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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Make a decision - QUICK!!

Feeling pressure? With CNz launch this past Saturday, loyalty registration starting tomorrow & general registration this Saturday the 9th, does it make you feel rather forced into deciding?
Registration is 2 months earlier this year than last year. For registering early with Tribal Knights this Thursday - Saturday, costumes are just $110. Callaloo is promoting their costumes for $99 again as an early bird special when you email them or if you join their facebook group before the launch on May 9th. The competition to secure masqueraders is getting intense. Gone are the days when bands launched all within the same month (June) or so, and registration began after.
CNz costumes prices have gone up yet again to $160. I assumed that when they went up last year to $155, it was because they were providing us security. Well, you know what happens when you assume. In these “bad economic times”, I have to say that the only justifiable reason to increase the price is if there’s going to be tight security. Rope pullers, a fence surrounding masqueraders, whatever – but something.
It all started when new band Fantazia International kicked off the early launches on April 18th, followed by Tribal Knights on April 25th.
Reigning champs Toronto Revellers launches this Saturday May 9th, as well as long time band Callaloo, #4 in the parade, and Pleasure Players. That's going to be a busy night! We hit two band launches last year in one night, but I doubt we can do 3!
New band All Spice launches on May 23rd, and so does # 3 in the parade, Nip Davis & SCSC.
#2 Louis Saldenah Mas-K Club’s launch is on May 30th. Connections – TCC is launching in June, on the 6th.
I have to admit, maybe I'm old school (*sigh*), but I don't care for the Trinidad style Carnival frenzy surrounding launches & registration. There's something to be said about being able to walk into a huge mas camp and be greeted by either the band leader or section leaders/designers & watch them hard at work putting together your costume. You can try on the headpieces, ask questions, & listen to soca blasting, all getting you in the Caribana mood. Many Toronto mas camps are like that. I know though that long lineups and hype are a sign of the advancing times for some (again - *sigh*).
This will be my 10th Caribana. So I’m looking for an exceptional experience. I have to be blown away by a fierce costume. I have high expectations, and I want to do all I can to ensure that they can be met. So I’m going to continue to check out many bands and see which costumes jump out at me, find the band & costume that will give me my extraordinary time. After all, 10 years of jumping, wining & waving deserves the best, doesn’t it?


Lexxx said...


I absolutely agree with you and that's why I won't be attending today's Nationz frenzy. With their costumes looking the way they do, it's not worth the headache of 4 hour lineups and all that.

And you'd think you would be getting extra security out of the increased prices, wouldn't you? NOPE. According to Bryce of CNz: "how does a band of 1,800 people with 150 security (BTW... each costing CNz personally around $200/security) stop 1.2 million people from invading it? Is securing the festival really a CNz matter or the Festival Management Committee issue?"

sounds like passing the buck to me. Whether or not his statement may be rooted in truth, it implies that to CNz, making masqueraders feel secure isn't really that high on their priority list.

TriniRose said...

I also have to agree too. CNz registered may begin today, but ppl want first dibs on their favorite costumes but ppl fail to realized, it is worth it. ppl dont think about customer service, friendliness, respect, food on the road, how the costume is made, etc, etc. untill after the fact and want to complain non-stop.

I was with CNz in 2007, my fam n I were not to pleased on thier performance before, during and after Caribana. So we switch over to Revellers in '08, and what a difference it made. I was mostly happy about their security(as you were talking about before, KARA.)and well organized on pick-up dates. I also played with Callaoo back in '05 and '06. I was pleased with customer service, not much with costume though.(it was not well put together.)

Ppl dont be afraid to switch band, trust me you are not huring nobody's feeling, it don't hurt to see what another band have to offer.

I think CNz, only have certain amount of spots for certain costumes on certain days, that how they trick you thinking it will sell out fast.

Ms. Sexy said...

This wouldve been my first year playing Mas in Caribana an di wanted to play with CNz, but unfortunately the only costume that I liked is sold out. I dont know much about the other bands but I am waiting to see what the have to offer. Caribana is not worth attending if I dont have a fabulous costume.

elsa said...

I agree with you totally. Remember there are Callaloo, AllSpice, Toronto Revellers all have band launch coming up. I havent see any costume that grab my attention. Carnival Nationz costumes are nice, but what's up with the belt, its getting skimpy and skimpy.
Remember people we have the power to make or break a band, without us there is no band. Take your time and look at the costume carefully before you make your final decision. As a fellow blogger said we have to think about security, food, drinks, customer service, etc on the road. I am still waiting for the the costume to grab my attention, so far nothing.

