13738265_10153750984600777_5830066279038838839_o In the changing landscape of Carnival today I am sure you have seen them, at a fete or on the road, sporting their homogeneous branded gear that makes one quite aware that they all belong to the same group, association, crew or clan with the most vibes that have the most fun. We have arrived in the era of the Carnival Cliques, which has me wondering at the growing popularity of these groups where the behind the scenes reality for some is very different from the fun loving face. Whispers of forced friendships, rules bordering on cult behavior, physical fights, never ending bacchanal, backstabbing, and even illicit affairs between married members have been talked about in hushed tones. And while some people do enjoy belonging to a group where others share your love of Carnival, observers are now wondering about the organizers of these groups’ true motives. By capitalizing and turning a profit from selling cups, tees, hats to having their own parties and bus rides we now have a business model with a built in market. Not to mention the competition to prove that each crew/clan/group/association has THE most fun has resulted in doing the MOST at every fete to the point where one young lady went viral for ungraciously trying to wine upside down hanging off a boat and narrowly missing breaking her neck falling unto a cooler. Is it really that serious? Do you NEED to belong to prove that you do have the most fun and the most vibes, steal the show and hang out with the sexiest men? Let’s examine the growing desire to be part of a clique culture. As a Carnival virgin navigating the ins and outs of attending any Carnival can be a daunting prospect without knowing the lay of the land. I do believe that these groups serve their purpose as both Carnival virgins and veterans alike come together for the benefit of giving advice so that your first Carnival can be the best Carnival ever. The stress of finding fete tickets, a roommate and even company on the road is alleviated as your group members are with you every step of the way in the planning process. It’s a space where you can ask questions and get the sound advice from the people you develop a rapport, relationship and friendship with over the months leading up to Carnival. But, how do you even get in? How do you become one of the girls that have more fun? If you have a six pack do you automatically qualify for the clan? Getting in isn’t as easy as professing your love of Carnival or being a Carnival chaser; in most cases you have to be invited to join. Sure you can like the page on Instagram and buy a band that’s on sale. You can even go one step further and request to join a closed group on Facebook, however this is not the real CLIQUE. If you TRULY want to belong you want the invitation to the private chat groups where members are SWORN to secrecy to never discuss what goes on, this is the holy grail of being accepted. Congratulations you have made it in, now what? From what I have observed there are varying degrees of inclusion and commitment to belonging to certain groups. Some groups welcome outsiders who are in for the fun and camaraderie to party with them while others do not. The latter are easy to spot, at fetes they are the ones joined at the hip and moving as pack. Friends who do not belong to the crew remain outside the circle. And all this is well documented with group pics, of members sporting their hats, cups and other branded paraphernalia, your stamp of approval. Are you now part of one big happy Carnival family? From the persons who have been kicked out of groups, left voluntarily or parted ways to start their own groups, it is safe to say that belonging does not always mean being accepted. You will quickly learn that being the one who goes against the majority does not work in a clique. To be clear, not ALL of these Carnival groups exhibit clique behavior. True fun loving and healthy groups embrace individuality over group think, as in we do not ALL need to go to the same event to prove that we have the biggest crew with the most dominating (read obnoxious) presence.

I can say that Carnival cliques are here to stay, at least for the moment as current trends dictate. We are seeing an increase in popularity as more branded crews are represented at not only events but also in popular Carnival bands. Crews are now responsible for marketing and promoting fetes (some sell an event just by their mere presence) turning their popularity into a business. Looking in I can see the appeal of wanting to be part of what presents itself as the ultimate experience for having fun with attractive people. It is especially comforting knowing that as a newbie to any Carnival you have a group of experts who can guide you. Asics Gel Lyte 3 However, personally, as someone who tends to not follow the crowd anyway I also believe that you can have as much or even more fun on your own ,with YOUR group of friends. cheap wow gold You do not need to be IN to feel as if you are in the in thing.