If you are carnival junkie or at least in the loop of the Carnival scene, then the name ‘Caesar’s Army’ is known to you. Known for their innovative and creative events like A.M. Bush, Bacchanal Road, Mai Tai and more, the creative event geniuses are up to something new.
I had the chance to sit down with their Commander in Chief, Jules about the past and what his vision is for the future. While Covid [the rona as we call it on the internet streets] has completely halted carnival events, Caesar’s Army was successfully able to pull off their event ‘Bacchanalia’ in January over a weekend.
Patrons flew down to Trinidad to enjoy the festivities, making Bacchanalia a destination weekend event. Jules states that it was their first time putting on events like that back to back non-stop, and though it was not something they were accustomed to, it was extremely rewarding. It set the tone for Trinidad Carnival 2020. Which Jules would classify as a magical experience.
When asking Jules what carnival 2020 was like for Caesar’s Army, words like ‘phenomenal in spirit, and magical were used‘ and he’s right. I had the chance to attend A.M. Bush and A.M. Beach in Trinidad this year and it was truly a merging of happy fete attendees, looking to enjoy themselves as we took the bush and the beach.
‘Trinidad Carnival 2020 was phenomenal, we had a really strong spirit for 2020’
We expected to attend Caesar’s Army events in other islands this year. In the Caribbean region, their events during St. Lucia Carnival, Crop Over season and in NYC for Labor Day are also very well attended. They were luckily able to halt planning in time. But what happens now? Here is what Jules had to say..
What has the team been doing since the effects of the pandemic?
Like many, we had no idea what was going on yet and we were monitoring the current climate. We were really concerned once Jamaica Carnival was postponed, we were planning for two events in Jamaica. There was a major threat to live events, customer safety and so we needed to step back and assess the pandemic.
In April, we organized a virtual event in memory of Jamaica Carnival, it was a great opportunity to maintain the carnival spirit while also helping patrons get accustomed to virtual events in that time.
On the carnival streets, I heard the Romans had a new project coming so I asked Jules.. What is Caesar CreatiV, and is it a replacement for Caesar Army?
Jules laughs, Caesar’s Army will never be replaced. Like many, the team monitored the global climate and thought of new ways we would move forward, we are now branching out into the corporate space. It will be a fusion of creative and tech.
“The Power of Experience”
At this point, I am intrigued, what does this even mean? Will companies have fete experiences now ?
Jules mentioned that prior to the pandemic, the Romans had discussed extending their business to business creative arm. They are big on customer engagement and wanted to provide that blueprint and assist other companies and brands with strategizing and bringing concepts alive through customer engagement and the power of experience.
How and why is it important for Caribbean corporate entities to leverage technology in their marketing experiences?
When you’re from the islands, sometimes we feel like you have to follow, but I think it is important because we have something special – that is our culture. Though it has been downplayed and underrated it is sustainable and a thriving industry that should be shared.
We have so many elements that are unique to Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean like steel pan, Queens and Kings, Dimanche Gras and many other unique elements which gives us the advantage to showcase our culture alongside this digital transformation.
We could showcase our culture to the world in a better format and be the leaders of it. Now is the time to re-energize the culture and the industry by fusing both creative and technology.
What would you say is the biggest challenge that we as a region share in adapting these new ways of technology-centered living?
I believe that we wait too long, we’re not going back to what we deem as “normal” so that is our current challenge, thinking that things will go back to what they once were. Caesar’s Army is hoping to be leaders in this new norm. For example, we would like to assist our corporate clients strategize and think of new ways they can engage with their customer base effectively. What was done well with live events? How can that be applied to the digital space? This is a time to get back to a customer centric model. Jules believes this is a time for metamorphosis.
With over 10 years of experience in the Caribbean entertainment circuit, what should we be doing as a community to prepare for the next Carnival period?
We should keep working — continue pushing through. We have to see beyond this pandemic. Continue doing what you do best. The upcoming Trinidad Carnival 2021 season could be an amazing experience, with new music and innovative concepts within mas displayed on a world stage.
It’s hard for professionals and consumers to see beyond the “gloom and doom” of COVID-19. What options and opportunities do we have during this pandemic?
For professionals, the world could become your playground if we focused on it, and as consumers, this is the perfect time to see how we can continue to be a part of this movement to get the culture on a world stage.This is an opportunity to share, highlight and showcase our culture and reach a wider audience.
What is the forecast for Caesar’s Army for 2021 and beyond?
We want to be able to put our best foot forward, embrace the new digital transformation, try our hand and see what can happen for carnival. We hope to partner with other brands and collaborate on ideas worthy of the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival Experience. We love to show and prove.