Friday, April 25, 2008

The Tribe Mentality

So Tribe has released their theme for Carnival 2k9 and it is "Birds of a Feather". As it is related to Carnival, one would automatically presume that they would be representing different types of avian species. However another interpretation can be suggested when we complete this phrase as to make the common saying.... "Birds of a feather, flock together".

Now this got me to thinking, exactly what type of birds flock together in Tribe?Some of you may think that I am a 'diehard' Tribe supporter. However you would be very incorrect to presume that. I am a diehard CARNIVAL supporter. A few years back you might have called me a 'diehard' Poison masquerader because I played mas with them for 8 years before switching to Tribe. I switched to Tribe the very first year they were their independant band (much to my diehard Poison parents' dismay) even though I had never registered in ANY of the bandleaders sections in Poison. I switched because I wanted something different to what was being offered in Poison and also because my friends were there. I actually pretty much signed up on a whim cause I happened to be in the camp with a friend and figured I might as well sign up as I was there. But even from observation, I always thought Tribe in Posion provided their masqueraders with stellar service. The last year that Tribe was in Poison, my Dad, as one of Poison's road mangers came to me and said that he had never seen such an organised section in his life. Between security, food etc , it was like they were their own band in a band. He predicted quite accurately (and even warned Posion management) that they would break away from Poison.

It was quite clear from Tribe Year 1, that Tribe was going to be, overall, a band with a much younger demographic than Poison. If there was anybody over 40 years that first year ,they were few and far in between. With its increased popularity, the Tribe demographic widened astronomically. Now I see my friends' parents (cause my parents are now Pulse 8 ppl) in the band along with every government minister and the old boy he self, President Richards (another former Poison stalwart). Now the reason I stuck with Tribe instead of tacking back by Poison is because their service was indeed stellar, the costumes sexier, the all inclusive band concept still unique and their entire operation was technologically advanced. I was most shocked at Year two to see people looking to riot outside the mascamp for costume. Which begs the question, why did people 'flock' to Tribe in the first place? I would love to know the reasons that people chose to make Tribe their band of choice. Is it that just that the word got around that Tribe was 'the' place to be for our generation?

I would be just as interested to know why some people chose to leave. I was filled with joy when Island People got into the game because I thought to myself, "A set of ppl will say that is the new 'hot band' and jump ship and ease up the crowd in Tribe". So said , so done.It is still very ironic to me that Tribe seems to have come almost full circle to where they started. This year I felt very much like the ghost of Posion had come to haunt us with the masses of ppl on the road and the costume foul ups. This is one of the very reasons that Tribe defected in the first place, with the good intentions to be a party on the road as compared to a mob. As I said , we are seeing the same older and much younger age group of ppl now that were not there before in Tribe but were in Poison.The service level is dropping, the costumes now start to get iffy and the registration is a bacchanal.The only thing that distinguishes Tribe from the Poison of lore is the fact that its still all inclusive (and maybe not for long at that).

To be fair,I never opted to go with Island people simply because 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'. I had no problems with Tribe so I stuck with it even though IP costumes also appealed to me. In hindsight I was glad I did when I heard of the issues that they have had over the years.

But back to the birds of a feather.... without a doubt most of the people I know play in Tribe. Its the same people I see in all the parties and events that I go to.The very name Tribe connotates a group of individuals with the same backgorund. I would be circumventing the issue if I were not to mention that Tribe is generally categorised by the public as a 'middle class' to 'upper class band' which contains predominantly lighter complexions with a large population from the Eastern hemisphere.( Who else could afford those sky high prices). So is it not possible that we have all been playing in Tribe and continue playing in Tribe (even when they do shit) more because all the people who went to our 'prestige' school play in Tribe, all the people we work with in our professional position play in Tribe , our local celebrities and officials play in Tribe and not because of what 'Tribe the Band' has to offer? That maybe, just maybe,we play because everyone else who is like us plays there?

