Bahamas Carnival 2019: A Review of Bahamas Masqueraders

Before bands launched and a fete flyer could pop up on my Instagram Feed, I knew Bahamas Carnival 2019 was a go. I had previously seen a video of Bahamas Masqueraders on the road and also had the chance to interview them in 2018. That said, after partying and relaxing in St. Maarten for 5 days, I flew to Bahamas. I had such a great time visiting in September 2018, so I had an idea of what foods I wanted to eat, where to stay etc.IMG_2757We decided to stay on Paradise Island this time, which is great if you want to access Atlantis for Aquaventure and participate in tourist Bahamas. Keep in mind,there is a $2 toll to pay every time you go in and out of Paradise island, if most of your fetes are on the other side of the bridge, this can be quite costly. Immediately upon arriving and landing on our 11PM flight, we changed and it was time to party

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Photography by Azikiwe Aboagye
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Photography by Azikiwe Aboagye

The Fetes.

Revelution Jouvert

This was a first time event organized by Bahamas Masqueraders. While they capped the event off at 200 patrons to keep it intimate, it was a great party. Jouvert was on the road [cars were still able to access the opposite side of the road] which made it fun. I love moving jouverts instead of stationary ones. It gives me the feeling of being on the road for carnival. One thing I noticed is that dance-hall is played a lot in Bahamas, and Bahamians embrace and love it.

Icebox Entertainment – Suits 

I had long heard about Suits Bahamas and I must admit, this is a selling point to visit Bahamas for Carnival. Suits Bahamas is a floating jouvert. As in, we board a freight boat and we’re sailing but also have paint, powder and bubble foam thrown on us under the beauty that is Bahamas sun.

Tickets opened at $55usd and hopefully you requested and purchased as soon as possible because tickets sold out QUICKLY. Did I mention, it is also a cooler jouvert so you could bring ALL the alcohol you want and die then come again? The DJ line up was dope too, the event had Trevlyn the Voice, DJ Majestic, Milo Myles, Tony X and one of my new faves from Bahamas, DJ Ovadose. They all did a great job of keeping the crowd engaged, so much so, getting people off the boat once we docked was a chore. In short, I HIGHLY recommend this event. So make sure when you book your flight for Bahamas Carnival 2020, you stay until late Sunday night or fly out on Monday morning.

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Photography by Azikiwe Aboagye

There were other notable events taking place but I was either in my bed asleep or eating lol. But let’s talk about how I pulled up to Bahamas Masqueraders mas camp around 11pm and they were still OPEN and assisting customers. [NEVER HAVE I SEEN THIS IN MY LIFE]

The Band 

Bahamas Masqueraders launched their highly anticipated band theme in February. ‘Illumination‘ and many doubted the theme’s concept but the video below shows why it was BESS! and extremely different from anything done before. 

After launch, it took about a week for official photos and the website to be up. Pricing and registration was open a week after that. The one thing I’ll mention is that, you have to KNOW you’re going to Bahamas then book. A lot of things are coordinated with less turn around time, so unless you want to pay more for lodging and airfare, waiting until the bands launch to make up your mind, is too late.

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Photography by Azikiwe Aboagye

Getting Ready Details 

So I decided I would be in the green section, you know so my skin will pop. After Glow is the official name of the section, designed by Anthony Knowles. I got to Bahamas and went to mas camp to pickup my costume, only to be pulled aside by Anthony, who scanned to make sure everything fit according to his vision. It was then he let me try on my costume and then insisted he adjust my bodywear. Promises of “i’ll drop it off tomorrow” were made. Typically, when you hear your costume needs changes, you’re in fear because of all the horrible experiences we have seen with other bands.

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Check out my road interview with Timmay

As promised, Anthony personally arrived at my hotel carnival morning and my one piece was PERFECTION. Cut, sewn and fit like it was literally made for me, with the most comfortable lycra material that has ever touched my skin. My backpack was then put on to complete my look. I truly felt like royalty.  [Now I don’t expect the designer to show up to your hotel room, BUT they have seamstresses on site around the clock to make any adjustments you want if you don’t like the way your costume fits]

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Photography by Azikiwe Aboagye
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Photography by Azikiwe Aboagye

The one thing they do extremely well is feather work. Not one gem or feather was lost! What kind of hot glue are they using in Bahamas? Whatever it is, other mas camps need to buy some!

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Photography by Azikiwe Aboagye

The Carnival

It was time to get on the road. In Bahamas the roads are pretty much still open so we were able to find our band and get dropped off rather quickly.  As soon as we hopped out, and walked up to the band, it was vibes. Masqueraders were already feeling the music [they had been there awhile, of course I was late so I missed breakfast] I quickly got myself a drink then got in the band.

I was under the impression prior to hitting the road that masqueraders stayed in their sections BUT that could not be further from the truth. We were all over the band. ALL types of island soca was played  – St.Lucia, Trinidad, Grenada, Antigua — and shockingly, A LOT of Bajan soca. I was so pleased. There is debate now about dance hall being played during carnival but it was also played on the road in Bahamas. So if this appeals to you, check out Bahamas Carnival.

In addition to a loaded drinks truck with fresh mojitos being made (yes ya’ll, MOJITOS), there were drinks and snack runners handing out water, cookies and chips

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What impressed me the most with Bahamas Masqueraders was the mobile restroom. THEY HAD REAL TOILETS AND SINKS! No portable potties, no stench, no pumping in that hot ass sun, but flushing toilets and running water ON WHEELS.

Also, we had cool down mist. If you’re familiar with the sun in the Caribbean, you know it’s hot but the heat in the Bahamas is DIFFERENT. We needed that mist and lots of sunscreen.

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The vibe continued well into the night, it was around 10pm when the trucks turned up. Several other people were in the streets dancing and enjoying themselves. I quickly went to find some food and had a long walk ahead of me. By then the band was giving out grilled dishes if anyone wanted some.

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Photography by Azikiwe Aboagye

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I had such an amazing time and certainly plan to return in 2020! Anthony gave me one of the top 2 costumes that I have ever worn, and I don’t think it was two!

Yours in Mas, 

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

2 thoughts on “Bahamas Carnival 2019: A Review of Bahamas Masqueraders

  1. Look now I want to go next year!!! 🤔🤔 Excellent read, and not one negative experience. Dopeness!!!

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