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Friday, March 20, 2009

Trinidad Fete Tickets Responds

Hi Saucy
I write to you in response to the review that L** A**** & L*** N*** placed on your site, and also to address the ensuing comments. With regards to their issues, yes they and a few other people were let down and did not get their Lara tickets, and some of those people are currently awaiting their refunds, which are being processed and sent out.

With regards to the complaints, as you know there are 3 sides to a story the 3rd side being the truth, so it will be for people to find a middle ground and decide whether or not I am the con artist some people are portraying me to be.

The said parties purchased tickets for 3 different fetes I believe, one of which being Lara, they received their tickets for ALL their other purchased other events, by assigning and authorizing somebody to pick up on their behalf.

Just a clarification to the ticket collection- I was obtaining the tickets from a committee member not Lara himself, I felt it pointless to correct L** at that point of us meeting due to her state of mind and argumentative.

When I spoke to L*** on the phone she was advised of the situation, as expected she was none to happy, and I listened to what she had to say even with the shouting and screaming and cursing. In the conversation she stated that there was nothing I could do to make the situation better, other than me telling her that her friends and self would get the tickets. At the point I realised that nothing I could say would pacify her, even though I said that they would be all refunded.

On Sunday night about MIDNIGHT (which is why I was in bed), we had a conversation with - I believe now to be L**, stating that she wanted to meet to get the tickets for the final fete which was happening on Thursday after carnival. I informed her that I would deliver them on Monday morning, but because I wouldn't give her a specific time, she insisted that she wanted this matter resolved now, as in immediately.

I was staying on my own and I wasn’t driving, and they made the decision and ended up coming to me at 1am Carnival Monday morning, as I refused to be walking around St James looking for their accommodation on my own at that time of the morning. I don’t see that as being unreasonable especially since I had already stated that I would come on Monday Morning.

Basically from the conversation that was had, I should have done more than give her a refund, and also I shouldn’t have distributed the tickets that we did managed to acquire. Also as far as she was concerned we should have notified them a week prior about the situation - a situation we knew nothing of until the very last minute, so there was no way for them to be notified way in advance. I wasn’t saying much because there wasn’t anything more I could add to the situation that was going to make it better. Also when somebody starts to threaten you, by announcing that they are going to ensure that “socadiva”, “Trinidad fete tickets” are going to be taken down, starting with your visit to the Tourism board on Thursday morning… really what more is there to say, from my experience somebody who is prepared to go that far, will NOT be interested in anything you have to say.

I would say that most of our customers were happy with their service that they received, and whatever problems arose we tried to deal with them to the best of our ability.

Many of our customers did not adhere to the opening times of the office,

Office hours for FEBRUARY 2009
Friday 13th- 1pm - 4pm
Monday 16th - 1pm - 4pm
Wednesday 18th- 1pm - 5pm
Thursday 19th- 1pm-5pm
Friday 20th - 10am - 5pm

And on many an occasion I met people outside of these hours because they had not assigned someone to pickup tickets on their behalf. A few customers were delayed by there flights which is obviously not their fault.

Where I felt we were at fault i.e. not having the tickets in the office when they came to collect, I offered to meet some customers, a few of them I delivered to the hotels/accommodations, I went that extra mile because we were did not have the tickets at time.

I will state again to those customers who have been affected that we apologise for the inconvenience that you incurred, as this was not our intention, especially the fact that they restricted the paypal account, and the information that they required to resolve the situation could not be done until I returned to the UK.

The service was there to ease the pressure of going around getting fete tickets from various locations; and for the most part we achieved that. As with every business things can go wrong, and you do your best to right those wrongs, for some it is never enough. Customers were always kept informed via email updates (daily and weekly), texts and phone calls.

I have noted the recommendations that have been posted, with regards to cut off dates and not using certain promoters. In hindsight these recommendations do make a lot of sense. Carnival veterans know the difficulties in obtaining certain tickets and how they often are obtained at the 11th hour. But I will seriously take into consideration canceling ticket orders if not obtained by a specific date.

I would just to like to add that those person/s who cared to comment on my character and were not even a customer of the site, I understand you did so out of pure maliciousness. It is very easy to make false accusations behind a screen name. If you have unresolved issue you know my full name and email address, feel free to send me an email stating your past or present gripe.

Pamper Suite!

