Carnival Monday 2006 Pt. 1
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Mas 2006: First Experience
"Island People in de Air, Island People in de Air, Island People in de Air ... Band of De Year!" One week later, we still have that song in our heads. Well the ISLANDpeople Mas 2006 Launch was amazing so people expected great things from ISLANDpeople's Mas Band, even though it was their first time out. In almost every aspect expectations were met, if not exceeded, with a few hiccups along the way.
Costume pickup seemed to be running smooth and organized right up until about the Thursday before Carnival. Once crunch time hit, there seemed to be a little chaos at the Trinidad Country Club pick up location and in the mas camp. Some people spent hours upon hours waiting to get their costume, yet others were in and out in minutes. All those that collected costumes on time had no problems and appreciated the organized ways of ISLANDpeople. So next year peoples, plan ahead and pick up that costume on time! From what we saw first hand, they gave their best effort to ensure their masqueraders were sorted out, and even provided personalized customer service.
When Carnival Monday came, people were excited to be playing with ISLANDpeople and maintained their high expectations from these well-established party promoters. One high point was the music. ISLANDpeople arranged to have the Taipan of Soca, Machel Montano, record a special exclusive remix about jumping up with ISLANDpeople and every time that started to play, masqueraders went crazy. "Island People in de Air, Island People in de Air..."
Another great aspect of the ISLANDpeople Mas was the shuttle service. Masqueraders were shuttled from the Car Park to where the band was when they got there in the morning. Everyone was grateful not to have to walk, or shall we say run, to keep up with the band.
Then there were the "Pollinators". Who were the Pollinators, you might ask? Well, they were the strongmen that were at the beginning of each section before they went on stage. And ladies, we are not joking when we say "strongmen" - they had muscles everywhere and abs to kill - these men alone were enough to make the ladies come back next year! What they did was hype up each section by leading the sway from left to right while linking arms to the Machel and Patrice Robert's song "Band of the Year" before each section came out on stage. This was a great idea and these guys were a lot of fun!
The costumes themselves were beautiful. Masqueraders appreciated that ISLANDpeople arranged to have two different costumes to wear - one for Monday and one for Tuesday. Who likes to wear the same clothes 2 days in a row??!! Although the Monday costumes were not very impressive, once masqueraders showed up on Tuesday all decked out in their full costumes, well, one could not help but be impressed. You will have to look through the pictures and see for yourselves to understand the true beauty of these costumes. ISLANDpeople did a great job in keeping with their Enchanted Forest theme, especially with costumes like the butterflies, with beautiful light transparent wings, and the peacocks, which happen to be the sexiest peacocks ever!
Drink trucks provided excellent service to the masqueraders. There were also bar staff floating through the band with water and other non-alcoholic drinks so masqueraders didn't have to go to the drink truck every time they wanted to quench their thirst. This was truly appreciated and a nice touch!
Then there's the food, well masqueraders complaints included that it was cold and that the portions were too small. This was another hiccup that ISLANDpeople should be more attentive to next year.
For most of the day, Security was top-notch. We mean, truly, truly impressive. Non-masqueraders were kept out of the band and sections were properly separated while crossing the stage. Once the band crossed the stage, security became less tight and non-masqueraders were let into the band. This was a definite negative for ISLANDpeople masqueraders. Those that made it to the National Stadium had a blast at the after-party. There was still plenty of food and drink to be had by all, and it was a perfect ending to a great day.
Several celebrities were also part of this band, including Machel Montano, Destra, Kes, Chinese Laundry, Alison Hinds, Brian Lara, US Photographer/Video Director Jonathan Mannion, Ms. Trinidad & Tobago 2004 Danielle A. Jones, the reigning Miss South Africa, and a whole set of well known sexy Trinidadian Models such as Teri Bovell.
All in all, ISLANDpeople gave us a great Carnival 2006 and all masqueraders that we spoke to said they are ready to sign up again for next year. At the end of the night ISLANDpeople Mas released their theme "Sahara" for 2007 Carnival and promised masqueraders that they would fix all the hiccups and make it "10 times better". ISLANDpeople had the perfect formula for a fun-filled Carnival... good music, great people, beautiful costumes and a safe environment. What more can you ask for??!!
"Island People in de air, Island People in de Air ... Band of de Year!" And you know Trini Jungle Juice will be there come 2007!!