While the large Carnival mas bands, especially the all inclusive ones, seem to be thriving, hosting elaborate launches and attracting premium corporate sponsors, the small and medium bands don’t fare as well.
President of the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival Bands Association (TTCBA), Rosalind Gabriel who founded the most successful children’s Carnival mas band, said the small and medium bands struggle to survive and stay alive from one year to another. She said these bands don’t have the resources to properly market themselves and they also find it difficult to secure major corporate support.
Event/concert producer, Randy Glasgow of Randy Glasgow Productions (RGP), concurred with Gabriel, saying that through the years only a few bands have been able to present a launch of the caliber the large bands produce.
“Most of the small and medium bands have never done so because of their limited resources. They never even attempted, instead depending on releases in the newspapers and more recently social media to market their Carnival presentations,” Glasgow said.
Rosalind said she and Glasgow got to talking one day and the challenges of the small and medium bands came up. She said Glasgow suggested that the TTCBA and himself should team up and produce an event that would market the band’s’ respective presentations, while showcasing what Trinidad & Tobago Carnival has to offer to the world in totality.
“This will be our first major project. It’s actually a two-fold event, to market the bands and also the many facets of Trinidad Carnival as well as to raise funds that will be used to assist the small and medium bands.”
“As a Carnival Special Interest Group we get a subvention from the NCC (National Carnival Commission), but with the costs to bring the bands out, like the high cost to hire a DJ and other needs, the money doesn’t stretch too far,” Gabriel said.
Glasgow said the mega multi band launch will take place over two days, November 9th and 10th at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA), Port of Spain, celebrating it's 10th Anniversary also in November.
Over 25 bands will be showcasing their respective Carnival 2019 presentations. This will be broadcast live on television, via several online platforms and also on foreign television stations.
Gabriel said the participating bands will be revealed in a week from now. There, however will be special guest appearances by large bands; Tribe Carnival and Lost Tribe as well as K2K.
Peter Minshall who makes a return to mas next year will be invited to also make a guest appearance with his costumes as will Ivan Kalicharan and Ronnie & Caro.
Gabriel added the event will feature as many elements of Trinidad Carnival as possible with performances of calypso, soca, steelbands, traditional mas and even a jouvert presentation. Gabriel said she, Glasgow and their teams are working on choreographing a presentation that will showcase Trinidad and Tobago Carnival as the true greatest show in the universe.