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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Smaller Band, Higher Prices... Are You Game?


So, a question was posed to me in light of all the criticism by TRIBE masqueraders that the band has now grown uncomfortably large and that they would ideally prefer a smaller band. What if TRIBE decides to cut the number of masqueraders in the band by 30% and RAISE costume prices by 30% as well; would you pay the increased price for a smaller band?

In numbers a 30% decrease in masqueraders would mean a reduction from the average number of 5000 to 3500. And a 30% price increase would mean male costumes going from average $3000.00TT to $3900.00TT, female backline costume going from average $3500.00TT to $4550.00TT and Frontline from average $5500.00 to $7150.00TT.

If this price increase would GUARANTEE numbers in TRIBE do NOT cross 3500 masqueraders, will you be willing to pay it? And what conditions would you expect to improve , or not, for increased costume prices?  Leave your opinions and thoughts in a comment below.


36 comments:

mjsbunny said...

This is something I've said more than once before. Hell to the yes I would pay the extra, if it would guarantee that I would have room to move and my feathers wouldn't get crushed. I more than think it's worth it!

This is most def the way forward. Who vex, loss! And Spice would be v happy about that, because they would prob get the overflow AND feel somewhat justified in raising their prices. Sigh!

Shellss said...

Of course ppl will pay it (note i did not say me). I don't care for TRIBE that much. Been there done that....If is smaller band I want...is smaller band I will play with. I dont drink alchohol and dont care for much food so for me to pay that would be stupendous.

Oh, I wait to see all the naying and hawing come July should they really reduce the band, when the majority cant get in. Oh and not to mention pre-reg. That might make up the entire band. Good luck to yall.

carnivalkris said...

Yes ppl, i does tend to bash tribe, but i have realised that there are certain luxiries that tribers have gotten accustomed to. i however do not support that smaller band, higher price, because as the number of masqueraders decreases so would the need for the quantity of these luxuries. amount of food to be catered, amount of costumes to be ordered from china/brazil/india/phillipines/timbuktoo, the amount of trucks on the road, the amount of road staff needed etc, and so bringing costs dows. its time for tribe/IP/ (:|)dkrewe and all these other bands to start passing on the savings to the masquerader instead of pocketing it along with their profits.

NO TO THE SMALLER BAND HIGHER PRICE.. NO NO NO NO!!!

ya'll may say that i am being unfair seeing as i am not a triber, however may it have to happen to ANY band, my mindset on this topic will remain the same

trinicandy said...

hmmmmmm then tribe would sell out in a few hours

i think the best option for tribe might just be the spilt ......that is have two bands "tribe 1" and "tribe 2"......each band take different routes but can possibly have the same meeting point and meet at a bigger location with more facilities for lunch and then in the evening meet again for the "road party"........in that way each band is smaller on the road itself but at the same time still have the togetherness of being one tribe........as for the line up of designers ....if yuh is #1 in "tribe 1" yuh section is #14 in "tribe 2"......or and each have different handbands and strick rule about staying in ur tribe must be applied

trinicandy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Billy said...

Nice idea in theory, but in reality...we all know expectations (after paying 30% more) would NEVER be met. Plus (in reality), there would be NO guarantees of size reduction (how would you really know outside of your own perceptions??) and better service...only the guarantee of higher prices and plenty vex ppl (who couldn't get in d band).

Amina said...

nah.

ppl want a smaller band need to find a smaller band, there are plenty out there, right? If you want to play in Tribe, well, Tribe is a big band and thats what it is. Prices high enough as they is.

babydoll said...

Amina I couldn't have said it any better. Short and to the point. There are other small bands that don't charge as much find one of the others for a fraction of the cost and as equally enjoyable.

safi said...

MADNESS! They already makin a good profit on each costume they sell! I think that would be a VERY slippery slope for TRIBE to descend!

Carnivalcocoa said...

BRAVO carnivalkris! BRAVO!!!!!!
You called the situation for what it REALLY should be. The logistics does not add up. Paying a higher price in order to pick up the potential profit loss is catering to plain old GREED. Plain and simple.
But folks get too emotionally invested in a mas band (like its their blood family or something)and are not thinking in such rational terms like carnivalkris'. Folks would be willing to cater to the madness, so all this logic will fall on many deaf ears.

I also agree with Amina. I done.

Louis said...

The only way to improve the services and by extension the quality of the experience in any band is to [A] have masqueraders provide positive feedback of their experiences (and Trinidad Carnival Diary is certainly in the lead on this), and [B] leave the band if the organizares/designers do not take heed. For those who want to see and be seen, then the poor service delivery will never matter. For those who want to get what you pay for and enjoy the greatest lime on the planet, either form your own section in a well known band - designer, music, the works, or go to a smaller band where you are a 'valuable/vallued' customer

designingDARYL said...

