Give us some background into Krave the Band. How was it birthed? In 2010 Avery Hackett and Tracy Boyce introduced Fireball Energy Drink to Barbados. We had an opportunity to work with most of the popular bands as a Sponsor. After 2 seasons of sponsoring the bands with a subpar ROI, we came up with the idea that perhaps we should create a VIP section within a band and do our direct marketing using that method. The plan was successful as we were able to recoup most of our marketing cost from the sale of costumes in our first Sold Out VIP section. However, there was a major disagreement within the band which resulted in a parting ways at the end of the 2013 season. In 2014 we faced a decision as to whether we would move forward independently or partner up with one of the other bands. Tracy was confident that she could design costumes which were more appealing than what was currently being offered. We decided to venture out on our own and create a small band with the main objective to promote Fireball Energy Drink and thus Krave The Band was born. How has Krave impacted the Crop Over festival? We believe Krave has impacted Crop Over in terms of international awareness, quality of costumes, road experience and new innovative ideas such as our Air Conditioned Double Deck VIP Mobile Lounge. Maglia Tracy McGrady These have all resulted in a renewed excitement and anticipation for Crop Over. This has also encouraged the existing bands to “step their game up”. Many new bands have also joined the foray into the Crop Over market because of what Krave The Band has accomplished, which resulted in more interest and exposure for our Crop Over festival. This year your presentation is entitled Burlesque, what can masqueraders expect? This year we wanted to step outside the box. With the “Burlesque” theme, we can create an entire themed showcase. Costumes will be beautiful, creative, and super sexy with lots of bling. Just like Burlesque. You have two launches one in New York and one in Barbados, what’s the strategy behind this? We know and understand that by launching in NYC, we would generate a lot of chatter, good and bad. Even with the negative press, we believe our mission would still be upheld since it would drive more people to discuss Crop Over as a whole. Currently, only 10-15% (unconfirmed) of Bajans participate in the Monday mas. At these numbers it’s highly unlikely Crop Over would survive without getting more international persons to participate. In our opinion, foreigners were of the belief that the quality of product and services for a one day parade does not warrant the trip to Crop Over. Our mission is the show the world that we do invest in our festival and the quality of our work in terms of costumes are on the same level or better than many other carnival destinations.
So on one hand, we need to increase the number of international revelers (hence the NYC launch) and on the other hand we have a Social Responsibility to make sure our fellow Bajans have an opportunity to gain financially from hosting of events. Local models, Lighting, Staging, Sound, DJs, and most importantly Sponsors, just to name a few, would also benefit immensely from hosting a launch in Barbados as well. How many sections and who are the designers behind Burlesque? We currently have 6 sections planned for Crop Over 2016. Owner Tracy Boyce is the designer at Krave the Band. This year will also serve as the launch of Tracy’s design line “QUEEN OF BLING” so it was a strategic plan to focus on her designs in 2016. What will some of the sections be called? Any special/private sections? Some of the names are, Lux, Russian Roulette, Lime Light to name a few. Currently there are 2 private sections, GenX out of Miami and TCD out of Trinidad. There will also be a VIP section (Host TBD) in the works. What new amenities can masqueraders anticipate for 2016 to enhance Krave Kadooment Day parade? Due to our growth rate from year 1-2, we realized that changes needed to made. We have contracted for a much larger Band House, a Second Drinks Truck, more Security, 2 Music Trucks just to share a few. Krave is known to have some notable celebrities, who will be joining Krave for 2016? We are still in negotiations with several celebrities at the moment. Most of our past celebrity guests will be returning this year as well. In 2015 masqueraders have made complaints about costume collection/distribution and production, how will Krave remedy these problems in 2016? Let’s start with identifying the three major issues.
1)Barbados customs went on strike last July which resulted in ports of entry being closed or on a “Go Slow”. This caused major delays across the board with costumes arriving into Barbados in a suitable time frame. 2)We previously required section owners to be responsible to getting their costumes into Barbados and with customs on strike that proved more difficult for the section owners as they did not budget for taking multiple trips in order to transport the costumes. The sections that arrived on time were packaged and distributed seamlessly. Three of the sections costumes arrived the day before or day of distribution which did not allow sufficient time for Krave to conduct our quality control and prepackage those sections. One section in particular was missing a necessary support strap on their bra which by this time was too late to fix and therefore resulted in some of them not holding up for the duration of the jump. 3) Our Band House at 1200 Sq Ft was bigger than that of 2014 which was a mere 700sq ft. The band house was contracted based on 2014 numbers, to our surprise the numbers increased from 500 in 2014 to over 900 in 2015. These notable issues combined resulted in unforeseen and unexpected challenges and placed undue stress on an already small band house.Here is what we have done to rectify those issues:
- We have contracted for a Band house (5500 sq ft) equipped with AC and Adequate Wifi service.
- We have implemented a new collection system to include Express Pickup and Pick Up on Demand that will allow patrons to schedule their own pickups prior to Section Collection dates as well as an expedited pickup area for those customers that are paid in full by a certain date.
- Production of Mid Lines and Front lines will now be managed and produced by Krave locally which would eliminate 3rd party hold ups.
- All back lines will be mass produced by the same reputable company used by the major bands in Trinidad.
- Stronger load bearing boxes to allow for proper stacking once packaged.
- More Cashiers and an Automated Cash Register System
- Firm Costume order Cut Off Date to allow for shipping delays and quality control.
Where does Krave envision itself in Crop Over in years to come? We envision ourselves as the True Premium Band of Barbados. The “Ambassador” band for Barbados. Continuing our mission of “Bringing Crop Over to the World or the World to Crop Over”. Finally what sets apart Krave from other bands in Barbados for Crop Over? What sets us apart from other bands is our creativity, innovative ideas and marketing strategies. We are not afraid to push the envelope as we don’t believe in conforming to the “norm”. We genuinely care about our customers and we will never put out a product or service that we as patrons would not want for ourselves. We are a Quality over Quantity brand and we will continue to strive to create innovative ideas that will enhance the quality of our Crop Over festival.