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Thursday, March 01, 2012

Ronnie and Caro Carnival 2012 Review

I played with Ronnie and Caro; it was their first year playing as a large band. They were previously a medium band.

From the beginning the band was disorganized. Picking up my costume should have been easy but when I arrived at the mas camp my costume wasn't there. They claimed to have called all frontliners to notify them of the delay but I guess they missed my number and the other 10 people or so who showed up while I was there.

I missed Monday mas because I got home from Jouvet at But my sister and friend went; they said it was also a disorganized mess. People were not lined up nicely for lunch and they were pushing through the crowd etc.

Tuesday: There was no shuttle service to the band. The band was supposed to leave at 6:30am. We got there late (8am) and masqueraders were still just standing around independence square. By the time we got there we got what was left of breakfast (bake and cheese or ham), the bake and salt fish was finished.

We only had two drinks trucks and one weewee truck. At one point the line to the weewee truck was so long my friend and I walked through Port of Spain and found a bar, bought drinks so we could use their bathroom. When we previously used the weewee truck they had people there to hold your headpiece and give you soap and towels.

When we were going through Port of Spain the music and vibes were nice. Security sort of let people in and out of the band. I was supposed to have a liaison to get my drinks for me since I was frontline but she was useless. Only got me water once. I got my own drinks for the day.

Around 12 noon we lined up by the savannah to cross the stage and we didn't cross the stage until 6-6:30pm that evening. While we were waiting to cross the stage. We had no food, drinks or weewee truck.....a complete disaster. What added to this was no body in the band directed us to the drinks/food. The band leaders kept telling us to line up and get in our sections. Being stuck in line to cross the stage was the worst. Had I known it would have taken that long I would have left and went back. Instead I listened to the band leaders and kept waiting.

After we crossed the stage we went to the savannah for lunch...which was actually dinner. We had tents set up for every section and you went to that tent to get food. There was only one choice. Chicken, lo mein and rice. There were no blankets, I was so tired and fed up I just sat on the grass. Then after 1/2 hour....they started announcing that we would be moving in 10 minutes!!! At that point, me and the group I was with gave up. We just ate and left.

And the question everyone asks "why did I play with Ronnie and Caro?" My friends daughter played with them last year when they were still a medium band and they were pretty good. I guess being a medium band and a large band is very different. I will never play mas with Ronnie and Caro ever again.



afro chic said...

Having played with R&C previously, this review raised some questions for me.

1. Tuesday: There was no shuttle service to the band.
I don;t think R&C has ever had a shuttle service, did they advertise this?

2. The band was supposed to leave at 6:30am. We got there late (8am) and masqueraders were still just standing around independence square.

That's because nobody crossing Ind Sq at 6:00am cause the competition points do not open until 8am or when the judges arrive. This matters to a band like R&C who are competing for Band of the Year.

3. Around 12 noon we lined up by the savannah to cross the stage and we didn't cross the stage until 6-6:30pm that evening. While we were waiting to cross the stage. We had no food, drinks or weewee truck.....a complete disaster.

Drink and food trucks are not allowed in the Savannah, they wait in front of NAPA until the masqueraders come off the stage.

4. There were no blankets, I was so tired and fed up I just sat on the grass

Did they advertise blankets?

NR said...

Amen Afro Chic! I've generally heard positive reviews of R&C. I was thinking many of the very things you wrote in your reply when reading the review.

Dawnny said...

Ronnie and Caro compared to other bands were excellent in service. They always cater to their people. As for all these disappointments none were promised to you so why look forward to it. Shuttle wat shuttle this is not JFK. They will always get my money. The delay to the stage was not there fault it was the fault of the other bands not taking the correct route they should have.So you go and play with the Yumas and tribes and see if you could get drinks for the entire two days on de road. Never

Carnivalcocoa said...

Very good point AC: if it's not advertised, don't expect it.

HQ said...

So glad to see these comments. Have always been curious about R&C, have heard such great things! I'm sure the transition to large band was a bit difficult, but was it truly this horrible?

BloggerBoy said...

Ronnie and Caro is registered as a Large Band ONLY because NCBA now considers any band with over 600 masq. a Large Band.... If you realise they are Medium Band Of The Year downtown.....The reason you felt the band clustered is because we were stuck on the SMALL street for HOURS... There was NO problem to get food and they stated on a instruction guide Monday you have the option of Arabic, Creole OR Fish and Tuesday Chinese will be served.... Also my friend(s) was a frontline and she got a call IDK about you but ALL frontliners were notified... This review drags R&C name through the mud and degrades the hard work !!! On Monday Ronnie actually went to argue with Harts to pass!! Both Ronnie and Caro are on the road ensuring all is well !!

SI said...

I also played in Ronnie and Caro this year and being that it was my first year playing Mas in Trinidad I do not have any other band to compare them too.

However, I had a great time on the road with the band on both days, I was well fed with the snacks and lunches and I more than took advantage of the drinks trucks, so much so that the polite and friendly staff on bar remembered me and my orders.

My costume was just like what was advertised, although they did not have the correct size shorts for me to wear for the Monday but the staff at the mas camp where apologetic and did try to source an alternative.

I had friends who also travelled over to carnival from the UK who played with some of the "more popular" large bands and after hearing their experience of ill fitting, non finished costumes I was beaming with my Ronnie and Caro choice.

My friend and I had an amazing time, even with the standstill before the stage.

I would definitely recommend Ronnie and Caro for anyone considering playing with them in the future.

light skinned DR represented said...

I played in 2012 and enjoyed it aristocrats Baby....!!! And I don't know if I will have the funds for 2013 but if I did I will be there...the long wait was a Lil tiring but it was also a time to meet and greet all the fans and your fellow masqueraders...!!! Pump ya flag.!!

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