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Wednesday, 23 May 2012

In the Mas Camp with K2K | SEAN DRAKES

In the Mas Camp with K2K | SEAN DRAKES:

'via Blog this'

New Mas Troupe Wants Year-Round Fun

Antigua St John's - Seen as the new kid on the block for Carnival 2012, Scorch Mas Troupe has employed a strategy that would undoubtedly give meaning to its adapted slogan, The People’s Mass Troupe.
Scorch Mas Troupe
Scorch Executive Dion George said while the band’s designs and promised experience can easily stand up beside the likes of Myst and others, its pricing reaches comfortably into the pockets of the average Antiguan reveler.

“Our vision for Scorch is that it would be a lifestyle. Not just a mass troop. The way that we will differ from the rest is that come the end of Carnival, we will not die. We will be a live brand throughout the year.”

The band caters for 300 people - six groups of 50 with five front lines not exceeding more than six for each group. The male to female ratio stands at 40 to 60. There will be two bars on Carnival Monday, one at the head of the group and another at the foot.

A ghost Trinidadian designer made all the "scorching" designs, and while the launch costumes were put together locally, the mass production would be made in Trinidad and made available to revelers at least two weeks before Carnival Monday. There are no wire bras in the designs because a survey conducted by the troop determined the design too unpopular to pursue.

At least three of the sections are up to at least 50 percent capacity already.

“We are not looking to make a profit this year,” George said, noting that the goal in 2012 is simply to raise the bar of the revelers’ experience and match that with a cost in keeping with the current economic climate.

Scorch was officially launched on June 2, and its mas camp, located in the Caribbean Cinemas building, opened about a week ago.

“We are only doing 30 frontlines so the concentration is on the 200 plus revelers. It is making it much, much affordable," the leader said.

Presently, the prices are $700 and $850 for men, regardless of the design. The women's frontline stands at $1,089 each, but are limited to only six for each design. These prices, which are among the lowest so far for the season, could be reduced by as much as $100 to $200 for each section. The bars will be 100 percent premium, it was promised, and security will play a significant role.

“This is a people’s mas," George said. "We are not filled with rules. We are not filled with doing it how it has been done for the past couple of years. Carnival is free-spirited type of enjoyment, so even within our mas itself we are not going to tell you stay within your section. If you have you friend in another section, go where you want to go. The only time we would want you together is when we are approaching the judges."

Throughout the year, group will open its camp to the public between Thursdays and Saturdays for an after-work, after-movie, weekend lime. This will be done through a partnership with Premier Beverages with a modern-styled lounge and drinks across the board. Access to the venue will be free, and food and drinks will be available “dirt, dirt cheap.”

George said that while it might seem like Scorch is out to compete with other mas troops, considering its approach and costs, it is actually not looking for a completion, but rather to create an avenue that provides an alternative that offers quality without back-breaking costs.
“I think there is enough room for that. Our demographic is primarily between 18 and 25 to 26 years old," he said. "We are looking at a sort of a next generation mas.”


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Saturday, 5 May 2012

Tempo may bring band 'Flags' to Carnival 2013

Frederick Morton, founder of the Tempo Network
Come Carnival 2013, the local mas bands may have a new rival from St Croix if Frederick Morton, founder of the Tempo Networks, brings his wish to fruition.
Morton announced during an event titled Tempo Tabanca on May 1 at the Hyatt Regency hotel, Port of Spain, that he may produce a mas band for Trinidad Carnival.
The suggested title of the band is Flags because the sections will represent the various islands across the Caribbean where Tempo is seen.
This was only one of the several spinoffs from the television network that Morton spoke of at the event that served as the official launch of the corporate relationship between Tempo and the Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago through TSTT Blink.
After Tempo was dropped off the Flow cable television channel line-up in Trinidad, fans of the network were presented with the option of seeing it via the Blink Entertainment IP Television service.
Tempo continued to grow in popularity being an alternative source of Caribbean pop culture to other such networks such as RETV and Synergy TV. This encouraged TSTT to build on its relationship with Tempo and get involved in projects undertaken by the network. One project identified at the launch was the Win a Tempo Trip Competition.
The competition presents the opportunity for one to attend the Tempo Turns 7 Celebration at the Six Flags in New Jersey on July 14. Anyone signing up for the Blink service by June 15 will have a chance to win the prize trip for two to attend the concert. The prize includes airfare and hotel accommodation. The concert will feature performances by Kerwin Du Bois, KI, Benjai, Ziggy Rankin, Nadia Batson and others.
Another business venture Morton said he has under the Tempo umbrella is the Tempo Bottled Water, which he said is really for the purpose of encouraging the people of the Caribbean to live healthy. Citing diabetes as one of the most rampant diseases in the region because of people's bad eating habits, Morton said that water is the most natural and healthy things one can consume. Morton said that everything he does through Tempo has a purpose relating to bettering the lives of the people of the region.
Morton also invited CEO of the Rituals chain of coffee shops, Mario Sabga-Aboud, to speak about the relationship being built between Tempo and Rituals through the specially blended smoothie known as the Tempo Colada.
Sabga-Aboud said there will be other projects undertaken jointly by he and Morton in the future. One of these will be the role Tempo will play when Rituals opens outlets in India before year's end.
Morton said on the night he launched Tempo back seven years ago a man with whom he went to school was among the guests. The man was talking to other guests unaware that Morton was standing within earshot and the former schoolmate began to scoff at the idea of Tempo saying that it would not last longer than two years.
This, Morton said, did not affect his drive, but in fact served to fuel it and since then regardless of whatever obstacles popped up, he had the determination to overcome.
Several of the local artistes, including; Ziggy Rankin, KI, Erphaan Alves and Denise Belfon were at the event. Also present was Jamaica reggae artiste Jah Cure, who, along with the local artistes, would later join other artistes from Trinidad at the Tempo Tabanca event at the Woodford Café, MovieTowne.
Fans of Tempo can look forward to being able to catch the network even when on the move in maxis, buses, at the beach and just about anywhere when TSTT bmobile launches its mobile cable television services within the coming weeks. Morton, who left a lucrative job as an attorney at Viacom to establish Tempo in the midst of people telling him he was crazy, is now setting things in place to expand in to other specialised channels branching off from Tempo.
SOURCE: Wayne Bowman

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