Whew!! So most of us just got back home from a long weekend of wining in the sun and Johnnie Walker black. And now that we’re back to reality, it’s time to recap the experience and talk about what worked, (or what didn’t) in some of your cases.
I landed on Friday morning, I’ve been going to Miami for carnival for the last 10 years so I rarely see the point in me arriving on Thursday night but if you did go on Thursday, Arrivals and Entice were the spots to be.
After nourishing my body and soul, the crew and I headed to Citrus, an all-inclusive outdoor fete hosted by Aurora Events (Miami) and Candy Coated Events (Trinidad). The decor and food spread were well done, with tented umbrellas spread out to protect patrons from the sun. While I feel some of the DJs did not play their best, Kevin Crown truly stood out and did the damn thing.
After Citrus, we changed then headed to Big Phat Block Party. A staple Hybrid Events x Scorch event. I got on the line and received my weekend access band (which basically fast tracked my line time at any Hybrid/Scorch event, so make sure you get one next year). This party was drinks inclusive so naturally lines were more chaotic than normal (and they ran out of ice at one point, then I saw ice being brought in). The venue was huge.
Fast forward less than 3 hours later and I am getting myself ready for jouvert. WHO SEND ME JOUVERT? I played in Dutty Revel’s section under Red Antz. Drinks flowed, breakfast was served (sandwiches) and coconut water, regular water and beer were available as well. Overall, at almost every band people seemed tired, the rain poured here and there which hyped up patrons when a big tune came on but for the most part, I expected to see more bad behavior.
I left Jouvert to take a power nap in time for Mai Tai. My favorite fete for the weekend, drinks were inclusive, gorgeous decor, great props and a bess performance by Bunji Garlin. Basically, the experience is what I expected from Caesar’s Army.
After Mai Tai, we headed to Scorch and Spice. VIBES!! Ding Dong performed really well, and had the crowd engaged. Even the line to enter Scorch and Spice was ridiculous if you didn’t buy your ticket ahead of time! SO GET YOUR TICKETS EARLY FOR 2019! Now, about mas..
THE REVEL NATION EXPERIENCE
I was lucky this year and got to attend Revel Nation’s band launch. It fell on my birthday weekend so I thought, why not. I love costumes! Let’s Revel. From the launch to opening up with website, Revel was on point. Every week, they would showcase costume details on social media, they were answering questions in their comments and DMs and they consistently kept us engaged and excited for the road. I also love when a band is consistent. Here is some feedback from a fellow masquerader that didn’t even make it.
I was supposed to play with Revel Nation but couldn’t due to an injury at the last minute. Before I decided Miami was a no go, I would say their customer service was A1 – answered all my DMs and were willing to make special accommodations so I could pick up my costume since I was supposed to get to Miami at an odd time. Because of their service, I will definitely play with them next year. Had friends who played with them and said their experience was bess. They even contacted me when they realized my costume wasn’t collected – never heard of that happening from a band.
I feel like a Revel Nation veteran at this point. I know what to expect and constantly hope that they continue to exceed my exceptions. I chose the section Spider Wasp, hesitantly. Loved the color but I wasn’t sure about the design.. LET ME TELL YOU! BABY WHEN I GOT MY COSTUME?!?!?! The softest and most quality pieces of Lycra I’d ever touched and everything fit so well.
I am a big fan of paying off my costume before I even get to mascamp. Once I arrived, I checked into their lovely iPAD system and then received all my materials. A Revel Nation associate went through my bag with me to make sure all my costume pieces were there and told me how to put them on. Pickup took 10 minutes. TEN MINUTES.
I was operating on some serious colored people time this year and arrived late to the road. That said, by the time I arrived, the band was in full swing. I was disappointed that we were crossing the stage in daylight, considering I’d become used to crossing around 8-9pm so the road felt rushed and much shorter to me. (This is a Miami-Broward committee fault, not Revel’s)
Drinks were on point. The band has grown significantly and Revel tries their best to accommodate everyone as quickly as possible.
Food was EVER FLOWING. Again, there were pastries, patties, conch fritters etc etc being distributed all day. If you were hungry, that was your fault. Lunch was available when you wanted it. I didn’t eat until the band parked up. My container had rice, fried fish and plantain.
Men and women alike looked amazing in their costume. Black Panther was my fave after Spider Wasp. The music was pumping, I heard a few St.Lucian songs which pleased my soul. As much as we want to fight dance-hall on the road, DanceHall was definitely played on the road and masqueraders were more than happy because they were all dancing and flinging their shoulder.
Re-Live the Road with these Miami Carnival Mixes
Popular Songs that were played on the road
- Top Striker x Wuss Wayz
- Get in Your Section x Wuss Wayz
- Funky Business x Fimba
- Tombstone x Mandella Linkz
- Wet it Up x Zeek
- No Dutty Saltfish x Chennet D Man
- Soca Kingdom x Machel Montano
- Parle bow x Blackboy & Youth
- Bend Down for the Hmm x Khrome & Nassis
- The Road x Problem Child
PLAYING MAS WITH OTHER BANDS
Now Revel Nation is so consistently amazing, I don’t think I will ever leave my band however, I did compile some reviews of other bands for you all to get a feel from other masquerader feedback. Some great and some bad….
Band: Ramajay Mas
So I’ve heard a lot of terrible reviews about Ramajay and normally they are much more organized. I played with Sherzel/Poison Dart section and although she changed the pickup times, I received my costume in 30 minutes. She even gave me an extra fanny pack and upgraded my backpack. Now as for on the road, I arrived late, so I just got food from my friends truck, bartenders on the Ramajay truck were rude AF. One woman just stood there only to look down and laugh. I think I got about one drink, came back later and they ran out of alcohol.
Band: Freaks Mas
I played with Freaks Mas. The “karma carnival” section and was amazed by the costume and wowed by their customer service. By far one of the SEXIEST costumes I have ever played mas in. I was worried about the cut of the wire bra but the section leader knew his stuff. We were able to get the right fit for my body and I was very very content. For a first time reveler in Miami, I was extremely impressed. Although the “road” isn’t what I’m used to, the vibes from the band and the others following was on point. I went back and forth between Freaks and checking my cousin in Dingolay. Both bands held their own. The drinks truck never left me standing for more than a few minutes before filling my bottle with Henny and a splash of coke. Needless to say, I had a sun filled, rum filled, enjoyable jump. Oh I need to hear more Lucian soca on the road eh… that is all. Sincerely, Movay Tuh.
Band: Savage Mas Productions
This was my first and LAST year with Savage Mas. Never in my years of carnival have I been put through so much stress and unprofessionalism. Nothing was prepared, it was complete and utter chaos and dysfunction during the distribution schedule. Dates and times were continuously pushed back to the point where some people did not even receive their costume at all. I received my full costume at 4AM on carnival morning. I was told it would be ready at 10PM on Saturday. I waited all night, in the lobby of the hotel, missed my fete I paid for that night and fell asleep in the lobby ultimately. I do not recommend Savage Mas for anybody, especially if it is your first Carnival experience. Maybe they will get it together next year, but I would never ever take a chance with them again.
More Reviews can be found here: Miami Carnival Band Reviews 2018
How was your Miami Carnival for 2018 ? Let me know in the comments below
Yours in Mas,