Herein lies the appeal of 'new' bands like ELEMENTS. Now shall I play devils' advocate? We had another 'new' band last year called Evolution which was pegged by some to be the next 'hot' band. I know a few of the people involved in the band. However,I personally know only 1 person that played in costume with Evolution and she not even what I would call an acquaintance. Just somebody I bounce up a time. In general, even though Evolution had some good names behind it, none of them ever had a significant role in Tribe and the band did very little to put a dent in the behemoth Tribe. This year ,we have Elements which is produced by former Tribe designers. In addition many of their section leaders are past Tribe masqueraders or Harts 'die hards.' Considering this, will Elements be able to unsettle or even overturn the behemoth simply because BIRDS OF A FEATHER ,FLOCK TOGETHER? Will the birds migrate now that some leaders of the flock have already done so? From the introduction party on Tuesday, I was really not suprised to see many long standing Tribe masqueraders in Elements T-shirts. There were also many boisterous supporters without Tshirts. It seems to me that some people have already pledged their allegiance to the new band based on people they know involved and not because of the costumes or package being offered as this is yet to be revealed.

Personally, I can only make a comparison between the two bands once the information is available to hold them up side by side. I am not as inclined to jump ship ,at this point ,to Elements as I was when I jumped ship from Poison to Tribe. I think it is because I do not believe that Tribe has reached to the point where it is beyond repair which I believe Poison almost certainly did. I still have faith that because of their performance history Tribe can correct their shortcomings once they acknowledge and address the problems.(Cause the first step is admitting you have a problem). This was Poison's downfall....they were more interested in numbers than the masquerader experience. Tribe is moving dangerously close to that cliff. Its a waste of time to comment on Elements cause nothing in their modus operandi is as yet forthcoming to warrant such.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Elements Launch

The launch of the new band Elements (thats plural) was scheduled for this 8pm Tuesday night @51 Degrees. I arrived for macco duty at about 8:30pm very concerned that I might have missed something. People were lined up downstairs but it was moving quickly. One could not help but notice that TRIBE had updated the billboard that they have rented (in Jenny's Carpark aacross the street from 51Degrees) with their 2K9 presentation teaser. I really have to give a pat on the back to the person who had the quick thinking to do that. Quite a marketing move I must say.Somebody there is thinking on their feet.

Anyhow I had been informed by certain TRIBE insiders that a 'blacklist' had been issued by the Elements group which barred the band leaders and certain individuals having strong ties to TRIBE from the launch.Now I cannot understand how big people could be so juvenile and petty to take things to that extent this early in the game.To me that is a poor PR move and one that certainly did not earn any points with me personally.

We were greeted at the front door with a small water fountain and made our way upstairs. I was a bit disappointed when I saw that the place did not have one shred of added decor for the occasion. I was soon appeased by the hors d'oeuvres that were sharing. I was hoping for a little free drinks but no such luck.At this time the club was only about quarter full. I was introduced to Douglas John (band leader) who when we asked about the band status indicated that all the sections had been designed but they were open to seeing something different. I was not sure how to take that. I was not sure if to take that at face value or if he was giving me a well orchestrated response. Cause I am sure he would not be able to say they don't have anything ready.The show itself did not start till about 10:30pm.

The host for the night was JW of RED 96.7 Fame which was kind of odd since RED 96.7 has always been associated with TRIBE. JW read verbatim from a script that he was provided and he was a good 10 minutes into it before the crowd settled down and paid attention. His speech contained very little info aside from the band name and that the band would be 'different'. He made mention of a few of the front runners of the band namely, Charlene Lum Wai and Jodi Ann Heard as the production managers. After butchering poor Jodi's name he went into a little background of their experience. Charlene being one of the original Tribe section leaders and also Posion Alum. I am not quite sure what accreditation he gave to Jodi. It was odd that he chose to introduce them before the actual band leader was presented.

