I am a long time reader of your blog, but this is my first time commenting. I must say, it is becoming quite a tedious process reading all these negative feedbacks about Island People Mas. This is my second time playing with IP, I played with them in 2007, which would probably be considered their worst year. I was given a bra that was way too small for me, waited 3 hours to pick up my costume, not to mention had my goodie bag thrown over a fence at me.
When I decided to play with them again this year was just for the sheer love of the costume. I honestly prepared myself for the worst, and was presently surprise when things were not as bad as I expected. I went to get my costume on Friday, the lines were long, but expected since I am not the only foreigner in the country. I paid that day and left as I had other things to do, went back on Saturday evening and was in an out within 30 minutes. Mine and my girlfriend's bra was way to big which they gladly switched mines, my girlfriend was not so lucky to get her size, they gladly switched her entire costume and gave her a refund.
Monday on the road we had a great time, I requested a fish meal and was given pelau with which I am pretty sure was cooked with meat and had a piece of fish thrown on it, but was too drunk to notice.
Tuesday was my birthday, so needless to say I was drunk for most of the day, Hennessy is my drink of choice and in the afternoon when the band ran out, I saw some guys on the side of the road with a bottle and they (in true trini carnival spirit) gladly filled my cup. My only major complaint Tuesday was the rain but should I too jump on the bandwagon and blame IP for that as well.I say all this to say, carnival and playing mas is a time to escape from all of life's everyday problems, like paying bills, crime, the economy and those of us in the North, the winter.
I have been playing mas for over 10 years. I played when there were no all-inclusive bands, when we had to walk with our canteen of rum, or buy beers on the side of the road. Go to Royal Castle for lunch or have a friend bring pelau in the trunk of their car. When we had to use the portable toilets or stoop behind a car or a wall with your friends blocking you to pee. Granted the cost of a costume today is much more than we paid years ago, but no band is perfect, not even Tribe, if you read Jumbie's blog. We really should not depend on a band to make or break our carnival experience, it's only 2 days and we wait all year for it.
I personally, will play with IP again, if they have a costume I love, and I am sure there are many people, just waiting with bated breath to jump with them again.
For those who posted negative reviews, or were just unhappy with the IP experience, you know what Saucy says religiously, "there are many other bands out there."
Thank you Saucy for bringing carnival to those of us who are not in Trinidad. Kudos to you on your up to the minute coverage on the band launchings, then going to the camps and getting individual pics, we cannot thank you enough for what you do.
Thank you for your time.