The Element's review today reminded me that I had glimpsed the rest stop pampering put forward by the band for their masqueraders on Triniscene and that I had made a mental note to comment on it; see photos below:









Now these are the amenities you can offer when the band is a smaller size! Imagine having 5000 people wanting massages and makeup done during a lunch stop! Anyway I am lobbying that this is a pretty cool idea and if you cannot do it for the 5000 masqueraders then why not having something special done for the Frontliners? Just a thought!

D Krewe Review

Saucy,
I would not go into too much detail with regards to what went on with my individual, but apparently the materials for the back piece never got to the person building it. So I had to settle for just taking the regular option A for Falls. Collection was carded for Friday 20th. I was then told that by Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning for the latest I would get my costume. With that said I proceeded to do my normal "feteing". I made my way to the camp along with my friend who was playing in the same section, upon arrival we were taken to the back where we were told that the section had "crashed".

At that point I felt like my whole carnival dream was crashing down, because originally I wanted to play in Morning glow and they scrapped that section and then to come and crash my second choice!!!!!!! We ( my die hard carnival pahdna and I )were given the option to get a full refund or we could choose another section at a substantial discount. I really was not in the mood to go hunting for a band with space at that time so we opted to take another section for much, much less. After much deliberating we ended up choosing "Sun". I was also given a further discount for the cost of my boots and the material used to decorate them for falls. ALSO I was given additional material to decorate the boots however I saw fit for my new section. So carnival Sunday saw me stripping the blue and silver decorations from my silver boots and spraying it gold.

CARNIVAL MONDAY
After arriving home and getting about two hours sleep after jouvert I woke up, got dressed and headed out the door to meet my band for 11. (I left home 10:40am) Meeting the band was easy because the route was posted up in the mas camp from before and I just had to judge the time and the approximate distance that they would have passed. So after meeting up with a fellow blogger by corner bar to accompany her to her band ( quiche, IP), we found IP and she was on her merry way. I ended up meeting the band still at the mas camp and what apparently seemed like no attempt at pulling off... I was like: geeze and I thought I was late. I was able to scrutinize the "wrap" that we were given for Monday wear and how people tied them cause not for NOTHING I could get mine tied at home. so while waiting on the band to pull off I got my wrap tied. my Monday wear consisted of a self constructed 3ft tall blue Mohawk headpiece my blue gems on my left arm to represent the falls ( yes I was still in denial) and my blue wrap. If they didn't want me in falls then I would play in falls in my own lil carnival world. Hey even my id band had falls on it.

The band eventually pulled off closer to noon and we headed straight for the avenue. The first thing I noticed was the sheer size of the band. I honestly was expecting that we would be a medium category band but when we hit the avenue I was like WOW. and this was not because there were non masqueraders in the band, the majority of people were wearing their ID bands. The route for Monday was simple: From the mas camp down the avenue, then down St Vincent street. we avoided the downtown stage and went back up Frederick, across park street and then up charlotte street and onto the savannah. After crossing the savannah stage we decided to head home.

CARNIVAL TUESDAY
After meeting up with a fellow blogger once more and helping her find her band I had to then find my own band. So this time I used the whe d band service. it was accurate to about two blocks as it told me my band was on the corner of Gatacre street and Ariapita avenue, when I got there I realized that moved up, I ended up meeting D Krewe by the ice factory. the route was slightly different in that from the bottom of St Vincent street we headed straight for south quay and the downtown stage. as opposed to going across independence sq and then up Frederick street. It was only then that I realized that I was section number 2!!! Again I was shocked by the sheer size of the band, even more so actually as most of the masqueraders were out in full force from early on carnival Tuesday. The band was looking great. After crossing downtown stage and being awarded numerous stops by phototakeouters.

I noticed the looming grey in the sky in the very near distance, and so by the time we rounded the corner onto Broadway and onto Independence square the rain started, it brought relief to the sweltering heat and I didn’t mind cause my headpiece and boot feathers had been coated in a good layer of fletch dry (THANK YOU ISLAND SOUL). at that time we stopped for lunch ( in d middle of the road) as we were waiting for our drinks trucks to catch up with us as they did not head to the downtown stage with the rest of the band. Lunch consisted of mixed rice, mashed potato and baked chicken IT WAS LASHING!!! The route then took us along Independence square south and up Piccadilly Street and to the savannah. After savannah we went thru St Clair and ended up by Roxy by which time it was the end of carnival Tuesday. The band ended up right back at the mas camp around 7:30 ish, I of course stayed until the music trucks pulled off with a speed that my drunk self cuddnt safely keep up with.