So after much anticipation we were asked to turn our attention to the screen. And I for one, was most excited cause it started off with a bang. Big graphics and then the Elements boomed over the loudspeaker......"EARTH EARTH EARTH.......FIRE FIRE FIRE....WIND WIND WIND....WATER WATER WATER...." I swear to God I was just waiting for Captain Planet to jump out at us.(Ironically today is Earth Day..coincedence???hmmmm). Each element was accompanied with its relevant symbol which looks very much like it came from the movie 'The 5th Element'. I believe the symbols are actually of aboriginal origin. Correct me if I am wrong but did they not have a concert called Elements some time ago where the theme was also based on the same? I actually thoughtthat this presentation was going to have such a 'Wow' factor that it would prove that TRIBE was in trouble but then the movie ended abrubtly. Suddenly Machel's 'Rollin' started to play ...and then it stopped. Although I always appreciate an excuse for me to wine, most people were like OOOOOKKKK.Thats it? The presentation showed no sketches, no photos or any other teasers as to what the band actually comprised of or where they were going with the theme. By the way, What is the theme??? I was under the impression that they would have been soft launching the band as well as their theme for 2k9. So if the band is ELEMENTS then what is the theme? Cause I can't imagine it being the same thing cause what will you do next year? Rumour has it , it will be a Vegas theme but you would have never known that if I did not just put that idea in your head. But I say small thing because it now start, plenty more to go.

JW then introduced the band leader as Douglas John of former TRIBE headpiece Fame.I guess some people were also expecting to see Colin Mitchell up in front but he was very low key all night in the audience. I was very suprised that the only people put forward as representation of the band was Charlene, Jodi and Douglas. The leadership body seems to be a bit thin at the top but I guess its better than being top heavy. However this could be cause for concern if the weight of the band is on these few people especially considering Douglas' recent health issues. Douglas then gave his two cents. And to be quite honest I know no more now than I did before the show. He spoke of a band with less than 3000 people where you would have an all inclusive option or a costume only option. You would also be able to bring drink carts (like Harts). He then gave mention of some of the groups that would be producing sections.

It seems apparent that ELEMENT is almost entirely comprised of close knit crews of people who came together to produce a band. He mentioned sections by Red Hoes,Eyes Wide Shut and Jamboree.Other section leaders included Jodi and Lara Littlepage, Corinne Camacho and Natalie Ali among Others. A little Birdie told me Black Velvet would be up in there as well.We were also given the promise of cheaper costumes. I can't wait to see how that affects their competitors' pricing. It was also hard not to ignore the fact that the section leaders were of a predominantly lighter complexion and that many had a base from Harts. The crowd present was however very mixed. I am still wondering how the management of the band will function with such a broad base of contributors.I have never heard of one section being led by 5 people. And exactly how many of these people have any experience in section making is unclear.

Douglas's speech was very short and JW took back the stage and reintroduced Charlene to give the vote of thanks in which we were blessed with 2 for 1 specials courtesy Elements. JW then asked us to again turn our attention to the screens for 'what to expect'. So i got excited again and guess what,they replayed the first movie. (Huh?) And then it was over. The after party was not much different than the vibe before which was quite dead. I guess its just too early in the week for some people to party, I did not stick around too long after.Tribe's crew was noticeably absent from the affair.The only other band leaders I saw were from Island People. I was very disappointed that the content of the production was not more informative. I did not expect to see a costume but I was still hoping for at least one.

I think Elements has good intentions of developing a better band than Tribe but it still remains to be seen if they can get things in place to pull it off. Douglas indicated that their band launch will also be in July and this is after he has just come off of TRIBE's production not more than two months ago. I don't entirely believe that ELEMENTS has their camp in order and that the key selling points of the band have been properly developed. I also don't believe that their designs are confirmed and at an advanced stage of development or production that Tribe certainly is. The soiree this evening did very little to contradict that. The event seemed to be very 'thrown together' with the sole purpose of beating TRIBE to the punch.It served very little purpose but to say "This band name is Elements". In effect I think this event may hurt them more than help them because in their haste to be first out the gate , they did not present themselves as well as I believe they could have if they had spent a bit more time.

