>> A.M.Bush 2016 - Part 1 Gallery
>> A.M.Bush 2016 - Part 2 Gallery
>> A.M.Bush 2016 - Part 3 Gallery
>> A.M.Bush 2016 - Part 4 Gallery >> Trinidad Carnival 2016 Coverage SUPER Saturday .... that’s the only way I can ever say it because Carnival Saturday has a STACKED line-up of fetes
– involving what some would consider the “Unicorn” Fete Tickets because there truly is INSANE demand to attend/experience these fetes.
Whether you choose to start your morning off with Caesar’s Army AMBush
or Suits Cooler Cruise
you’re in for a great pump & plenty vibes. Both have a growing advocacy & tickets sell out almost instantaneously.
Being that my name is “Jouvert Mike”, it comes as little surprise that my choice was to attend AMBush as any chance to experience the joy/debauchery during the early hours of the morning and watching in awe as the sun begins to peak out and touch joyous faces covered in a mixture purple, green, red, and blue of paint & powda is what I revel in.
Watching people beg, ask a friend of a friend if they have a link to a committee member that maybe they could get 1 or 2 tickets, or pay WELL above ticket price on resales has become commonplace. It’s a mixture of disappointment/frustration with how the ticket process is designed as it impacts the experience of attendees before they ever arrive & can either increase the hype or put a sour taste in people’s mouths for the extra effort/inability of some friends to attend. On the flip side, it’s somewhat amazing, since C.A. AMBush Trinidad has several thousand revelers & expanded to 3 music trucks, 3 drink trucks, and a wee wee truck.... we’re talking a massive production, yet tickets seem to be gone in a matter of minutes – it’s a testament to the Brand/Empire that has been built.
This Alternative J’Ouvert has a combination of factors that plays well for those who may not otherwise participate in the traditional J’Ouvert – since they may have make-up/hair appointments prior to Carnival Monday, concerns about being on the roads of POS pre-dawn with less security & far more likelihood of stormers – it’s a win-win situation for those in attendance.
The day started at roughly 3 am and still trying to gather myself I took the opportunity to ride on Truck 1 while Dei Musicale & then Nuphoric lead the charge. Not gonna lie, having an elevated view to see as revelers walked back I could not help but observe that this was by far the largest concentration of absolutely gorgeous woman at any fete this Carnival season. It’s possible there’s a personal bias that women interested in J’Ouvert – getting dirty, letting inhibitions go and wining on strangers with no reservation – along with the limited amount of clothes as compared to other more formal fetes …… whatever the case it was appreciated by many lol.
The progression of this fete is one of my favorite things – watching people sleepily gather while others are hype with anticipation and are getting loose with the bar trucks. The march begins at a slow pace, methodical chipping until enough people get paint bottles to thoroughly douse the crowd. It's as if each bottle covering the crowd behind the music trucks pumps the vibes up another level. As people become soaked in paint it spreads like wildfire & inhibitions go up in flames. As the sun comes up, the smiles seem to shine just as bright and vibes a plenty.
By the time sun is full strangers have become family with close quarters knowledge of each other and the wining seems to change to a whole lot more lifting & climbing lol. It's a beautiful thing & then you add a water truck and people are joyously jumping while getting hosed down .....the recipe for joy is pretty straight forward and they've got it on lock.
There’s something to be said about being in the bush, enjoying 1 clear path, having the sun rise over the natural scenery and partying with a couple thousand of your newest friends.
AMBush has consistently brought the biggest artists for a live performance during the road march, this year both Voice & Peter Ram performed their most recent hits. For those who are looking for a live fete or have a serious infatuation/addiction to paint & powda – remember you can’t be stush in de bush, just find a way to get AMBush on your fete schedule & go have a time.
Just as I previously discussed the evolution of Phuket
growing in size, scale, services, etc. AMBush has grown extremely large over the last several years. It’s a catch-22 for any business (being an entrepreneur I truly empathize & respect other entrepreneurs who are blazing their own path & it’s very much a balancing act to grow your business/brand while retaining what made your business “you”). I’ve attended AMBush in Trinidad, Barbados, and Jamaica hearing similar feedback from other attendees that they loved the intimacy of “years past” in Trinidad – which is essentially what you get in Jamaica as it’s a smaller crowd yet VIBES A PLENTY (AMBush JA is definitely my favorite AMBush
). Businesses evolve and that tiny crowd ain’t never coming back, which I will never fault a business for actually being a business & being more profitable, but the VIBES can be impacted positively impacted and hopefully some tweaks to format will enable that heightened intimacy can be gained in other manners.
