Miami Carnival 2011 - Party People Review


Party People Carnival Band Review
by Melissa Montrope-Huggins

This year Miami Carnival has certainly been different, from the costume collection down to the weather. Last year, after a dismal crossing the stage with Party People carnival band. I still decided to give them another chance this year.  

Crossing The Stage

I played with them again, only of course to face another dismal crossing of the stage.  I understand all revelers want to cross the stage, but when you have people that pay extra money to have a more elaborate costume and play in Frontline, they should have been given their one or two minutes to shine.  Not also give them their shine, but also to display the beauty of the costume since it is more elaborate than the others and let the costume be judged for its beauty.  From the time we got into the staging area, I took it upon myself to gather up the few Front-liners but alas we were bum-rushed and got shoved on the stage together.  Personally, I felt that the organizers should have given the DJ reading the sections a list, telling him who to call first and who not to call.  Even that was chaos because we were changing sections close to the judging point. Seriously.

Costume Distribution

But it looks like I am getting ahead of myself .... let me back it up to costume distribution.  Initially I was told that costume distribution would have been the Friday, but like I said, I have had a rapport with Party People from last year and I knew better than that.  So I got a message the Thursday saying that my costume won’t be ready not until Saturday but my husband’s own was ready for pickup as well as the backline costumes.  Ok no problem, got to the mas camp which wasn’t too far from my home to pick up my husband’s costume, everything look intact until I got home and noticed on their website they showcased yellow pants for his costume, only to find teal pants in his bag.  At this point, I am shaking my head, so I called a committee member who confirms the pants are indeed teal and not yellow … SMH.  If the carnival band makes changes, let people be aware of that before-hand. My husband was close to buying yellow shoes to match his pants and just didn’t have the time. What if he did? Steups!!

Now fast forward to after 12 the next day when I should have collected my costume. I called the committee member to see if they were ready for me. Of course, as expected they were not ready for me.  I took it upon myself after being promised a call to go to the mas camp.  So around 2:00pm, we went to the mas camp, only to end up helping them make costumes and finish decorating some bras.  

We left the mas camp at 11:30pm with my unfinished back-pack.  The designer had already bent the wire but he also had to finish other backpacks because somehow all front-liners costumes were last to be done.  You would think that the people who paid the most money would have been taken care of first. Anyway, my husband and I took the feathers that were given to us and we went home to complete my backpack, which we finished off in the morning after making a quick run to Walmart to get some braiding.

The below pic is my backpack and the front of the costume also my husband with his teal pants instead of yellow pants as showcased on the Party People website. 


Carnival Parade 

Music

Carnival Sunday, we got out there at 11:30 for the 12 noon start since we were the first band, we didn’t get to cross the stage until after 4pm (crossing the stage experience has already been discussed, lol).  Let's talk about the music on the road.  Everyone who knows me, know I like my carnival and soca.  I truly believe that I have more soca music than the DJs, Eternal Vibes and Crown Prince whom were on the music truck.  I should have handed them my phone to play instead of the shit music they were playing.  

Miami Carnival is an international carnival; therefore all island music should have been played and not no 90% Trini(dad) soca and then the rest of the islands.  I heard St.Lucian artist, Ricky T's "Pressure Boom" once. (... and how old is this song again?)  I can count the number of new Bajan (Barbados) songs played that I heard ... 4, 2 Vincy (St.Vincent) and plenty old music!

When "Carnival" by Destra came out it was de tune, this song needs to be put in the soca vault.  There is too much new soca  music out there.  Why I am still hearing 2005 music is beyond me.  "Dead or Alive" by Shurwayne Winchester.  I have gone up to some DJs and asked them, "Why don’t you play small island music?" Some have said, "They can't find it!"  Yet, my husband and I are not DJs and we have all island music.  So how come I can find soca from all islands, particularly the smaller ones, and these DJs can't?

Food

I think Party People International has the potential to be a great band with less angry revelers.  The finger food served on the road should not have included the mayo (not everyone can eat mayo and mayo can spoil in the heat).  Yet, serving their revelers instead of revelers rushing to get food was a nice touch.  I really must compliment them on that.  Also the fresh cold fruits were very good.  The actual food at the end of the crossing of the stage could have been better.  Cole slaw should not be an option carnival day at all.  Mayo is a no-no.  The rice portions were good but some of it was uncooked.  But all hat can be fixed up for next year!

Drinks

The drinks truck team was pretty good although there could have been a better selection of drinks.  I was drinking orange juice and a bajan rum that my husband had in his bag.  Why we had to bring our own rum, is beyond me.  But after last year's experience, we knew to come ready with our own rum.  

Next Year ... 

I am willing to give Party People another try next year if they fix their organization because despite it all I did have a pretty good time on the road.  At the end of the day revelers spend their money and do not like to be taken for fools.  

Miami-Broward Carnival

I think Miami-Broward Carnival needs to work on organization.  Miami Carnival is one of the biggest international carnivals and has so much potential, if the right people take it in the direction that it should go. Do not let it be about money or greed but more about our culture!


4 comments

  1. Very well said.
    I especially agree with the comment about Frontline; that is one of the reasons I decided to just play backline this year. I was a disappointed Fronliner last year.

    I enjoyed myself on the road though; I always do, and I am willing to give them one more try…

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  2. This is Crown Prince and I am naturally going to defend the music issues that you stated... I did arrive late due to handling other obligations that day... Walking up to the truck I heard fellow dj Eternal Vibes playing a great older calypso selection and he then built the vibe up to a sweet mid tempo vibe and then built the pace with plenty new summer tracks included... After hearing him for about 45mins, I then started to work, my 1st selection was "Roll It" by "Hypersounds" (BAJAN) followed by "Good Time" by "Edwin Yearwood: (Bajan); rather than going through my complete playlist I know that the set was really mixed with selections and remixes Bajan, Vincy, Grenada, Trini, and Antigua... I remember when you came to the truck and gave me the look to let me know that you were listening while I was mixing Jones and Wukkup... Now if you hear a Machel that came out during cropover, would you consider that a trini record or cropover record?! You didn't mention hearing songs that we played like; Tallpree - Jab All Over, Lavaman - So We Deh, Problem Child - Waistline, Allison Hinds - Explode, Mr Dale - Wow, Tian Winter - Crash, Lil Rick - Work, Skinny Fabulous - 6:30 and many more "summer hits"... You may hear more popular songs of the year more, but I know that we worked records from all over on sunday and in our systems we can pull up our playlists song by song and the length each was played... This was not written as a counteraction, it was written to report "My Day doing my job with Party People..." There is no dj on earth who will be able to every single person happy, but a good dj is able to at least say I touch a lil bit of everything in the process and maintained a vibe

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  3. i agree with everything said! i also played frontline n everything was a disaster! i came to pick up my costume n the only thing in the bag was the bottom piece...lol . anyway to make a long story short that night i ended up making my own head piece, bra, back pack..hmmm as a matter of fact i made my entire costume that i paid $250.00 for! along with 4 other head peices from the blue section n completing 7 head pieces from the red section! and seven backpieces..my house turned into a mini mass camp and i don't mind helping, but i didn't even get a thank yoU ! SMH!!! PARTY PEOPLE IS NOT FOR ME!!!

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