If you stopped by yesterday, you had a chance to read some Caribana 2018 feedback from masqueraders, good, bad and ugly. Wanna, of Wanna’s World, also had her own story to tell, to shed some light on the headache that was Caribana 2018.
Here’s what I asked Wanna.
Was costume pickup day organized?
My original costume pickup day was delayed due to unforeseen circumstances. I was annoyed by this slight inconvenience but brushed it aside once I seen how beautiful my costume was in person. The construction was immaculate and nothing fell apart on the road. However, when it came time for payment, that’s when the mess started. They forgot to add an additional $100 on my receipt for my wire bra and to my surprise, they requested this amount before they handed the costume to me. I quickly rejected the offer and told them that I was going to pay the price that was ADVERTISED. They acknowledged the mistake and honored the price I was promised. After this, they went through my box and checked off all the items but failed to show me how to put it all together (it had several pieces and it was confusing). I paid $850 for a Frontline costume and they didn’t provide any garment/goodie bags.
How long did you wait before you received your costume?
I waited for about 25 minutes. The mas camp was pretty empty.
Were you offered any amenities while waiting? A drink, a snack etc?
Nothing. Not even a chair or a beverage.
THE ROAD – Food/Music/Staff/Vibes
How was your time on the road?
To be honest, I had HIGH expectations. Carnival Nationz is the second biggest band in Toronto and they arguably have some of the BEST costumes. However, if I learned anything during this experience, always do your research. Hundreds of masqueraders have been complaining about this band for YEARS and I didn’t see the drama until the parade was finished. They told us to meet up for 8:30AM but my friends and I got there around 11:20 AM. The band didn’t move until 11:30 AM.
In the beginning, the vibes was nice but after waiting in the heat for hours without food or water, my mood went from happy to sour. The people on the trucks were drinking alcohol and feasting like Kings whilemasqueraders were passing out and starving. I did not pay hundreds of dollars to watch people enjoy a VIP experience on my dime.
Throughout the day, we were told to get in our sections repeatedly to get ready to cross the stage but that moment never came. At one point, we had more stormers than masqueraders in our band. When 5:30 PM hit, my friends and I decided to leave before they crossed. We just couldn’t take it anymore.
Was the food offered good? Did they serve drinks?
What food? You mean the dry ass pizza they served with their bare hands? I refused the “lunch” and proceeded to look for some water to cool me down on this scorching hot day. Water was few and far in between and various masqueraders had to push and shove to get a beverage. They promised us breakfast, lunch and dinner and I never had a morsel of food. Supposedly they served roti down the line and various people got sick. I guess it was a blessing that I didn’t eat? Also, I saw a few stormers eating and drinking OUR food/drink supply, why wasn’t the food distribution handled properly? Lastly, the police were called to our truck at one point because a few of the girls passed out on the side of the road. They should be ashamed of themselves.
Was the staff helpful and accommodating? Was the truck bar quick?
LOL. What staff? Every time I tried to look for a marshal or volunteer, they were wining on gyal. When I was lucky enough to spot a staff member to ask for assistance, they were unclear and didn’t know what was going on. Also, the trucks were a HUGE hazard on the road. They drove dangerously through the crowds, it was terrifying! When I did spot a truck bar I tried to catch up to them but the driver thought he was in the Fast & Furious film franchise.
How was the vibes of the band? Was everyone enjoying themselves? Was it a stush band ?
The vibes were so/so. At the beginning, everybody was getting on bad due to the excitement of it all but around the half way mark all morale was lost. People were tired, hungry and pissed. I have never been in a band where people weren’t chipping down the road. Masqueraders in my section were walking, no wines, no splits in the middle, just walking like zombies.
How was the music ? Did they play the same songs over and over or was there a good variety?
When the music wasn’t skipping, we heard the same songs over and over again. I swear I heard ‘Soca Kingdom’ over 14 times. Where was the variety? The mixture of soca? The vibes? My waistline was depressed.
How would you rank your overall experience from 1-10?
Between the unsanitary food practices, the amount of stormers, bad DJ’s and confusion? I’m giving Carnival Nationz a 5 and I’m being generous. I usually get tabanca immediately after I play mas but I’ve been miserable ever since. I want a refund at this point. I’d advise people to stay CLEAR of this band until they fix up.
If you played mas with Carnival Nationz as well, feel free to leave your feedback as well.
Yours in Mas,
6 thoughts on “Caribana 2018: A Review of Carnival Nationz by Wanna’s World”
I played with carnival nationz last year and I confirm their slackness! Never got food last year either and they have the worse fucking service. Can also confirm costume pickup is quick but nonchalant. Dem doe care bout we.
Played with them last year. Never got fed. NO WATER. We were the first to cross but the music messed up for my section, so we paused of a long while and then proceeded then paused again because Half of our band was on the road with no music while they were attempting to cross the stage. Costume wise – When I went for pick up they forgot my neckpiece I ordered, so I had to leave the mas camp and come back in an hour once the mix up was cleared up. Costume was pretty though. However, I don’t think I’ll ever play in caribana as a whole again. When I played carnival nationz in 2011, it was an amazing experience. Clearly things have changed.
Nationz was initially #1 on my list when I started exploring bands. But someone told me there were food issues last year as well. Looking at their website, I also felt it was a bit confusing how many options there were and what you got for your money. I went with a different band. I think all the bands need to do a rest stop after they cross the stage. I noticed Toronto Revellers had a spot in a parking lot where people could get drinks and snacks. I was with Saldenah and it was very difficult to find anything. I asked a Marshall who didn’t even know.
The best thing about Carnival Nationz at this point is Farm P. He atleast cares about his section and will go above and beyond! That being said Marcus Eustace is the worst band leaders ever! I was in life this year and it was a hot mess! Not only did some of us get the wrong costume sizes but when we got there nobody had any directions . I had to go to farm P when my costume started to fall apart! Marcus could not be found and when he was everybody got a 🤷🏽♀️In regards to their costume issues! They need to do better
Played with Nationz for the first time 8 years ago. Ill never forget went to pick my costume and it was a hot mess. First they did even have on their end a transaction of my deposit and wanted me to pay full price before i got my costume. Even with my own receipt in hand 😐… My costume size was wrong gems were loose in the box , things were just falling apart. I asked for help and nobody was willing to help. I saw Marcus and with tears running down my face i tried to reaaon with him. He shrugged me off and said “use tape when you get home” with a smirk on his face. Another section leader cant remember his name but hes no longer apart of Nationz saw the interaction and pulled me aside and gave my costume to a lady in the camp to fix. 🙏🏼.. That was my firat time playing mas for caribana.
2nd year as the #1 band i decided to play with them once again. 🤦🏽stupessssssssss .. Got there at the break of dawn to some over night cold stale breakfast n bread so tough you could stone dawg n give dem a concussion. With alcohol in your system by high noon, food was a must to be found. 😒 rice and peas was sour. From the minute you opened the box you could tell it was cooked for a while or the heat in the sun soured it quick. So like wanna no food! Around mid afternoon i started to feel dehydrated couldnt find water nor water truck. Lowe and behold i spotted “the great Marcus” wining on bamse i ask where i could locate the water truck. The manner in which he spoke to me and running me like a stray animal was the last straw.. I said a few words to him of my own and left the parade. TEAM SALDENAH ever since and my section leader is so awesome, no matter if its your first or hundredth time you feel like family.
The stories are very true. They only cater to “certain” ppl and very cockatity. Farm P is the really who i heard has good CS quality. The rest (most) including the band leader sucks.
Wanna your answers do not shock me i myself took my $850 else where and is pleased.