Band Review - Carnival Nationz 2011 - Unicorn

Monday, May 21, 2012 Drunk or Sober Mind yuh Bizness 0 Comments


I decided for the second year to play with Carnival Nationz Miami. After the launch I was very excited and wanted to get into Unicorn.

Registration was pretty much hassle free. Much easier than actually finding the mas camp to do the actual registration. It is also quite annoying to call someone and they can't properly direct you to their OWN camp. After viewing the costumes close up, people decided really what sections they wanted to play in, application filled out and down payments paid.

Collection wasn't quite as easy. Some bags were missing items. Some of the gems were already falling off of the costumes. Some bras didn't fit as well (as is expected with the U bras). Eventually everyone was sorted out as best as can be. The atmosphere at the mas camp was at times too hectic and I think a little bit more organization is needed for distribution. Atleast music was playing, drinks were selling so if you had to wait you were a bit entertained.

Fast Fwd to Sunday for parade. It had already been a different type of Miami with all the rain that was falling but we were still hyped to be on the road. We got to the meeting point at around 10am. That map provided by One Miami Carnival committee was quite ahm... dumb. We eventually found the bands though after much "U see the bands" as we walked. CNZ had already started sharing out breakfast (aloo pies) and the bar was already running. Those pies were the worse things ever. I don't know who thought that those tings were a good idea for masqueraders to get in the morning. Anyway, that was minor. Most people were in high spirits besides the rain. Some were covered in plastic wraps trying to preserve their costume a bit with the rain, others didn't care. Some of my crew were loosing gems as we walked though. We didn't hit the road yet. Eventually bands started lining up in the order we were to proceed. Unfortunately CNZ picked 3 I think and that was something of an issue for masqueraders who didn't want to cross too early. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

From playing last year I know CNZ always has vibes on the road. Their drinks are ALWAYS flowing. There is no limit to the amount of drinks you can get, masqueraders are very friendly and welcoming. You feel like you're playing with family. This year wasn't really much different. My issue was MUSIC. 2011 was a great year for Soca. There was a plethora of songs to be played. Seems like some of our DJs didn't get that memo. At times you would hear "but we just heard that song". At times you couldn't even hear the music to tell the truth. When you did try to go up front to the music truck to hear the music louder, you were accosted by security (who for the most part did an excellent job) who informed you "Only the king, queen or individuals can be up here". So what? we can't hear music too? I know of a few people who eventually left to go to other bands to hear music. I don't know. They need to work on their sound truck and their Djs need to learn to miz it up.

Food. Food. Food. Now Miami's route is not that long, but people are drinking a LOT for majority of the day, especially too from the long weekend, so good food is needed. And they did provide some tasty food but it was surely served a bit too late. I understand that they may have wanted to wait till we got into the park (An issue I hope that One Miami works on because I don't see why masqueraders have to be let in one by one into the gates. IT makes NO sense and as hinders masqueraders route time. Suppose bands were 5000 strong? It would take all day to get in the park?...Steups) But then for us to have to rush down the truck to get some food to sit on the side watching the band continue around the bend to cross the stage? Please don't think I'm expecting a rest spot stop, but a bit more strategic serving of food. I mean CNZs committee should know the route and what is expected when so that they can better guide their masqueraders.

All in all I would give them a 9 out of 10 for my experience. No let's make that an 8.5. The Djs is a really important issue. I especially liked that after we crossed the stage "early", it was actually late in the evening and I think a good time, they parked the truck on the side way and continued the party with drinks etc.I had no issue with drinks. They had mine. I know they are a lot of people who were not satisfied though. Costumes falling apart etc. and are looking for a new band.

Based on my experience I would gladly play with and recommend Carnival Nationz to anyone else. Especially if they do better with the Djs. (Majestic was good) and with costume distribution.

One Miami Carnival need to organize their dam selves though. Some of the logistical issues need to be worked out ASAP. I mean by now this thing should be seamless. Steupsssssssssssssss