Point in fact....who is the communication manager?If I was working for a daily paper (and not my out a timin self) I would have no clue who to contact for more information. Better yet who is the marketing manager? At the very least a flier could have been distributed with promises of what is to come. A email address maybe? I still would have liked to see some sort of decor, a fire man , a water man, a earth man and a wind man in the dance. Rule number one in business management have,a vision and mission statement. I am still unclear as to what ELEMENTS really stands for as compared to what they 'looking to do'. I can only presume that their motto is "ALL AS ONE" since I read that on a T-shirt but we can't know for sure what it was supposed to be cause no one really explained it. I myself had a million and one questions to ask. Like how they working out that inclusive and non inclusive thing? Will it each section be designated as either completely all inclusive or non inclusive or will each section have an all inclusive or non inclusive option? How they regulating that ? In some ways they seem to be taking a step back to Poison Originale. I really hope that ELEMENTS will be able to tighten up their act a bit and produce a fantastic band launch. I am still anxiously waiting to see what they coming with.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Carnival Pookie Awards

Good evening all, and welcome to our second annual Carnival Pookie Awards. If allyuh feel I late , know that I am not because they only give out the prizes for Soca Monarch this week self. As you should already know if you have been reading my blog for any length of time I am quite openly biased to certain things, e.g songs by Machel Montano. So although deep down in my heart I may want to be objective, I can't promise I will be .So if you have a problem with that too bad. I don't want to keep you in further suspense...

BEST PICK UP LINE : "You look fabulous in that Silver Mist costume"
WORST PICK UP LINE : "Hi, can I get you a drink?" (In the all inclusive)
BEST WINE LOCATION: On a wall away from the masses
WORST WINE LOCATION: Tragarete Rd after lunch WHERE?!!It have no room!.
BEST WINE SONG: Jamishness by Machel Montano
WORST WINE SONG : A tie !Superwine by Zan and Wining Queen by Sonia ( and so many others...)
BEST JUMP UP SONG: I'm blatantly biased, Machel and Patrice... Rollin'...only because of that one line "Doh hold me back, I feelin real slack". I'm sorry but Wave it was doing nothing for me.
WORST JUMP UP SONG: De tail gone by Patch ft Master mind ( the horse song nah and so many others...)
BEST WINE PERSON: Meh man (not Machel) still win
WORST WINE PERSON: Tie! Macka Diamond and Pitbull at AC3+3
BEST COSTUME: King Fisher for IP, Mystique for TRIBE, Macfarlane whole band (again)for having big mas and amazing costumes
WORST COSTUME: Crocodiles for IP , Silver Mist for TRIBE, Quicksilver (of Babydoll Fame)for Evolution
BEST MUSIC TRUCK: Xcalibur Truck(Can't talk for other bands)
BEST DRINK: Johnny and RED BULL!! (biased again)
BEST FETE: Beachhouse but I eh go Lara this year .
WORST FETE: All the fetes that did not come off because of the short season
BEST FETE FOR YOUR BUCK: ONE $400 but not for long I expect
WORST FETE FOR YOUR BUCK: AC3+3 Charging big money and STILL have to buy drinks Nah!
BEST LIVE PERFORMER FOR THE SEASON: Machel cause he actually seems to rehearse
WORST LIVE PERFORMER FOR THE SEASON: Trini Jacobs, her whole show and wardrobe leaves something to be desired
WORST DRESSED PERFORMER: Mestra (yes still Mestra again cause I doh understand how every yeaR she get Peter Elias as her 'stylist and wear the same sequin bra top 5 times with a hot shorts)
BEST DRESSED PERFORMER: Patrice who has come into her soca diva personna
BEST SOCA VIDEO: Machel Rollin/Blazin the Trail. Just not much to choose from, oh yeah and I'm biased
WORST SOCA VIDEO: Bring it by Hunter ( the man eh look in the camera once yuh know) followed closely by Carnival Clap with KMC
BEST NEW ARTIST: Patrice for really coming out with several solo hits and not just as a feature in HD
BEST COME BACK ARTIST: Crazy for singing yet another song with double meanings and causing an uproar.
DON'T QUIT YOUR DAY JOB AWARD:Ms Triniti, keep it up though , you should get there eventually.
BEST MAS BAND: I not going there
WORST MAS BAND : Ditto....
BEST JOUVERT SONG : Oil and Music Machel Feat David Rudder (AH PPLAUSE!)
WORST JOUVERT SONG: Sigh can't make up my mind
BEST SOCA ALBUMN:Machel, Flame on.Still the only person who has a full album which also happens to be very good
BEST COLLABORATION: Kees and Brick and Lace for making a groovy remix that was recorded separately without it sounding like it was. Followed closely by Machel and Pitbull which did not win because Pitbull did not have the courtesy to put Machel in he video even though he use all the footage from AC3+ 3
WORST COLLABORATION: Rihanna feat Mr. Slaughter. I was greatly disappointed when I heard this song, great idea but Slaughter almost not in the song and it could not have been more studio produced.
BEST FEMALE ARTIST: Patrice, she really kicked it up a notch this year, watch out...Mestra.
EAT A FOOD AWARD: Shal Marshall et al for Gyal Farm (d party) and they place in Groovy Soca (d Song) not to be outdone by Bunji and Faye Ann who win in Power Soca and Road March
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Sparrow for bringing back the Congo Man and rockin it!

