Now before all the anonymous posters come out of the woodworks attacking me, please note that the request for this review came from “jamette” and cb who played with Island People gladly obliged by emailing me the review to post here. I would love to get a review from masqueraders who played with Island People as well, I think it is nice to give others an idea of what we might be missing from other bands. And I have to say cb I loved Sacred Sand and you looked great in your costume! I made you out because of the comment you left on Carnival Jumbie’s blog
As requested by Jamette, here’s my recount of my Carnival in IP. I’d already told of my walk-thrus with TRIBE in the comments of a previous post, so didn’t include that here. But, here’s my take on IP:
Really bumpy. As I didn’t register myself, I didn’t have to go through the stress, but apparently, it was really tiresome for most. Online registration system really needs to be redesigned. Not even going to touch on the bias against potential masqueraders who didn’t fit into the ideal mould for IP.
Madness. Now, I know that it’s always a mad rush doing last-minute adjustments making sure the costumes are all ready. There will be the inevitable hiccup where some part of the costume is late, or not in the right colour and has to be redone, or the glue was defective and all your decorations ending up on the floor… Every potential mishap seems to happen a few days before they post those collection dates. But, for the goody bags to be messed up to the degree that people had to go back another day (the last day for collection and the day allllll the international masqueraders were scheduled for pick-up) was really inexcusable.
Again, I asked someone to collect on my behalf, so I can’t comment on Hooters and the layout of the place, but from all the reports of lines curving around corners and getting longer by the minute, obviously, the place was way too small and in terrible need of some feng shui, or something.
BUT, I must say that my costume (Sacred Sand) was so, so, so sweeeeeeet!!!!! I was telling somebody that it even made ME look good (and I’m 34 and really shouldn’t be running around half-nekked—already apologised for that on Carnival Jumbie’s blog). I saw plenty, plenty people losing pieces, but mine held up with no extra attention or adjustments. Oh, and the hot shorts for Monday were a godsend! I got so grimy on Monday, I couldn’t imagine ANYBODY putting on the same clothes again for Tuesday pretty mas. I know people did it, but I have to give them their respec’. Not me at allllll!
On De Road:
Now, all the drama and commess that does be taking place leading up to the actual mas is completely swept to the back of my mind once the music trucks start up and the speakers start jammin’ de soca. For me, IP does win hands down for their road experience. So caught up was I, I had no clue there was all this drama with the big bands being at “war” with each other. In fact, all the favours I received from the TRIBE security, was apparently reciprocal with the IP security. I saw two TRIBE-ers waiting to cross the stage downtown with, I think, Sahara Jumbie section. I thought it was cool that they were being tolerant of masqueraders from other bands coming to get a likkle wine here and there. I didn’t realise that the spirit of co-operation only extended to the security team and not the road management personnel. That cutting-off thing real petty, boy, not to mention unnecessary.
This year, IP implemented a chit system for food. I didn’t hear anybody complain about this new organisation, so I’m guessing it was a better plan than just showing up at the back of a truck and bellowing out the number of meals you desired. It was meals on the go, which suits me fine because I cyah be sitting down to eat no big set of food when I have to be spending the rest of the day on my feet. In fact, I gave away my meal chits and just ate their snacks on both days—burgers, wings, corn soup, oranges, etc. They were supposed to have sno cones and lollies, but didn’t see any.
I think the bars fared much, much better this rounds. I know one truck ran out of ice for a while, but soon after I saw the fellas climbing on the truck with more. The drinks were generally replenished on a regular basis, and up til late they were still serving drinks.
There was the traditional wee-wee truck at the back of the band, but I feel they should have been like TRIBE and had two. There was always a line, and at a pre-judging point, when you’d expect people to be getting in their sections and not only now looking to pee, the line was long. I really wasn’t going to stick around to properly monitor the pee lines, but I could imagine that after crossing the “stage” and after lunch, those lines must have been nasty.
The DJs were good, but I just wasn’t feeling the vibe from the first truck (steups, the one that was assigned to my section, too!). Not a problem, because I was moving through the entire band. Now, I know that IP tends to attract real stormers and wil’ness, but I really liked the vibez this year, boy. I think it was the security team that had a lot to do with that. They didn’t rough up nobody (that I saw), but rather did their job without having to prove to nobody that they were bigger, louder, stronger and had the authority.
Now, after the Savannah on Tuesday, I have no idea what the IP road plan was. We don’t normally have a rest stop, and for the life of me I can’t understand exactly what happened where I found myself in Jenny’s car park listening to a rhythm section while the trucks went ahead (silent, yet at a healthy pace), but there it was. Now that really killed the vibe. It was just sheer confusion as to what was going on. And now, in hindsight, that I’m hearing of all the madness that move created for TRIBE and I’m sure other bands, it makes even less sense, but I realise that logic does be scarce come Carnival time. Left the rest stop, and met the band again on Tragarete Road and it became evident that we were heading to the Foreshore.
Mucurapo Road was sheer madness as we bounced up Harts coming in the opposite direction. How fun was that, hearing the music from about 4 trucks at the same time, and trying to squeeze two whole bands on that small stretch of road? Special! It was not all bad because we ended up losing most of the stormers as they had to be manoeuvring dem huge drains and rusty iron at the side of the road. Sorry for TRIBE who picked up our disgruntleds. Now, the Foreshore run was supposed to be the lead-up to the Las’ Lap at the Stadium where, if the theme were similar to last year’s, IP would have launched next year’s presentation. Well, there was traffic, traffic and then some more traffic. I walked ahead to the Stadium, and leaned up on a car for about 45 mins watching the same music truck in the same position on the Foreshore and showing almost zero sign of moving anytime soon. Well, that was the end of my wait and my Carnival.
Had a marvellous time, but really missed the stage. I knew the whole Savannah thing was going to be a waste of time, since even my 4-year old was dissatisfied with his Kiddies Carnival crossing. He kept asking me where the judges were, so he could know when he had to jump up and show off, poor heart. After only 3 years of having a stage, he really got programmed to expect that euphoric feel when you finally get to the open space and have the wood under your feet that almost propels you higher as you jump. My mother, whom I’m sure never played mas, was commenting that we only missed posing for the cameras, but we bloggers know better.
Well, that was my IP experience. Don’t know what 2008 will hold for me, but I’m already excited and planning my next Carnival adventure.
-:¦:-·:*””*:·.-:¦:-·* cb *·-:¦:-·:*””*:·-:¦:-