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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sweet 7 and the TRIBE Registration Horror

This is a VERY good read for all of you who lived through the frustrations at TRIBE's registration horrors on Saturday; blogger Sweet 7 wrote about her nightmare experience online.

I was both at Cascadia and then online for all the drama that went down and trying to piece the LIMITED information together to make sense as the TRIBE hotline was futile in giving information (it was always busy) and the website/twitter updates were very late.

The one thing I felt TRIBE should have let masqueraders know BEFORE hand is that there was a "pay at cashier" option online that allowed you to print a receipt and pay at the mas camp. No one knew this until someone mentioned it on the Trinidad Carnival Diary Chat and that was how several masqueraders were eventually able to get registered as their Credit Card never got accepted online.

In addition there is still NOTHING on TRIBE's website advising how the "pay at cashier" option is supposed to work! Since I have to go in and pay for three costumes this way I called the mas camp yesterday and was told to come in today after 12PM to pay for the three masquerader's online registration in cash. I was not given a deadline however I was further informed upon my own inquiry that they will hold the costume for 48 hours. So, if you chose this method to pay for your costume on Saturday or Sunday note that you need to get the cash to TRIBE's mas camp as soon as is humanly possible.

The other registration horror story is that of the man who mysteriously appeared with a phantom # 200 at Cascadia. The person who arrived first got a chit stating she was # 201, however when registration started the young lady calling numbers called # 200 and the man came out of nowhere (no one who was there from before 5AM saw him until that moment) stating that he had # 200! Totally incredulous at this #201 asked the TRIBE staff issuing numbers how come the man had #200 when she was #201 and was told that there was NEVER any #200. In retrospect #201 said the man stating he was #200 did not even have a physical chit in hand. As you can imagine, the masqueraders who were waiting from since the wee hours of the morning were NOT happy.

As for number of costumes available the following is what #201 calculated based on a collaboration with the other masqueraders in the top 10 registering at Cascadia on Saturday. The numbers were compiled by her own investigations and contacting the other masqueraders in the top 10:

Random man ( Steve he said his name was)- 4 Osage

Masquerader #1- 1 Charmeuse (female), 1 Frontline loulan
Masquerader #- 2 Loulan BL,1 Charmeuse (female)
Masquerader #3- 2 Threads of Morroco ( 1 female,1 male), 1 Charmeuse( female)
Masquerader #4- 3 Tyrian Purple
Masquerader #5- 1Loulan bk, Silk of Rajasthan (female),2 Lapiz Lalzuil ( male).
Masquerader #6- 1 Loulan bk,2 charmeuse (1male,1female),1 threads of morrocco
Masquerader #7- 3 Tyrian Purple
Masquerader #8- Had to leave gave her number to her friend: 2 Loulan backline and 1 charmeuse.
Masquerader #9- 2 Osages,Zari (wanted loulan didn't get it)
Masquerader #10- Wanted Loulan didnt get it. She took 1 Charmeuse and 1 Mulberry.

After much investigation and calibration of the people in the line up from 1-10 we realized that just 6 loulan backlines were available at TRIBE's in house registration.

What about the males? were any males available?

I was told also that as number 12 walked into to register they removed Loulan from the board saying that it was sold out.

Now I am a total advocate for getting to Cascadia early to get your costume of choice, I don't only preach it I HAVE done it, I have lined up from early to get registered in the section of my FIRST choice. While lots of people think this extreme it was something I was willing to do because I wanted a certain costume. This year, seems like even being number one did not get you any guarantees as #201 was told Mystery of Loulan frontline was sold out , she eventually argued her way into getting it as she could not understand how it was sold out if she was #201!

I do not begrudge the pre-registration system, if you have a link to get in before the madness by all means use it, none of us would refuse if given the chance. But, when you, TRIBE, don't even leave ONE costume for in house and online registration something is seriously flawed in that system. I know online there were Mystery of Loulan frontlines available as my friend did get in, however I am at a mystery as to what happened at Cascadia!

Maybe next year online should be reserved for overseas masqueraders only as many, many local masqueraders registered online, quite possibly because you needed a physical TLC card to register at Cascadia, something many masqueraders never received or collected,and had no choice but to register online with their TLC code and username. This is probably part of the many situations which contributed to the infamous crash on Saturday, something I never thought would occur again after 2005. In any event the whole TLC system really needs an overhaul, I have been saying that for a very long time. There are much more cards than there are spaces in the band, especially when we masqueraders HAVE been asking for a smaller band for 2010.

Only time will tell if the reason for so many people not getting into TRIBE in 2010 is because of a band with reduced numbers. As for those newbies, TLC holders and 2009 masqueraders that did not get in, well there are 16 other bands (and possibly more) to choose from, you have LOTS of choices. If TRIBE was not an option for me, I can surely tell you I would be in Harts Mas Sweet Mas/American Indian costume! The only thing worse than people griping over not getting in is thinking that TRIBE is the only band to play in; come on people Carnival does not equal TRIBE!

Feel free to leave comments on your registration experience, both good and bad.



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