Being a larger production now the package collection process will need to keep up with the size/scale of the event, with more strategies from big mas bands being implemented (more hours each day, not just days throughout the week as people have had to skip/miss other fetes just to pick up their packages & the “all sections Friday is monstrous because so many people have finally come from foreign – plus the sections didn’t make sense for many revelers, especially since no images of the logo’s were shared in advance). Just puzzling was the inclusion of marshmellows -- especially since they had an expiration date soon & what exactly did it have to do with the theme or the fete at all? This year there was a severe bottleneck during the posted hours leaving an unsettling feeling about service among the patrons as they waited for several hours to collect a t-shirt, wristband, and cup – which led to many feeling the overall experience didn’t meet the hype/trials & tribulations.
Watching people cuss & not just with the staff doing distribution but also fellow patrons who are now ignoring the protocol because it’s been hours and they take whatever route to shorten their own waiting time is disappointing.
The same goes for the challenges with food at the end of de road, personally I’ve adopted the mindset of I don’t expect to get food in Trinidad AMBush so I’m not disappointed, but others have voiced frustration & I do feel sorry for the service people actually attempting to distribute food as the wave of hundreds upon hundreds of drunken revelers swarm them in a manner they have zero chance to satisfy/function properly. If you waited until multiple waves of people approached the food stations it was basically a mob mentality like in a poorly run refugee camp overtaking the 2 cooks actually attempting to prep bake, it was a bit insane.
One of the interesting points of feedback/concern from attendees was the shuttle service – both the initial system of chits/attempting to get order & the need for a series of 2 shuttles being necessary. Yes, the initial pick-up looked to be in more disarray/bottleneck than in previous years yet I’d go back to the point of size/scale of the event. As far as the need for the 2nd shuttle it should be made clear that the fencing/2nd entrance is designed to minimize the entry of stormers as this even is so sought after & held in the same location year after year that people have attempted getting dropped off farther down the road to then just jump in the mix in the dark, along with the fact that the trucks started farther back down the road than I’ve ever remembered = a strategy to give more time & space on the road march to accommodate the larger amount of attendees.
Personally, I skipped the 2nd round of shuttles because I actually wanted some time alone, a chance to collect my thoughts, soak in the thumping base off in the distance, the glimmer of lights as I approached trucks and attendees warming up for the march. It’s a personal choice to either be upset, look at events from multiple perspectives, or search for the positive in a situation. Remember, it’s Carnival – YOU control/bring de vibes & YOU control if will be happy or vexed at any given moment (whether at Carnival or any other time in your life).
Truly, I don’t care if you’re in Trinidad, Barbados, or Jamaica if you haven’t experienced Caesar’s Army AMBush it’s a MUST DO BUCKET LIST ITEM in each location
and then from there you can decide for yourself if you’re a J’Ouvert junkie and need to continue on an annual basis or you want to rotate out for new experiences. The sentiments I've heard from a number of veterans is that while they love "AMBush" they prefer the AMBush BIM or JA experience more so because of the intimacy & smoother pick-up, shuttle, and food distribution, which I have to agree with as a veteran yet rookies should still experience all of them for perspective & to form their own opinions.
With the size and following Caesar’s Army has established with Mai Tai
& now Bacchanal Road
– I’m truly just wondering when they decide to branch out and launch their own Mas Band rather than just a section within TRIBE
..... but I’m not Caesar, so that’s not my call & only time will tell.
Watch out for Super Saturday Part 2 – Soca Brainwash
review coming up next.
'Til next time - Soca to de World,
Photo Credit: Mark Romany & Anthony Maugee >> A.M.Bush 2016 - Part 1 Gallery
>> A.M.Bush 2016 - Part 2 Gallery
>> A.M.Bush 2016 - Part 3 Gallery
>> A.M.Bush 2016 - Part 4 Gallery >> Trinidad Carnival 2016 Coverage