Anonymous said...

Maybe before you pass judgment you should understand the big issue of security completely.
#1 security on the road is not only a Band responsibility. It is the responsibility of the FMC that is why they get funded by the government and sponsored by Scotiabank.
Up until 4 or 5 yrs ago no Band had to hire private security. It is because of the mismanagement of issues (a big one being security) that Bands now have to fork out money for private security. Before they used to have volunteers to guide the band and keep sections in sections. Every single Band faces the same security issues and the organizers of the parade are not held responsible. Instead all you do is point fingers at the Band. The same Bands that hire private security, now have to hire security to keep out hundreds of thousands of stormers out of a band that may comprise of anywhere from 500 to 2000 paying mass revelers. Do the Math how is it possible? The Bands are doing their best, the reality is it is bigger than the Bands it is the organizers that have to shoulder a major part of this responsibility. Try directing your comments to them for a change.
If you want to know about security and how much a priority it is for Bands I suggest you ask the Band Leaders directly instead of reading blogs which are open to misinterpretation.

Anonymous said...

Do you think these band leaders have time to answer every question comment and concern brought their way? Especially if they've already answered it? Why would I go to a band leader if I've heard the answer multiple times? This is exactly what blogs are for. To give opinions and information if you don't agree, don't read them or write your version of the truth so that bloggers get both sides of the story.

Moving on...

Security should be a priority and from what I have heard on and offline from various sources it's safe to say that bands need to take it a little more seriously.

I think the frenzy of registration day is a bit much to say the least. Why must I line up for hours to finally get inside and realize the costume I want is sold out. Maybe they should start using the technology to reduce the headache ie online registration. At this stage in the game, customer service should be a priority. Or maybe big bands are now relying on their name to sell their product...

Regardless. I feel like if I'm putting money in a bands pocket I deserve a little more than what I've been given. Adequate washrooms, security, food and water should not play second fiddle anymore. They should be a priority.

Trini-in-Toronto said...

Its not so much that I expect the band that I am playing with to throw stormers out of the band. I would just like to see that they are making an effort to keep them to a minimum. Last year was the first time we played with Cnz, A major reason we went with them, was because the year before, we saw them on the road and they had a rope around the band and were trying to keep non-masqeraders out. So we joined the band and we show up and there are PLENTY of people in band t-shirts and security shirts but there is no rope..... so, security had no hope.
I just want to see that they are trying ... that is all I expect.

Anonymous said...

Again just showing how close minded you are... you prefer to stay and wallow in self indulgence. The Band leaders are there to answer your concerns and if they want you to play Mas with them they will answer all your concerns. It is called customer service.

Lexxx said...


Karabana said...

Not sure who you've directed your pass judgment comment at Anonymous 6:45 PM, but I do understand the issue of who is responsible for security, I posted about it last month:

Since storming bands has gotten progressively worse over the years, some bands who are most hit by stormers have realized they need to take matters into their own hands & provide their own. EXAMPLE: TORONTO REVELLERS.
As we've heard from Revellers masqueraders, their fencing does work very well at keeping those people out. 2 years ago with CARNIVAL NATIONZ, the rope being pulled around the band also did a good, if not perfect job.
I did ask bandleaders to comment on security, but as we've read, only masqueraders have commented. Until someone choses a user name, they can't be credited
as being a bandleader - we certainly can't guess who they might be. If someone prefers to hide behind anonymity, they must realize that it's just another anonymous comment.
The comments on this blog thus far are from masqueraders sharing their mas experiences, & we're not misinterpreting our experiences.

Jazz said...

Honestly Anonymous, I don't know who you're are commenting on. First of all, you do not know me. I commented once but apparently to you everyone that doesn't share your opinion is the same. Talk about close minded.

I said "Security should be a priority and from what I have heard on and offline from various sources it's safe to say that bands need to take it a little more seriously." Did I once mention that I didn't bring THIS issue up with a bandleader or multiple bandleaders? Again, You do not know me so please don't speculate like you do. It makes YOU look doltish.

In reality, who is the real person that looks self indulgent? The one who constantly defends without listening to the argument or the one who is able to criticize because the have experienced?

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