As we patiently
stalk scan carnival sites for band launch images, we ooh and aah about how pretty the costumes are and think OMG (ALL THOSE FEATHERS) but in reality, band launches are the perfected versions of the costume you hope to chip in on the road.
As carnival becomes more popular across the globe, the cost of perfection (read: feathers, gems, elastic) is becoming more expensive while also becoming more attractive to masqueraders. How much do you think it costs to give 3000 masqueraders feathers ?
With that being said, if you want your costume with all the glory and feathers and mostly want to parade around with little to no palancing, then frontline is for you. Frontline costumes tend to be more expensive BUT if you want feathered legs, headpiece AND a backpack (these pieces are not always included) frontline is the way to go.
For me personally it depends on my goal/mood during the respective carnival. I played frontline in Jamaica because I didn’t plan on getting on bad bad bad. But for carnivals like Caribana or Miami where I plan on misbehaving and do not want to be held back, I go for backline. I even give my headpieces away to the kiddies who are looking on.
In conclusion, it really depends on what your preference is (as with all things). I do recommend playing frontline at least once in your carnival lifetime. (especially for the pretty pictures)
Yours in Mas