Great post Saucy. This is EXACTLY the type of question that needs to be asked.

While Kris has touched on some pretty valid points, he still falls short of the cusp of the question's true purpose. I think it is posed to really gather feedback regarding how TRUE you are to this band (TRIBE) and how content you are with your investment in said band so much so that you would go as far as to support a 30% markup of the band's assets just to ensure viability of said band in the future and solidify its place in the Carnival Market as a MEGABAND!

Now let's be clear - you can BE A MEGABAND with simply 100 masqueraders if they know what you once was. I'll give you a brief example, the Greeks worldwide are THE MOST ENTITLED people in the world (next to TRINIS lol), it is something that is inate seeing that the GLORY that was Greece was magnanimous, has caused a trickle effect amongst its people through centuries.

Now bearing in mind that the comparison of TRIBE to GREECE is unparalled, let's keep it in context; at the moment TRIBE is one of the best (or better) bands in Trinidad, given its service, costumes (except for Serica and Lapiz Lazuli LOL) and top notch DELIVERY! - Even in parties I know some who as soon as you say "I playing in TRIBE" they get stares and looks that are welcomed! It is a sign of some sort of deliverance (for lack of a better word) that you "GOT IN" and we have to keep it real, its a challenge to get in! However there are those that get in EVERY YEAR.

An addendum to the question posed to you - is this - WILL YOU PAY FOR THAT! That level of service, the feeling of euphoria or BLISS that you need to feel for the two days that THIS ONE BAND provides and ALL OTHER FAIL in comparison!

And these are not my sayings - they are proven - they are (for some) FACT. Check Saucy's archives TRIBE is the NEW STANDARD to which all other bands in Trinidad (and the WORLD) now SET THEIR CARNIVAL STANDARDS!

As for the 2 TRIBES - worthy effort but lots of thought has to go into it. PRIMARILY - the burden of execution will fall on the TRIBE security - who's work will be doubled to ensure that there is proper delineation between the two TRIBES. So for now, that idea should be shelved as its not practical.

Katie said...

i think it's the wrong QUESTION. it seems clear to me that TRIBE, for all the facilities they offer, are making a great deal of profit. is there some reason that they should be guaranteed that same profit? i cannot see any reason why they shouldn't cut the band size and keep the prices the same as they are now - which is DEFINITELY quite high enough (too high!) already.
but, of course, for them it's big business, and as with any business the rules of supply and demand apply. unless a carnival authority were to step in and cap the prices, they will continue to charge whatever people are prepared to pay. and for all the complaints about size or anything else, people are not voting with their pockets and handing their money over to someone else, so why would it be in their interest to make a change?
in reality, they are more likely to keep pushing it, keep increasing the prices AND possibly even the band size, until people actually stop handing over their cash.

designingDARYL said...

All I know is that the people like MAS and pretty costumes. Even one blogger wrote as part of a review/complaint about TRIBE that they should come out with beautiful costumes next year. Well people beautiful costumes TAKES money to produce, frequent trips to the United States and around the World is necessary - all of which is part and parcel of the costume payment process. It is a science and one that many folks find hard to believe when trying to justify the cost. But it all adds up and who knows in the long run - TRIBE may not make as much of a profit as you all speculate them to make? Carnival costumes and managing a carnival band is BIG BUSINESS. Some do it better than others and the ones who do it best, CHARGE APPROPRIATELY because the product you recieve is EXACTLY what you pay for....

FIRST LOOK @ TRIBE SERIES anyone?

designingDARYL said...

All I know is that the people like MAS and pretty costumes. Even one blogger wrote as part of a review/complaint about TRIBE that they should come out with beautiful costumes next year. Well people beautiful costumes TAKES money to produce, frequent trips to the United States and around the World is necessary - all of which is part and parcel of the costume payment process. It is a science and one that many folks find hard to believe when trying to justify the cost. But it all adds up and who knows in the long run - TRIBE may not make as much of a profit as you all speculate them to make? Carnival costumes and managing a carnival band is BIG BUSINESS. Some do it better than others and the ones who do it best, CHARGE APPROPRIATELY because the product you recieve is EXACTLY what you pay for....

FIRST LOOK @ TRIBE SERIES anyone?

shandygirl78 said...