Overall experience with D Krewe ..... 8 out of 10. They lost points for the costume problems.

On the road experience............ 9 out of 10. lost a point for what appeared to be mismanaged security.

Music............. the two trucks that I was around..... 10 out of 10

Food...............10 out of 10...........

Costumes..............10 out of 10..... They held up very nicely on d road

Goodie bag........... ZILCH........ ah deodorant, one coupon and ah condom.... allyuh cudda do better than that.


Element's Review

Saucy:
I know that your audience interest in the band Elements is not great, but was hoping I could share my experience with your readers:

My family and I decided to play with Elements this year. To be honest our main motivator was that we know some of the people involve in the band, but we were also looking for an alternate to Harts. We’ve played mas for the past 7 years, 2009 being our 8 year. Our renewed mas experience and first time experience for our children was in 2002 with Poison. Although we had a great time (nothing could of spoilt it for us that year) we were not happy with the size of the band. The size presented lots of problems.

In 2003 we played with Harts and continued to do so for the next 6 years. Our problems with Harts were not many but did have us looking for an alternative. The big peeve we have with Harts is the length of time they spend standing around on Monday and Tuesday. We understand it is because Harts does not go outside of St. James and St. Clair, but it does make the day seem much, much longer. The bands literally runs from the band house to the Savannah, and then spend the rest of the day, very, very slowly making its way through St. Clair and St. James. The other peeve is the amount of young horny boys, that line the streets, hoping for a “wine” on a young girl. It really restricts the movement of the costume participants. Forget about going to the front of the band, because that is where the majority stay. On top of that the music is the same through out the band so if you do not like what they are playing, you’re sh… out of luck.

So on to our 2009 Elements experience. The costumes were fabulous. We played in Cabaret and it was the best costume we have ever played in. We got what they had on the web-site and it held up for the 2 days. It is the first time I wore my costume for the whole day on Tuesday. The rain on the feathers did not affect them. In contract, last year in Harts, the website costume had about 50 feathers, our backline had 1. We would have been happy with 10 but thought 1 was pushing it a bit.

Costume pick up was about 1 hour, although we were to collect ours on Friday and did not get them until Saturday. I was a little apprehensive when told that, as I though it was a sample of things to come. We did make some adjustments to our costume, but we do that every year. The only difference is this year, they were cosmetic changes like adding more beads and braiding.

Thankfully, Carnival Monday and Tuesday was great. The band moved constantly. No long waiting around to make up time. We did not make it to the downtown stage on Tuesday, because we were backed up behind about 10 bands, so the band leader decided to turn back and head for the Savannah. It was the right decision and we partied over the Savannah stage in sunshine and still full of energy.

The food and alcohol flowed freely, the wee-wee truck attendants were wonderful and kept the place clean and the music was fantastic. They only had about 1000 masqueraders in the band on Tuesday so 2 music trucks were more than enough. One would have been too little and 2 were a bit much. I did move between both trucks and enjoyed the fact that I could move freely through the band. It was such a relief from fighting with the crowds last year. I was so happy and carefree that I forgot myself and had a little too much to drink on Monday. I usually wait until Tuesday to go a bit overboard, but I was having such a great time.

The highlight was lunch stop on Tuesday. It was in a secured car-park with one entrance so no outsiders were around while we ate and rest. As we walked in they gave out mats to everyone to sit on and cold Luxozade to drink. Lunch was tasty and filling. My young growing son could of eaten 2 but I have learnt that there is never enough food for him.

We had toilets, toothbrushes and toothpaste with 4 taps with running water and 2 long mirrors to put our self back together and be ready for the serious part of partying that was still to come. There were 4 makeup artists available to refresh our makeup and 2 foot, 1 body and one neck massager. I took advantage of the foot massage which was wonderful. Overall a great experience and a fabulous carnival.

We would play with Elements again, if we come next year. We come all the way from Vancouver BC every year. It is what keeps us going for the other 50 weeks of the year. Vancouver is hosting the Winter Olympics next year, so we may miss Carnival, but if Elements survive we will play with them in 2011.

Thanks for listening.
“Die Hard”

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