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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Carnival Monday The Saucy Review – K2K and YUMA

On Carnival Monday this year I spent the majority of my time in K2K Alliance with several visits to YUMA (My Tuesday band) since both bands assembled close to each other and followed a similar route.

The quality of craftsmanship on the sewed pieces was excellent. The actual costume looked like the prototype with slight variations; for example the corsage for Saraswati Sea was actually bigger than the original. I did not collect my costume myself but the packaging and presentation was also very well thought out as the costume came in a garment bag and the other pieces along with the “goodies” came in a nicely made duffel bag. 

costume in garment bag 

Inside the duffel bag was another drawstring bag, snacks, cup (with lid), spa products from Cher Mere, Facial Scrub, Vitamin C packets, lotion and toothpaste. All this with very little sponsorship!

goodie bag and goodies

There was a problem with the delivery of Monday wear, headpieces and backpacks with other members of my group having to go back to collect missing pieces on Carnival Sunday and one of my friends never got her backpack even though it was promised to be delivered on the road Carnival Tuesday. Needless to say this put a damper on the excitement of wearing such beautiful costumes.

costumes at collection

Costume design is the strongest element of K2K as everyone kept stopping to ask what band this was as the costumes were stunning and in their own league of avant-garde mas.

K2K competed in the medium category and on Monday the band probably had only a couple hundred masqueraders present. Now I was a bit apprehensive about playing with such a smaller band than I am used to but I can definitely see the pros of having a small band. You would never lose your friends, getting a drink was easy, and crossing the stage was wonderful with the entire band on stage. This has reinforced in my mind that I am more comfortable with a SMALLER band than one that is mammoth in size.

Food and Drinks
The drinks truck was late on Monday because they were stuck behind TRIBE. I left and went to YUMA who were having a great time on the road headed to the Savannah. 

YUMA on Monday 

 Drinks there were flowing, had my NUVO and went back to K2K who were still at the meeting point. I also went back to YUMA while they were crossing the stage and had snacks from their snack truck that was parked along the Savannah . Eventually K2K’s drinks truck arrived along the route to the Savannah and the bartenders were clueless as to what was available though service was quick. I asked for Johnnie and one said there was none but was able to get from another bartender.

Drinks Truck Finally Meets the Band

After crossing the stage I left K2K went to YUMA (planning to meet up K2K at their rest stop) and decided to have lunch with YUMA as well. That is when I saw the insanity to get into CIC Grounds with just ONE entrance and a mob of people who had to get their security bands checked. 

YUMA @ CIC Grounds Rest Stop

Many people opted to sit under the trees on King George the V Park and since the snack trucks were parked there with plates all spread out nicely for taking that was my option for lunch on Monday with YUMA. It was easy and the snacks were just the thing for on the road to me instead of a huge meal; we had samosas, kebabs, mini spring rolls, chicken fingers, drumsticks, pies, sandwiches and saheena.

We never found K2K ‘s rest stop as they did not stop as we thought they would and they also never served lunch on Monday. 

There was one D.J. truck and to tell the truth the music selection was fine for the road. The best part was that we asked for the song we wanted to cross stage with and they obliged so we crossed to Iwer’s Jab Molassie which made crossing the stage an even better experience.

The starting point for K2K at Lord Harris Square should have positioned them right behind Bliss and/or YUMA IF they had any road management to co ordinate the route. Unfortunately road management was virtually nonexistent and after Bliss, YUMA and Fantasy all passed us assembled on the corner of the square one of the masqueraders spoke to a member of K2K to advise that we get in front of TRIBE who were making their way up Abercromby. I believe they were waiting for the drinks truck at this time but masqueraders fell into place soon as Fantasy’s wee wee trucks passed us by and the truck eventually pulled out onto Amercromby Street even though TRIBE had already sent their banner ahead.

Fantasy Passing Us By

Road management is serious business, you see the crew from other bands (such as TRIBE and Bliss) with their headphones directing the trucks where to go, the pace to move at and scouting out the road ahead for any other bands blocking the route. K2K needs to hire a crew to do this for 2013 as the lack of any road management made getting the band moving along the route a painful process.

Service from the Norman sisters and affiliates was faultless from registration to on the road Monday (although they needed to be on the road before masqueraders arrived). They kept us updated with Facebook blasts and apologized when there were delays.

We had none or even security bands !

K2K was made up of a mix of older and younger masqueraders with very few men in the band on Monday (I saw them on Tuesday and the males were better represented). The energy level in the band was great, everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves and were friendly with each other I mean it is a small band so you get to know your fellow masquerader on a different level .

Overall I enjoyed K2K Alliance on Monday though I think there is room for improvement on some key areas which if addressed can position K2K as a leader in their genre of mas for the future. The fact that this was not only K2K’s first year but also that the bandleaders have little Carnival experience was evident in the issues that arose. For 2013 my advice would be to get counseling and direction on how to manage a band from veteran band leaders, hire a road management team, secure a resting stop for masqueraders, make sure food arrives on time and keep designing beautifully artistic costumes.

1 comment:

Carnivalcocoa said...

I have high hopes for K2K in the future.

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