I like Billys point...I do not believe expectations would be met. The prices are high enough as they are.....Tribe just need to come out and officially say one way or the other what their intentions are. If there will be no change in policy/band size let us know so we can go elswhere. If they intend to reduce band size and they are forced to apply a reasonable price increase way lower than 30%, let us know as well. My costume was already $1000 US, and the quality was just ok....So I would not be willing to, on blind faith pay 30% more to have glue all over the place and mismatched stones and all of the rest of the sloppy things I notice on the costumes year after year. Also the famous "service" that I always hear about is only good if you compare them to other organizations in Trinidad....I do not live in Trinidad so I still see areas for improvemnt.......So no way would I shell out 30% more especially since I feel we are all owed a refund for the garbage that was 2010.

HRISAlicia said...

I have a question?

Why would there be need for an increase of 30% percent in the price if their (Tribe) overhead is gonna reduce by 30%.

Its just less costumes so no need for overhead.

RWB said...

2 bands of approx 3500 each. So say 7000 to 7500 total.

That’s 2000-2500 more masqueraders. Of course there’s extra costs of the running a 2nd band, but also the savings of sharing resources. Without an above average price increase they may actually be more profitable this way AND have more happy customers.

I would not pay the extra 30% out of principle - even though I know that is just the laws supply and demand in action! The prices are already crazy in any currency.

RWB said...

Not to mention the fact that I can’t understand why one should pay more for the experience and safety that they promote but are failing to provide at the current price.

greg said...

well said amina!!

Jerome said...

I would never pay this purely on principle.
If this proposal really was introduced, I would be really interested to see all the supporters of the concept come registration time when they themselves are booted out from pre-registers. lol. Then guess what you're gonna have to pay another 30% mark up on carnival junction etc, or hope yuh "link" dont run away with yuh downpayment.

I have a stupid question - does anyone even know what is their policy re: corporate/ social responsibility?

Carnival is much more than any one or two bands to me. My philosophy is that I'm only paying what is equivalent to my weekly income, which presently is not more that $4000. Will prob be easier on the foreigners though, but I ain't paying that.

CityChick said...

Well I have never experienced it but will add my two cents h-ap ney anyways cause dah is how ah stay!

First of all, no way these bands have the amount of people touted on these boards. I saw the band. I know what 3,500 people looks like. Not. it. It probably feel like 3,500. It wasn't.

Thanks Amina also for taking the words outta my mouth. People love to use the two s words in TNT I notice- service and security- to justify what they trying to hide saying. The other S. Society. Playing in Tribe is like some secret gentleman's club that once you are in, you are a member of the upper echelons of mas players- you are more discerning, you are of a certain class, you are most certainly not a jamette! You can hold your nose in the air high.

Carnival to me is supposed to be the great equaliser- the President jamming next to the vagrant next to the nurse next to the fireman. So don't hide the obvious. The 30% increase is an aspirational price- it is not about the size of the band cause quite frankly is Carnival you going if you wanted space you woulda go on a vacay to some African savannah.. you come to jumpupwineupsqueezeup tight. So its simply to separate the sheep from the goat, the red ants from the black ants, the orchard from the tropicana orange juice!

To come back to you question, no I won't pay these sums of monies at all. Not 30% given that there is a maximum amount I can consume on the day and given the cost of the costumes from China. I may be dunce but I ent stupid. I like mas but not because!

To all the people who fighting up to play in Tribe, try something else, I did, and I don't give a dry ripe fig about getting into Tribe cause I had a ball on the road! Its not that serious! Save yuh money!!

Saucy aka "The Sauce" said...

City Chick I cannot vouch for numbers in other bands but TRIBE had more than 5000 people this year; don't ask me how I know but I do :)

dtriniwoman said...

@CityChick I agree with u about the 800 pound gorilla in d room - Society. I remember when I saw ppl coming over from Harts and playing with Poison I was like Poison getting stoosh? Well then lo and behold when TRRIIBBEE (my best stoosh voice) came out it was the band to see and b seen and hence it became a scene!! EVERYBODY and they mamma wanted to play with TRRIIBBE. It became too much for my sis and I and I mean we were them from Pleasures Carnival. My issue is not only band size but the clique system that seems to exist especially with the pre-registration fiasco. Half these ppl who play with TRRIIBBEE wouldn't even talk to the average person who they jump up next to the next day. I am not going to pay those exurbetant prices unlike some ppl I will find another band even though I hv had a TLC for years but that TLC thing is another story since it DOES NOT matter anymore (did it ever???)

BACHANALMAS said...

is tribe really that big?? i mean 5000 is not that big in comparison to Poison? and the other big bands of yesteryear! if i remember they were like 12000 in the last year, i think if you wanna be in Tribe u wanna be in ah big band and you just need to accept that and get over it!

i personally think a band under 1500 looks scrappy and i like the sights of a real big band but would never consider one im happier wit a medium band.............

