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Carnival for me begins on Ash Wednesday. It is too depressing to think of it as the end, so for me it is the beginning. It starts with anticipating next year and what I will personally do to improve my own experience, based on the current year. Then there is the anticipation for next year's theme and the thought process about what colour I have not yet played in and what colours I would like to play in next time. So Carnival begins from the point of learning the new theme, continues into looking at the designs and choosing, discussing, and changing my mind about 3 times, then choosing again.
Then registering and paying and then picking up. Each element adds to the experience and each step was a pleasure to take with IP this time around!
One quick observation made me think that those who come on their designated day for their section's collection, should have priority and a shorter separate line. Everyone else who needs to pay their balance and or pick up their section after their date of pickup has gone, should queue up in the 'general' line. This will help motivate everyone to save and pay off earlier and collect only on their scheduled day. Again minimizing the stress and maximizing the fun factor!Best Monday EV.ER!
When I found out that IP was giving us dresses for Monday wear I was most excited. Anxious, but excited. I had no idea what I would or would not think of doing to personalise and rock my dress until I saw it and was inspired. This is Carnival and the origin of Carnival lends itself to personal creative style. The Monday wear initiative began with IP, they never really have followed anyone else especially in their creative rendezvous' and the yellow sari from 2010 and black (galaxy inspired) dress this year is no exception. I considered it an opportunity bestowed upon me by IP to express myself and let my inner Carnival emerge and be showcased for all to see!
That is Carnival! That is creativity and that is making sure we are not just following the rest. It's 2011. If they give you something out of the ordinary to work with, it means they want YOU to have fun and create something extraordinary, and they want you to be part of the magic because they appreciate your patronage to the band. At least, that is how I prefer to look at it. My glass is half full and I rocked my dress. I have to mention and give my own personal first place to the girl who made the hoodie-jumper-shorts-getup with her black dress. You win and was Ace!
Thanks for inspiring the rest of us and showing us your inner Carnival!!
My Minions and I met the band on the Avenue. Drinks were flowing and I never had to wait more than a minute for any drink at anytime. My only big wish (for the past 4 years) is that the drinks truck/s would be able to park or be inside the oval by the time we got there for lunch, or just outside the entrance for a little more convenience. There is a disconnect between food and drink. This may take some strategic parking organization to ensure there is room for the truck, but its IP so it can be done! And / or remind us that we are headed to lunch maybe? So we can get the hint and stock up on drinks to allow lunch to be a little more wholesome and enjoyable.
It's the simple things that make the big difference in the experience. Other than that the drinks staff were always quick and efficient, so was the snacks truck. They all seemed ready, willing and anxious to quench and feed us all day long.
The music was good but not great, but this was to be expected. For the life of me I cannot understand why with all the Soca there is to play in this “Soca City”, someone, anyone who claims to be a DJ would choose to play the same tracks over and over again especially when we all already know who is going to win road march and don't need to hear it all day long. If I am going to be sick of a song, let it be because of my own DJ'ing skills, not yours. Isn't a DJ one who reads the crowd and plays the music to suit? Someone who plays a variety of music, tunes, beats? Stick to Soca, yes, and even stick to 2011 Soca if you want… but not even half the songs that could have been played and mixed and enjoyed were utilised. Do Trini DJ's just like to limit themselves?
No I am not a Machel fan, but yes I loved taking Advantage of the stage. On the other hand, I also would like to enjoy my Carnival Monday and Tuesday to the FULL-EST and that means I want as much variety of Soca Music 2011 as possible and not 70% Machel, sorry!
DJ's go back to school, your job is not just to 'play' a record, your job is to please the crowd! Please ... please us! Suggested Solution: When masqueraders come in to collect their costumes, have a “Soca your Vote” box at the entrance for them to quickly pick and vote who they would like to win road march.
Then play that song, which got the most votes, followed by the follow-ups.
Unless if what I suspect to be true is… and IP has no control over what their own hired DJ's play and DJ's in turn are warranted and under lock down due to political industry pressures etc. But IP has always been so devoted to making sure their masqueraders have the most fun ever, that has clearly always been their priority above all else and perhaps no other Carnival band can honestly claim that. So on that note (no pun intended) and in the spirit of once again raising the bar and re-inventing the personal experience of their masqueraders, I am sure that playing the “people's choice” and using that as their reason and if so needed excuse for the selected Road March song… would suffice and even Machel will respect that no? We are headed towards 2012. Let’s make this “our Mas”. Not theirs.
As for the food, my experience was fine, because thank God I don't eat animals. So I was one of maybe 5 people in the band who wanted Veggie? and I did not have to wait long. Though I could tell they just weren't ready for the masses that came in when we did.
My friends had a hell of a time getting their food. There was a lot of blame being thrown in either direction and there was a heartfelt email that was honest enough to explain the reason why the Monday food debacle happened. But at the end of the day, excuses and reasons does not give any one masquerader the right to throw decorum out the window and act like mad, rabid animals who have never been fed. Getting pissed was warranted, venting anger is expected, but shoving and pushing and grabbing has no excuse, no matter how hungry you are. Next time, when in doubt and if it is that bad, go to Pizza Hut across the street and mellow out - Enjoy your Carnival.
The food was good, because nourishment was needed. But it certainly was not worth shoving and pushing for, meat or no meat.
The Hype to get on the stage was great. The Stage was in front of us!!! And it was almost too long a wait, but worth it none-the-less as always. IP did a fair job of crossing the stage in ample time to have enough fun while not keeping anyone else back too long, unlike some other big bands who continue to abuse their stage time irregardless of the rest. This is the one time that every creed and race and status come together to have a time, yet there is still selfishness and rivalry among some Carnival Bands, which makes no sense to me. This is not highschool. This is Carnival. Have your fun and respectively move along, so that everyone else can do the same. Island People did that both days and I am proud I was part of that again.
Also, I think the dynamics of Carnival and crossing the stage is something we can all expect to be challenging and appreciate that IP has only so much control and no more. In reality they are governed my lots of rules of the road, having to stick to the route etc.
I love the fact that IP does not mandate crossing the stages as a priority. Of course that is the goal, but at the end of the day safety and fun is more important. And IF that means chipping in one spot or jumping in one area for a while longer than would be ideal, then so be it. I am on the road with my friends and I will have fun no matter what. I decided that when I elected to put out my hard earned money for my IP costume and IP Carnival experience. Again it's 2011 - we all know good things come to those who wait… and it so did!
Thank you IP for the best Carnival I have had with you yet… I look forward to many more. I am realistic so I expect each year there will be some uncontrollable elements that will attempt to put a hiccup in my fun factor, but I also expect that IP will learn from it and improve again, just for me, for next year.
I cannot wait to learn 2012's theme and I cannot wait to see what you pull out of your creative hat for Monday wear next year!
GHDid we forget anything? Add your 2 cents below...>> View ISLANDPeople Mas 2011 Monday "Shades Of The Universe">> View ISLANDPeople Mas 2011 Tuesday "Shades Of The Universe" Part 1>> View ISLANDPeople Mas 2011 Tuesday "Shades Of The Universe" Part 2>> View ISLANDPeople Mas 2011 Tuesday "Shades Of The Universe" Part 3>> View Trinidad & Tobago Carnival 2011 Coverage