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Friday, March 06, 2009

TRIBE Feedback

Dear TRIBE,
Thank you for a great Carnival 2009. I absolutely loved my costume, best one I have ever worn to date and my time on the road was quite enjoyable. Although my Carnival experience ranks pretty high compared to other years I do have a few comments and suggestions to make in areas that I believe can be improved upon for 2010.

TLC Card:
This system simply needs to be scrapped and redone! One blog reader had a good suggestion to an alternative which I will share with you:

Tribe needing to revise there Loyalty card process.

The fact that some people have had their cards since day one, but have not played with the band since does not work and cheats the real masqueraders who are on the road every year. I know of people that buy their costume every year and sell it again for a profit. This practice will never end and will only get worse as the band gets older and more popular (if TRIBE getting more popular then they already are is even possible).

I’m not against the loyalty system at all as I think it’s a great way of rewarding masqueraders that join every year I just think it needs to be revised

I think TRIBE should formulate a points system that would reward the actual people that play mas on the road. The following is a potential example:

Play mas on Monday 0.5 pt
Play mas on Tuesday 1 pt
Front line 1 extra pts
Individual Costume 3 pt extra pts
Pay costume in full in advance 0.25 pt

Registration will then be set up in a tier system. People with 10-15 points register first. People with 5-10 pts register second, then 4 pts, 3 pts, 2 pts and so on. This tier system will be changed every year as some loyal Tribers get more and more points. Although this won’t eliminate people buying and reselling there costume completely, it will greatly reduce it because I guarantee the people with higher points are not the ones reselling there costume because they are the ones playing each year. This system will eventually weed out the people that have not played in years and are only looking to make a dollar on the true masqueraders each year.

This also makes it fair for those that do play every year and for some reason can’t make it one year, if they have banked 10 pts, they don’t have to worry about missing one year because there previous loyalty will still be seen with there number of points.

I know this will upset a lot of TLC card holders, but I think the true loyal customers (those that play year after year with or without a TLC card) will appreciate it and really benefit from it.
This is just ONE idea for revamping the TLC but whatever you do the system has never worked and loyal masqueraders need some REAL rewards and priority in getting registered.

Photographer for booklet and website:
The best years for photographs were 2005 and 2006 when the costumes were shot outdoors with natural light and masqueraders could actually see the costume properly. This year the photographs were photoshopped to death which resulted in masqueraders expecting the section Pheasant to be BRONZE when it was actually gold, not to mention the back of Spangled Cotinga was never shown on the website. Please forgo the fancy photographers, this is not a high fashion magazine spread, and just give us the costume photographed to show the true colours and from all angles.

Costume Construction:
Overall I was pleased with my costume but I had to do too many repairs to it myself. For instance I had to come up with a solution to fix the tail which was supposed to be worn tied to the body. If I could figure out that something more secure as Velcro could be used then there is no excuse for someone in production not realizing the fact that the tail was not secure with just ribbon. Also, the construction on the tail was not up to par, again I had to reinforce where feathers were joined because the workmanship was sloppy and rushed. Also I received two LEFT side foot pieces, an error which simply should not have occurred if someone had ensured that the costumes were ready for distribution properly.

The Bra Issue:
Every year I complain about the GRANNY bras that are given to size D cups and over and once again I am complaining again even though I solved that issue myself and supplied you with my own bra. Freya swimsuits are for size D cups and up I suggest taking a pattern from a balconet bikini top and advise the local bra manufacturer that they can experiment with some new shapes to get rid of that dreaded ugly GRANNY bra. Short of that I suggest sending your bras to be decorated in China like African Love Bird which did not have any issues with ugly granny bras! As a matter of fact, that entire costume was well constructed so as much as I do not like the idea of China production it might also help you with the aforementioned issue of costume construction as well.

Band Size:
2009 was supposed to be the year that the band was reduced to a more “intimate” size… that simply did not happen. The band was as big as 2008. I commend you on handling the number of people better than last year but in certain areas the crowd was just too overwhelming. Adding to the problem was the fact that all three of your hot DJ trucks were all congested in the center of the band causing a crush of masqueraders/DJ groupies to crowd the area. Please, please, please reduce the size of the band for 2010! If this means raising costume prices for 2010 so that the band will have less people sad to say I will vote for that as well, anything to keep the band to an enjoyable and comfortable size.

Music:
An idea to get the DJ groupies away from the popular trucks is to synchronize the music throughout the band so each truck will be playing the same thing all day. Therefore there will be no “hot truck” and no need for masqueraders to crowd one area of the band.

Alternately you can also consider linking the top three DJs like JW/Blaze 96.7, Hypa Hoppa and Xcaliber, two trucks each, so that’s 6 music trucks all with the “hot DJS”.

Get the faces of those sound systems (JW, Hoppy and whoever is the man for Xcaliber) to share face time at the different trucks to satisfy the groupies hoping the DJS will notice them .So if all six trucks play the right music and the hype men do some roaming spending a little time on each truck, then the crowd will be roaming happily too, and the groupies will follow Jason and Hoppy and make some room for the music lovers too!


Lunch Stop:
More blankets, more mats, more umbrellas and more tents are needed PLEASE; so many conflicts arose over masqueraders hoarding blankets it was ridiculous! Others complained about the lunch stop being too small however if the band is smaller next year this will not be an issue as I actually like the location of the lunch stop and I arrived early so securing a space was not a problem personally. We absolutely need more toilets at the lunch stop as well

Theme for 2010:
I know at this point it is a toss up between Space or doing an Asian theme which was the original idea until you heard another band will be doing a similar sounding theme. Listen, Space is ok and all but I just cannot see cute costumes from a Space theme. I absolutely vote in favour of the Asian theme and think the costumes will be awesome if you decide to take that road. Remember that this year was the BEST in terms of costumes; TRIBE blew all other bands out the water when it comes to presentation on the road, and the costumes were spectacular. Therefore the quality of costume design has to remain the same or get better for 2010 as your masqueraders have now come to love the feathers and beads; the costume is no longer complimentary! So please reconsider Space and definitely go with the Asian theme.

*Vote on the poll (under the countdown clock) for the theme you want!

Once again thanks for a great Carnival 2009 and I am looking forward to 2010 and an even better experience with TRIBE.

And for those of you who want to send your feedback to TRIBE email: info@carnivaltribe.com or visit the website and use the "CONTACT US" form.
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