A Trini education in carnival part 3

Starlift are, how do I put it, a more "mature" band. OK they should have been called Stairlift really, man they were old!

...but the band was very cheap comparative to the main bands.

Now this was another surprise for me. Carnival is BIIIIIG business out there. Bands such as Tribe, Harts and the old Poison have numbers like 4000 people in the band!!!!

And each person pays about £300-400 to wear costume!!

As I stood in the crowd on carnival Monday watching Tribe go by, hot girl after hot girl in bikinis, I tried to work out how much money was in this. After all, the first truck went by with about 400 people behind it, then the second, then the third, then a toilet truck, then the moving bar, then another truck and a moving cooler truck for chilling out, and another 10 sections and countless toilet trucks and food trucks. It was immense.

Considering that our band, one of the larger bands in London's Notting Hill is about 300 people at a push and is considered in the Large Bands category this sort of size was absolutely mindboggling.

I mean Tribe went by in about an hour. We go by in about 3 minutes walking slowly.

So a major difference in the vibe of carnival from my point of view stems from the fact that the funding of Trini carnival comes from the punters who are ALL up for it. The tourists join Tribe and Harts and jump up with the party mad Trinis at whatever price, but in London we pay a fraction of that cost, perhaps £100 as the funding comes from the Arts Council and various other charitable bodies.

So to cut a long story short, I joined up with a "smaller" band (ok they had about 5 trucks playing Steel Pan) of mainly mature folk, but it only cost us £25 to jump up so we cant complain but we only went on the road for one day and it was very sedate.

It was cool though to see that carnival in Trini caters for the guys who don't want to jump up to Soca and the pan vibe was uber-relaxed. I think we don't have that in London so much, as our pan bands are huge and loud.

Another education in Trini carnival for me

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