Monday, 28 May 2012

Crop Over Calendar 2012

Crop Over is officially here! I've put together THE guide so you know where to go, what to do and how to party in our little island paradise. For the first-timers, and the so-called veterans - it begins! 

Dates and times according to info available at press time. Events to be added/updated later in the season. Three stars *** means a Crop Over Chronicles choice pick





Crop Over Tuesday - 31st July

Soca Titans 
Great showcase of soca artistes that starts off Crop Over week with a bang! All the big names from soca have made an appearance over the past few years this has been in existence. For a soca-holic like myself it is a must-do this year.




Crop Over Wednesday - 1st August



Wadadah Together As One
The last lap for Wadadah Group for the season. I like a good fete, more than that I like one put on by a group that is 100% local and contributes to good causes. Aside from the fact that Wadadah plays a great role in the community, they throw a hell of a party! Fun guaranteed.


*NEW* Lush Cooler Party
Cooler party - a new concept for Barbados and Crop Over in general. At a reasonable $25US it shouldn't deter money-conscious Bajans. Venue is a 'West Coast villa'. In addition to your coolers, bottle bar is also available.


***Harbour Lights Beach Extravaganza 
This outdoor party spot is always a good bet on any given week outside of the season, with free drinks (which I've always found to be a bit watered down) complemented by live performances from big names. Also a good place to start if you're fresh off the plane, as the vibes are always crazy. 

*NEW* Crop Over Rum Beer and Wine Festival
Now two out of three of my favourite drinks made my ears perk up at this one. Being held at Cricket Legends in Fontabelle, and for only $12.50 US including free drink vouchers. With live entertainment, tuk bands, steel pan, DJs and karaoke, this may be a good event to add to your calendar.




Crop Over Thursday - 2nd August

Uniform Boatride (daytime)
Put on by some experienced promoters from all over the world, this dress-up boatride always gets good reviews from the attendees. All-inclusive with food and drinks for a great price.


Glow by Power x 4
Power x 4 the band has a lovely venue called the Party Stand, and 'Glow' is their all-white event held here. The quality of music performances and the just-right size of the space makes this a good option for the Thursday.




Frazzled - Mug Madness
A Bajan version of a good cooler fete – like Wicked in White. Hype live acts and great vibe is a given here. A bit disappointing in 2011, mainly because of the venue choice. The crush of people made it less enjoyable than usual. Here's hoping for a new venue/VIP area(!) or I'll have to give it a miss in 2012. 



*NEW* Rize All Inclusive
This event, being held in a particularly lush estate in Sandy Lane, sounds very interesting. Let's hope they do it right the first year, as Bajans tend to be wary of new things. Stay tuned for more info as The Crop Over Chronicles gets it!





Crop Over Friday - 3rd August



***Bridgetown Market
Soak up the atmosphere on Spring Garden Highway before it gets inundated with sweaty bodies on Monday, stalls abound with local products. Experience an authentic Bajan day out. Check out the Brewsters Road Crew stall while you’re there.



The Bathsheba Experience
Tagged as 'The Ultimate Cropover All Inclusive', but not one where you stand up and pose. Popular with foreigners  and celebrities. The venue is not as close as most events, but getting there is half the fun!



Roast Cruise
Roast - Bajan for hurt, frazzled, rip up, etc. All inclusive cruise with the aim to make you useless to yourself until late Saturday afternoon. If you have a weak liver, avoid at all costs! Only attend if you think you can bring it, prepare for ultimate vibe and ultimate drinks, with a pre-party dockside. 


Pork Lime 
Starting at dusk, this is a free weekly Friday lime with surprise artistes and DJ music, the final one being on Crop Over Friday. As you may be able to tell from the name, the specialty dish here is pork. Lots and LOTS of pork in every form is on sale. Runs into the wee hours of the morning. 

Cabanas
First held in 2011 with a 'cabana' and bottle service concept. Haven't gotten around to asking those who attended for a review as yet, so still not sure if this is worth attending, but it seems it's being done again this year. 


