thing is half an hour on Monday for lunch might be a bit too short? I don’t know, by the time the entire band gets to the lunch stop it will be time to leave! They also said that the bars will remain open right through lunch which means there will be constant replenishment of supplies, no need to stop and refill the spirits! The spirits will come to the band.. or so I hope!

Anyway, here are some250 costume photos for you to enjoy from the launch; click the link to be taken to the album:

Elements Casino Royale 2009

There are more to be seen on the website, take off your pop up blocker to have full access.

On the question of Band Loyalty...

I have read many, many, many comments by people who think that having band loyalty, particularly to TRIBE (as this seems to the band that produces the most odious response to band loyalists) lumps those that do so into some sort of insipid category. It is almost as if because people cannot fathom or understand that there are people who will continually support a band year after year regardless of trends or novelties, they make it their business to attack persons who do so. Let me ask, how is being a band loyalist affect YOU of no band affiliation??? Is it really that serious where I choose to play my mas or spend my money??

The funny thing is that Peter Minshall had the most LOYAL crop of followers dubbed the "Minshall-ites" who played faithfully with PETER MINSHALL and Peter Minshall ALONE for many of his 30 year history in mas. Even when he gave them a grey jumpsuit and a rat head to wear or made them carry a chair through Port of Spain they did it willingly. When Minshall stopped bringing a band many of them felt betrayed! Some stopped playing mas altogether. With the coming of Mc Farlane some old Minshall-ites rejoined his fold and, there are now Mc Farlane loyalists who will play in no other band.

Not to mention that Harts has been in this business for over 40 years and have some VERY loyal masqueraders!! Bands can come and go there will always be a certain bunch of people who play with Harts; case in point is a very popular section leader who I know personally. She has been with Harts since the early 90s when I too played mas with them faithfully! When TRIBE launched and her friends switched to try out the new thing, she staunchly said she was not leaving Harts and has never done so. There is one blogger who has played with Harts for countless years and will be playing with them again for 2009. I should also mention that Sonia Mack has her faithful masqueraders who will follow her to any band she goes to, staunch support! In the era that was Poison there were people who would proudly boast that they will never leave Poison that they “had more fun”, year after year, even as the band grew to epic proportions they still played with Poison unwaveringly Yet I hear no one having anything to say about the Harts loyalists or Sonia Mack supporters, and everyone has suffered amnesia over the fact that Poison had the largest group of band loyalists ever!

Band loyalty, to people who know nothing of the history of Carnival, is NOTHING new! The people crowing over the fact that TRIBE has amassed a loyal following would not dare say anything about the Minshall-ites now would they? People, it is NOT that serious who plays devoutly in any band or their reasons for doing so. At the end of the day it is not YOUR money spending so why should you care if any band has a loyal following? Whether the followers are blind to any sins the band might commit or follow them wearing a crocus bag as if it the hottest costume under the sun, it really isn’t anyone’s business but the masqueraders’ now is it? If it humors you laugh, move on and jump around from band to band, that is your choice, just as it is others choice to stay put in the band they support for as long as they care to do so. You will be surprised to know that loyalists also sometimes move on to other bands, whether by choice or not, and develop a new relationship with a brand new band; loyalists can be dynamic! The world is made up of all types, and as long as there is mas in Trinidad there will be band loyalists and critics ready to pull out their soap box!

Elements First Look

Last night saw a very good turn out at Pier 1 for Elements launch of their Carnival 2009 presentation "Casino Royale". Media were invited to a special pre launch presentation where it was revealed that the website is due to be fully up and running on Sunday 10th of August and registration due to start on Friday the 15th. It was intimated that committee members are already in possession of their registration cards and are pre-registering friends and family, all in keeping with the whole vibe of "having fun with friends"!

Eleven sections were shown last night, both frontline and backline costumes, with the section Showgirls being available upon request.

Normally I would launch a full scale costume review, but this time around I am doing something different! I want YOU readers to do the first review of the costumes; you can choose to review all of them or just one. What I ask is that you give your honest, frank opinions without any personal attacks; this is not the forum to grind your axe! Just leave your review as a comment, I am counting on you to give lots of feedback! I figure it is about time we hear what other people think about the costumes before I impose my opinions on you all.

Later on I will post your reviews as well as give you my take on the costumes; here are the costumes in this album.

TRIBE registration infoblast

I am not too sure if this has seen this as yet but please note the following information concerning TRIBE registration:


To ensure that masqueraders have adequate time to prepare for registration, we have moved the start of costume registration (In-house and online) to Wednesday 13th August, 2008, 5:30pm.

Please read the information below carefully.


Who can register? Date Registration Hours Place Payment Methods Credit Card Payments
TRIBE Loyalty Cards (TLC) Holders ONLY Wed. 13th – Thurs. 14th August, 2008 5:30pm – 9:30pm Cascadia Hotel Cash & LINX ONLY
Online – Available during registration hours Credit Card ONLY Senvia (Visa, Mastercard) – Trinidad & Tobago, USA, Canada, Cayman Islands, Jamaica

2CheckOut (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover) – All other countries
Open Registration Wed. 20th August, 2008 5:30pm – 9:30pm To be announced Cash & LINX ONLY
Online – Available during registration hours Credit Card ONLY Senvia (Visa, Mastercard) – Trinidad & Tobago, USA, Canada, Cayman Islands, Jamaica

2CheckOut (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover) – All other countries

Online Registration is NOT 24hrs a day. It coincides with In-House registration hours which are Local Times. (Check times above)

Masqueraders registering at Cascadia Hotel will be permitted to register a maximum of four persons, including themselves.
During TLC registration, each costume purchase must be accompanied by the corresponding TLC.

• Your TLC is non-transferable*
• Only one Costume purchase per TLC
• TLC is only accepted when presented with valid corresponding picture ID
• Physical TLC must be presented for in house purchases

*It has been brought to our attention that TLC holders have been ‘selling’ their cards and/or use of their cards. TRIBE reserves the right to invalidate any TLC for inappropriate use.


Save time during your sign-up!!! - Register with Senvia before Wednesday to make your costume registration time shorter and easier.

All Users (New & Returning) –


Regular – TT$1,000 or US$175 (TT$1,050)
Frontline – TT$2,400 or US$400

FEMALE Hipband (Belt) Size in Inches
Bathing Suit Type (Bikini, Whole piece, Tankini)
Bra Size (34B, 36C, 38DDD, etc)
Bikini Bottom Piece Type (Regular, Thong, Hot Shorts)
Bikini Bottom Size (XS, S, M, L, XL)

Males Waist Size (34”, 38”, etc.)

IMPORTANT: Carnival costumes are custom-made items therefore please be advised that once registration is complete there will be:
• NO exchange or switching of sections.
• NO refund of deposit.
• NO changing of measurements or sizes.

Please note that we have been experiencing problems with our mail server which has hindered our communication in the past few days. The problem seems to have has been rectified and we will respond to all outstanding questions and queries before registration commences. We apologize for any inconvenience.

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