Recession OR is Playing Mas Just Too Expensive

Recently my ladies and I were speaking, as we usually do, and the topic of carnival rose its finely glittered and feathered head, and I learned that ISM, (International Soca Monarch Competition), was only available on PPV(Pay-Per-View), and not televised live for the locals there, and some other things that just did not make sense. I was told of the following:

  1. It was not shown live
  2. It was showed chopped up, and then the results announced, recorded
  3. If anyone posted results it was immediately removed
  4. There was a complete ban
  5. Machel Montanos performance was not shown
  6. Winners were not allowed to say if they won
  7. Many fetes cancelled
  8. Monday night mas was cancelled in South

Every year, despite whatever international problems has trickled down to TnT for the Carnival, everything is usually on point, bands will sell out weeks prior to the week of Carnival, but it is different for 2016. With catalysts as the Zika Virus, crime, and what appears to be a lack of concern by the new administration, there is much going on and it has taken a toll on Carnival 2016, and it will surely be one for the books.   

Friends on the island have mentioned that all-inclusive popular large band, Tribe have many costumes to sell-off, due to people just not showing up, and of course those prices are outlandish!  

 Mas Rebellion on Facebook - Click the Link 

 Mas Rebellion on Facebook - Click the Link 

Every year anxious masqueraders wait for the sound of band launch season and the eager anticipation/fear of what those prices will be, especially frontline.  Afterall, Carnival is WOMAN, and it's marketed towards us, but, that's a different post.  But playing mas has changed greatly over the years.  It is  more of a who you know and how much money you're willing to spend. Long story short, Carnival is a sacrifice all on its own.

As a masquerader it is one thing, but as a mas designer, I can't imagine what it's like so, I asked Defiance Mas Band, Tamara Sanowar how has what's happening with the local economy, threat of disease and crime affected her and the band?

For me personally I’m now breaking into this industry as a Mas designer but because of contacts with other bands the people whom I’m associated with make costumes all over the world so we’re never really out of work....but for our own band it has caused us to scale back and join up with a bigger band. Doing so allowed us to cut our cost drastically and focus more on production for other bands creating a bigger capital for us. But even joining can’t save us from having left over costumes. People are simply living in fear because thousands were sent home with no pay and no promises to rehire.
— Tamara of Defiance Mas Band

Recession or not, if you're a veteran masquerader what do you think about the state of things with Carnival and if you're a newbie, what are your expectations?