Pic O De Crop finals
Excellent opportunity to see some real Bajan music, this has the best of the best, or 'crop' that have come down through the rounds of calypso tents. The most exciting thing in recent memory is a backstage scuffle between The Mighty Gabby and a reporter, but on the whole it's good clean fun. Goes straight into Friday night into Crop Over Saturday and:

Foreday Morning Jam  approximately 12am to 7am

Foreday/jouvert options include:



Collision
I had a great time in 2011 with Collision Foreday Morning Band. The Trini rhythm section was a nice touch.



Baje Jouvert
This is an actual jouvert party, good if you like your jouvert not on the road. Baje is known for having a bar as long as 50ft-this fete is drinks inclusive of course.


Jambalassee Jouvert
You will find a lot of the masqueraders are good friends and repeat customers. Booked way in advance, nice people, and safe. This band has always sold out quickly.

Mojito by Allure Ent                 
Sponsored by Bacardi,  guaranteed mojitos and rum all night into morning. Includes private party 10pm Friday to 6am Saturday. Anything that includes a pre-party too is a-ok in my books-2 for the price of 1!
  
Colorz Entertainment Jouvert
Great value, with no increase from last year's price includes FREE PRE JUMP UP PARTY Again, you can't go wrong with that.

DMD Entertainment 
Last year's theme was 'BATTLE AGAINST MR.HARDING'. They called themselves the  Redjet of Jouvert bands at only $45US!! Any DMD party is bound to be bashy – if you don’t understand the meaning of bashy, attend this and find out.

Island Fusion Jouvert 
Only in its third year yet I'm quite certain it will be sold out almost as soon as it launches. You'll find the Bajan hot girls and according to some, a bourgeoisie vibe here. Frontline costumes were a great innovation last year for you divas out there!

***Wadadah Morning Brek Out
The after - foreday party. Water, foam, paint and mud zones. Add to that all the Crop Over artistes passing through and you've got THE party you go to after foreday-that's right! No sleepA definite favourite of mine. 

  
Crop Over Saturday - 4th August



Scorch Cooler Cruise
What can one say about a Scorch party, but to say expect nothing but young wild and free, sexy, hip party animals will be present. An overabundance of Trinis tend to flock to this bring your own drinks event put on by the Trinidadian DJ Hypa Hoppy. 






***Bliss
The all-inclusive to end them all. Think Beach House, Soka in Moka, etc. The guys who hold this calendar staple always have an amazing venue and good looking attendees. Girls, buy a new outfit. Trust me. The women don’t play at this one. Guys: try and shave at least.


10-10
From 10pm Saturday to 10am Sunday, a 12 hour party for those of you who think you're able. You're guaranteed to find the hottest acts, international, regional, and local, just bring some stamina. VIP is available, and probably advised if you don't like standing for 12 hours, plus want food and drink included, but enjoy yourself in some flats in the General section - you'll have just as much fun.



Crop Over Sunday - 5th August



Island Mas breakfast party
Increasing in popularity year by year, still the only real 'breakfast party' and a great setting. Usually at the Barbados museum last year it was at a new equally beautiful venue -  George Washington House. Had live performances and a great cause being supported in the HIV assistance program.

  

Booze Cruise
Those who go, know. All inclusive cruise, after party on the beachfront with big stars passing through to perform live. Just like Vale Breakfast Party in Trinidad, good luck finding a ticket, though...




Limerz Cruise
Fully inclusive, this cruise takes place on multiple catamarans instead of a regular boat. Good time all around. 




*NEW* Exotica
All inclusive event held from 3pm, so almost in direct competition with the above cruises. The organisers promise a 'premium' experience. Let's see what they bring!

Cohobblopot
Similar to Rama in Trinidad, creme de la creme of artistes perform, just don't stay till morning if you're jumping the next day. FYI: 'jumping' is the Bajan equivalent of 'playing mas'-always good to get your vocabulary straight  :)
Harbour Lights pre-jump party
Never fails as a great hype builder to the jump the next day. Lights has its own band (Blue Box Cart), and the band's revellers are well known for heading straight onto the road when they finish partying here!