BACHANALMAS said...

lol @ darryl,

you givin me kicks about how bands source materials to make stunning costumes, and how much tribe in theory makes!

well i for one know where tribe gets some of their sections produced and what the cost is for this and also how the process works so i know they making one fat piece ah cheese after all their on the road costs not even adding in all the sponsorship they get which is also an abscene amount so much so that alone probly takes care of their on the road costs. i think tribe could reduce the size of the band easily and still make a good profit, but they wont because they want to make an obscene profit, and also the more costumes they have produced by mr china man in a single style also reduces the overall cost of an order!

CityChick said...

Well I am just saying I did not see 3,500 people on the road. The band was big but spread out. I walked the length of the band. I have been in arenas that hold 10,000 people and I cannot honestly say I saw half of that in Tribe.

ms. hershey said...

citychick... half of the 10,000 you speak of would indeed be the 5000 you saw...

as for upping the price to accomodate less masqueraders... foolishness. logistaically it simply makes no sense. you have less people, that's less costumes to make, less materials to buy,etc. they could never justify that kind of hike and i'd honestly hope they have more business sense than to even propose it.

Springmoon said...

@ms. hershey: it might seem counterintuitive that the more people that play, the lower the costume price, but sometimes when buying in bulk, the higher your numbers, the lower the cost of the individual pieces of your material (and the lower your cost per piece). I have no idea if this is how Tribe is assigning the price of the costumes, but it's possible.

But, to the point at hand: no, I would not pay more to play in a smaller band. It seems like, as other people have pointed out, that they would use this as an excuse to really limit who gets in, and we know how that can end up in good old TnT.

jadeless said...

Jadeless: I would pay the higher price for comfort anyday!! I think they should seriously consider it an option.

CityChick said...

sigh... read again...I said I did NOT see half of 10,000.

Okay ah gone in meh bed. Outta all yuh thread. I say me piece. Madness. Even the prices now are inflated. Super inflation then at 30% more. Ah praying for a carnival costume sub prime recession.

(Asks self- what ah doing in a Tribe thread anyways?)

DQ said...

I think that its crazy that this is even a thought far less a suggestion. 30% more? Even one cent more than the current price is too much in my opinion!

designingDARYL said...

Here are the FACTS as stats and yearly trending observations will show:
a) The prices for TRIBE WILL increase for 2011 (albeit not by the 30% as THROWN OUT THERE)
b) TRIBE will sell out in 2 days flat
c) FineAHban.com (both literally and used as a website!)

Shellss said...

And,,,,, your point is what exactly?

BACHANALMAS said...

ask him again! lol daryl,
we know tribe will sell out in 2 days thats a fact for the past 2 years, even if they hike the prices up 30% and still keep the band the same size u all will still give them your money same way! but again i will say this someone one day will repoduce the tribe experience spice tried, elements tried and is coming back for another go and as we all know IP is improving and clawing back members, theres only so long tribe can dazzle with all them feathers! i give tribe another 3 years before other bands fall into their standards of mas and services remember theres only so much and so far you can go before you reach a dead end!

mjsbunny said...

People need to be real yes. If TRIBE say that they will be increasing prices due to having less masqueraders, half of these commenters would cuss because they cyah get in the band.

The problem is that people want the best of both worlds. They want a smaller band with room to move, but they want all the amenities that TRIBE has to offer. Hello? These things cost money. Security staff, SPU, Bar staff, caterers, DJs, truck rental, clean-up staff, distribution staff, mas-camp staff. All these people need to be paid. I don't know if they have to pay to use Jackson Square. Yes they get a lot of sponsorship money, but I'm sure they still have to fork out a lot of cash.

And a lot of their costumes are sourced locally. When I went to have my backpack fitted, I got chatting to the guy who was sorting me out. He said he didn't do this particular backpack, but he was working on headpieces and FL backpacks since before registration (they seemed to have learned their lessons from 2008), and he was helping out with the waistpieces as well. They get their shorts made at zoom, and I know the two piece I wore on Tuesday (as well as last year) was made here.

So people need to get of their high horse, yes. I not shame to admit that I LOVE TRIBE and for the foreseeable future (and once I have the body for it), they will be getting my money until I get completely fed up and switch to Ronnie & Caro or something.

But for now, there are certain things I'm assured of when I register with TRIBE (and I do that the old fashioned way...staying up late on my laptop!). I like knowing that when I email my bandleader, she replies. She mightn't reply immediately, but she always gets back to me and tries to sort out my problem. I like knowing that collection will run smoothly. I like knowing that despite it's ridiculously enormous size, TRIBE runs its operations like the military. And that is something I cannot put a price on.

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