Consequently I thought it best to broach the subject publicly, as I kept repeating the same thing via email anyway. As of now there are no confirmed band launch dates for any of the bands that I know of. My advice to someone who wants to purchase a ticket to Trinidad for a particular launch is to email the band in question and ask if they have an idea of when their launch might be held.
Short of that one can only hazard a guess as to when exactly a band will hold its launch. Especially as the trend is to hold launches much earlier than in the past and Carnival 2010 is relatively early. In my history of launches, many years ago, the first band to launch would be Harts. Their launch was held a week or two after Cropover in Barbados. Most bands launched between September to November, last of which was Peter Minshall.
Nowadays the trend is for “medial launches”, some started as early as May in 2008, followed by actual band launches taking place from the first weekend in July! The past two years TRIBE has moved up their band launch to the last weekend in July, Island People normally holds their launch in August after Cropover and Legacy now holds the spot of the last big band to launch in October. Evolution was the first to launch in 2008, followed by a series of band launches immediately following each other. 2008 Band Launch season was a hectic one, if you visited Trinidad any time between July and September you were almost guaranteed to be able to catch at least one band launch on any weekend.
It would be very hard for me to guess exactly when any band plans on holding their launch for 2009 but I do know that none of the big bands launch the weekend that Cropover takes place in Barbados. So for those of you planning on visiting for your band’s launch, good luck in getting the exact dates from the band this early; if you do let me know.