Grand Kadooment Monday - 6th August



Grand Kadooment
The parade of bands ending at Spring Garden Highway. If you have any last minute vibes and feel like joining a band, contact TrpleF. They also have a great all inclusive option for $50 US or so, where you can watch the bands as they pass and get free drinks and food all day. Bank Holiday Tuesday - the day after is now a public holiday, there are some good cooldown options Tuesday - I've heard of a Rum and Roti lime on! 


Let us know which event you can't miss this year.
Welcome to Crop Over!


**Disclaimer** This is not a comprehensive list, just the things The Crop Over Chronicles endorses to some extent. Although if you hear about something not on this list, it’s probably not that important.

For all tickets to events and band registrations, like TrpleF Services page on Facebook and Twitter or email: trplefservices@gmail.com


Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Foreday Morning Jam - Bajan jouvert?



Jambalassee band
The pace of Crop Over has heated up lately, as we speak bandleaders are in frantic late night meetings, at least one band has started producing costumes, with each day bringing "sneak peeks" of what's in store. 

I got to thinking though, alongside jump up aka Kadooment Day, we have Foreday Morning Jam. Happening in the wee hours of Crop Over Saturday, this is the fastest growing event in Crop Over, as one can see by the plethora of bands that now exist. About 8,500 people were expected in 2011. Some may know the jam as "jouvert". For our friends who've never heard of it here's what it means!

Starting after the 'Pic-O-De-Crop' competition, the parade passes along Spring Garden Highway, just like the Kadooment jump. It continues along its route from approximately midnight to after 6am. Live DJ music from the trucks of the different bands, Bajan folk characters like the stilt men populate the showcase as it moves along. 


The Bajan  "tuk band" is one rhythm you can expect to hear pulsing, in addition to the odd Trinidadian "rhythm section" imported by some bands.

Like other midnight mas around the world, anything from mud, paint, and of course water feature, with your aim being to either avoid it completely, or carry it around in a bucket to slather on those trying to avoid it!  Spectators line the route which is one of the safest I've seen in my Carnival experience all over the world. Even children are amongst those who taking in the revelry while trying to dodge the enthusiastic revellers pelting paint!

Suprisingly, a lot of the continued success of Foreday had to do with a private company, Roberts Manufacturing. The company even supplies its own truck so those not jumping with a band can still participate. In the present day, the jam has seen the young and hip quickly catch on, so that now you may choose from a wide range of options when it comes to bands.

Green Lizards band

Island Fusion 2011

Mojito Jouvert band 2012


Island Fusion band 2011
   
Budget bands start at $50 US, a fancier version of a costume may run up to $85 US or so. Most bands include breakfast and a bit of a cooldown after the route. Amazing value for what it is!

There's something I've always found cleansing (ironically) about covering yourself in paint, mud, oil, and water. It's like a baptism, from which you emerge a new being, born again. The lack of inhibitions and breaking down of barriers of class, age, race and all else leads to a sheer joy that culminates in the daybreak of the Foreday morning sun.

Welcome to Crop Over!

For information on registration in Foreday morning bands, see here


Sunday, 13 May 2012

Fantasy Barbados 2012 Band Launch Review

As you will have seen from our interview with the Fantasy bandleader here, this new band is one of the first of the season to launch, and we were invited to have a front row seat last night as they presented 'Warriors of Africa' for Crop Over 2012.

The launch was held in the University of The West Indies and started off with some lovely cultural bits, including an African dance performed by students of the university. After this we were treated to a background on the theme behind the band, which the bandleader connected to the UWI's African masters program. The way she connected it to the struggle of Africans in the Caribbean really impressed me. Really interesting stuff! 

Now onto the costumes *pricelist below*:


MANDINGO






A nicely executed costume, granted the male feels truer to the African theme, as it did in many of the sections. I found the male very authentic down to the staff and zebra print. Loving the use of accessories like the staff by Fantasy. It's those little touches that make all the difference. As they said, they think men deserve more than a shorts and band. The female feels a bit over plumed, but other than that it is a pretty costume that a lot of frontline divas will love.




