Hollywood Carnival 2016: A Review of EpicMas Band

Kiwi and I -- EpicMas 2016

Hola Carnivalists!

It’s review time! Last weekend (June 24-27) we went to California for Hollywood Carnival. While Hollywood Carnival is still a growing carnival, we had a blast and can see the room for growth. They celebrated 5 years this year and you can already see a growing interest in their market.

Marketed as a “Cultural Festival”, Hollywood Carnival showcases talent and women from Latin America and the Caribbean. We played mas with Epic Mas Band. Here is my review.

REGISTRATION

EpicMas Band’s registration was extremely easy. Online registration was available, we signed up, paid our deposit and counted down until June 25 when we’d be playing mas.

COMMUNICATION

There is definitely room for improvement with Epic Mas Band’s communication. We sent them a few emails and called a couple times but did not hear from any team members until days later. Fortunately, Ren, the director, reached out directly to answer any questions. She was attentive and super helpful with all her efforts.

COSTUME PICKUP

Costume pickup was seamless, one lady out of the group saw a little misery with her costume. She waited over an hour because they were unable to find her bag, but it was found eventually. A goodie bag was presented with two epic mas tshirts, frontline faces makeup and eye gems, epic mas bottle, costume and costume accessories.

COSTUME EXPECTATION vs. REALITY

Kiwi and I2

The costume was the same except for some minor differences like the high cut look advertised and the trim. Overall, the costume held up well. My neckline was stitched inside out, so i’d expect some quality control in the out years. None the less, i improvised.

THE ROAD – Food/Music/Staff/Vibes

Hollywood Carnival is a DRY carnival. We brought our own alcohol but only water was available in a Uhaul truck behind the masqueraders. There was no “drinks” truck. I also do not recall seeing staff servicing anyone.

The volunteers did a good job of directing the crowd. Vibes was 10/10. Machel Montano hosted our band which made it even more bess. You know Machel brings the energy and this time was no different. Hollywood Carnival was pure bliss in the sense, you did not feel pressured to look glam all the time, everyone was busy having fun and it was a true cultural melting pot as we walked through the city of Los Angeles. Several cultures were alongside looking on and cheering us on. Since my time with Epic in 2016, the band’s costumes have become more elaborate which is a sure sign of the growth taking place.

Marissa and Kari

Food service was a bit unorganized. There was no clear direction as to where food would be served so we walked around aimlessly in carnival village until we figured it out. It then took 1 hour to get food because containers were not pre-packed. But rather, were packed once you asked for your meal. This slowed down service as you can expect.

EpicMasBand Director Ren and Global Carnivalist Crew

Carnival Prep:

Makeup by Amare 

Stockings by Carnivalista

Yours in Mas

Screen Shot 2015-07-25 at 10.30.39 AM

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Carnival from a masquerader perspective - Where to fete? Band reviews? What to wear? I got you!

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