AMAZON






Now THIS, this is my favourite section. The strong geometric shapes which scream authentic Africa, the mohawk (!) headpieces, the bright yellows, golds, and bronzes which always look amazing in the sun, the shield for those boys who always wanted to play gladiator...did I mention this is my favourite section? Fierce all round!



ZULU




This section was designed by a Trinidadian, which you can tell just by looking at the frontline. I like the backline's fringe, headpiece is a typical one except for the animal print inlay. Male is very colourful, reminds me of Peter Elias' 'Masai' in Tribe Trinidad's band.
The frontline has an extremely skimpy wire bra, and though the model must be at least a D cup, I've already been told by a few people that no way are they being seen on the streets of Barbados in THAT! Nice headpiece, but it had to be held all the way down the runway-this always looks bad.


MASAI






Camille McDonald, America's Next Top Model star modeled this female costume. VERY huge backpack, lots of detail on belt. The red and gold with purple accents looks very regal. This one will also be popular with the Bajan hot girls, but the brocade on the bra is quite dated, and a wire bra would have gone down better with the girls. 
Male has lots of accessories-leg pieces, arm pieces, a little headpiece too. I'm loving the shorts on the male costumes since they are more than just board shorts, they are actually detailed at the hems and run a longer length, so they are more of a capri. Fantasy is good news for one of my Twitter followers who wished out loud only yesterday that a Bajan band would give males a proper headpiece.


Overall, this was one of the better band launches Barbados has seen in terms of execution, style, and class. High marks to Fantasy, they can show a few older bands a thing or two!

All photos courtesy Reginald King, Tropic Beauty Barbados

See prices below, a deposit of $75 US secures your costume. Stay tuned to the TrpleF fan page for current band updates and registration info. 

Next up, Baje and Contact Band!







PRICE LIST

ZULU FRONTLINE - 700BDS/350USD

ZULU REGULAR FEMALE - 550BDS/275USD

ZULU MALE - 510BDS/255USD
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

AMAZON FEMALE - 550BDS/275USD

AMAZON MALE - 520BDS/260USD
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MANDINGO FEMALE - 550BDS/225USD
Backpack - 100BDS/50USD
***Wire bra available at an additional cost.

MANDINGO MALE - 520BDS/260USD
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MASAI FRONTLINE - 1000BDS/500USD
***Wire bra available at an additional cost.

MASAI REGULAR FEMALE - 560BDS/280USD

MASAI MALE - 510BDS/255USD

Friday, 11 May 2012

7 Questions with Fantasy Barbados

We like anything new here at the Crop Over Chronicles. All too often older bands get complacent, and start taking masqueraders for granted. In 2011 the band Fantasy Barbados entered the Crop Over market and launched a 500-strong all inclusive band, with a wide range of costume choices, including frontline ones.
The bandleader, Amanda Reifer, sat down with us for our 7 Questions feature.

1. Describe the Fantasy masquerader - what are they like?
The Fantasy masquerader is a young professional who is willing to pay for a premium brand, exceptional service and a great road experience.

2. What does Fantasy bring to Crop Over and mas that was not there before?
Fantasy is constantly looking for innovative ways of exceeding band members' expectations of a masquerade band.

3. What will be the price range of costumes and what is included in your costume price?
Prices range between 520 and 550 - Package includes - premium drinks, food, costume, giveaways, road gear, great deejays from across the region and more...

4. If Fantasy was an animal, what would it be?
Panther

5. Describe the concept behind your 2012 theme?
The theme is Warriors of Africa where we portray powerful African tribes that rose up against oppressive and domineering rulers. We have linked this theme to today's topical issues of 'fighting' against poverty, AIDS, terror, hunger etc.

6. The band has a Trinidadian connection, how  did that come about?
Yes that is the case for one of the sections - Zulu Warriors section. Lauren joined the team last year and decided to invest in her own section this year.

7. What do last year's masqueraders say was the best thing about the band?
The best thing about the band was the 'on the road' experience and the high level of customer service they received.

Here are some sneak peeks the band has released so far:

Sneak Peek 1

Sneak Peek 2

Sneak Peek 3 - Masai

Sneak Peek 4 - Masai

Sneak Peek 5 - Zulu
Fantasy Barbados' launch is May 12, 2012, we may or may not cover it here on the blog, stay tuned!

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Crop Over packages and budgeting

So, great news for you early birds who are thinking of where to go for Crop Over already! TrpleF Services, the Crop Over ticketing service, is offering packages, the first of which has just been revealed as: only $250 US for THREE of the hottest fetes and cruises from Crop Over Friday, at least one fete is drinks-inclusive, the second one is drinks AND food AND after party inclusive. To compare, for only about $1,500 TT - (which is what a ridiculous Trini all inclusive might cost) you get to go to three events on three different days. Wow.

We will be doing a blog post soon on the prices of Crop Over events, but by and large you should know Barbados in general is very expensive. I normally advise first timers to budget not less than $1,000 US for their Crop Over weekend, with accomodation and a couple fetes. So this is an absolute bargain.


TrpleF BBM group barcode

Past clients of TrpleF and those who have been referred by a past client have priority in booking these very limited spots. Deposit should be paid sometime in June. Details will be revealed as soon as I get them!


Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Booze Cruise Crop Over 2012

As we've noted in The Crop Over Chronicles' event guide for Crop Over, Booze Cruise is one of the HARDEST tickets to get, in addition to being the HOTTEST event for Crop Over Sunday.

This cruise is held the morning before 'jump up day' and not only encapsulates a cruise with food and drink but also an after party dockside. Live performances from soca artistes, celebrity appearances, etc. are a norm. They have just informed us of an interesting change. No matter what the changes are this year, TrpleF Services is the source for all your Crop Over event tickets. Contact them via email on trplefservices@gmail.com for reservations and ticketing info

Booze Cruisers!!

We are fully into the planning for Booze Cruise 2012 and have received a number of requests alreadyWe want to keep the faithful updated on our plans as we continue to prepare for once again another successful, sold out event for this year's Crop Over.
A decision was made by Tall Ships which resulted in the relocation of the Harbour Master from Barbados for the season.  This has been the catalyst for merging our Morning Event, Cruise and After Party into an All Inclusive, All Day Beach Party at the Boat Yard location.   We are taking this opportunity to continue to expand on the premium food & bar while headlining the industry's top performers.  Please note that this year’s event will include the sailing of the Jolly Roger.  Our 2012 event will continue to be what Booze Cruise is synonymous for; a festive, all inclusive unique experience for our patrons in a friendly environment!
Finally our goal is to be able to positively respond to the high demand for tickets and in this regard we will be contacting you within the next 2 weeks to identify your ticket requests. 

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Barbados and the Bajan language


Barbadians speak the Queen’s English. Bajans speak Bajan.
While many Trinis in particular find them sometimes hard to understand here are some terms you should be familiar with to make your season easier.

‘Jones’ E.g. Can’t believe nobody ain warn she…jones and wuk up, etc. ad infinitum… 

‘Sheep’ E.g Beeehhhhhh!!! Stiffy-Carr My Sheep in Town

 ‘Jump’ is what you do on the road Monday for Grand Kadooment. You do not ‘play mas’, you ‘jump in a band’ E.g. Who you jumping with?

‘Rum’   The place where rum was first recorded as being manufactured, in the 1600’s, is Barbados. Here, rum is Mount Gay or Cockspur. TrpleF is partial to a Mount Gay Extra Old, also known as ‘Black’. Not to be confused with Mount Gay’s new Eclipse Black

6:30’ E.g. Well there’s no example for this one. I doubt it will come up in conversation. Just in case:

‘Wukup’ -**Warning** do not attempt without guidance from a Bajan instructor/assistant. In particular be careful if you have never danced with a Bajan before as you may end up scarred for life! Let Allison teach you

Your Welcome.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Band Launch Dates Crop Over 2012


Here's a list of those Crop Over bands yet to launch. We will be updating as more bands release their launch dates:



Baje International  - June 1st



Contact Band - June 1st 



Fantasy Barbados - May 12th 



Power x 4 - June 8th


If you're unsure of who to play or 'jump' with try this post:  Crop Over Chronicles - A Short Guide to the Mas