All per usual winners can contact me for your Pookie and the prize package of Crix and Dixie Biscuits.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Carnival and the Carnival Jumbie Part 3; Carnival Tuesday

Ok so obviously at this point I am ridiculously late and I can't even remember half of the little I did in the last post but it should all comes back.

Carnival Tuesday began bright and early. I headed out with the full ensemble including my now notorious backpack. Of course most of my costume was actually put on at my friend's house. It was only then I was able to compare our headpieces and realised that my head piece was basically unfinished. Like it was missing a whole row of feathers. That just added insult to injury with my furry behind.On top of which I ended up leaving one of the wrist pieces at home which was actually one of the nicer parts of the costume. The costume itself fit me well (after converting it to a halter) but little could be done for the costume itself at that point.

We began our trek to meet the band and I quickly found out what I was in for. We had almost reached the band when my friend walking ahead heard my distressed cry. My other friend who also had a frontline costume had become entangled in my backpack. She had not even been walking that close to me but i guess with all the things sticking in all kinds of directions it was bound to cross eventually. My friend managed to unravel us after taking the time to crack up.

We ended up having to cut through IP who had yet again decided they HAD to start in the same area as us. That was certainly no fun manouvering with the backpack.When we finally caught up with Tribe on St.Vincent St , they were basically at a full stop. We grabbed breakfast, had two drinks and we still had not moved. So then we went looking for our section. Sigh I really could not understand where we were supposed to be, cause half the section was in front the (lame) truck and half was behind. I pointeout to my friend that at that point I only saw one other person with a backpack which is no where near the supposed 30. Of course some versions of the costumes looked better or worse than others. I think its quite fortunate that it was silver with diamante because in another colour it would not have caught the light as well and caused ppl to squint when looking at it.That worked to its advantage.But there I was, decked out in Silver Mist whether I loved it or not. As we inched down the road I caught the glorious wiffs of cold breeze from the library. I took a little tour of the sections. I think I would give Mystique the award for best on the road because it really came out beautifully. Black Magic was not too far behind. In general I think almost all the costumes looked well on the road with the obvious exception. Suprisingly even Luna was ok but it seemed to have been modified further from the prototype in the bra area. I did not like Pixie Dust at all at the launch but it also turned out well. One thing I must condemn is the 'secret section' Green Water Sprite. I really hope all them got their costume free cause that was just a waste of applique. It seemed that they attempted to make the cheapest costume possible. The colour in the costume was almost non existant.

Not too long after I noticed that one of the appliques on my boots was flapping. I tried to just rip it off but it was stuck to the piping , so i tried to pull it all off but it ws stuck to the other applique. By the time I sorted it out I had one decorated boot and one not. It looked kinda dumb. It was also annoying that my socks were slipping under my heel for some reason and I had to take off my boots to fix it. As we moved further downtown the we began to lose shelter from the sun. he most amusing thing happened while I was in front the treasury. One second the sun was bright and instantly it got shaded. Now this was not a gradually thing, very suddenly. I heard gasps and some shrieks all around me. It seemed they all thought the world was coming to an end. I thought to myself, "Well if this is armageddeon then what a way to go!! Carnival Tuesday on the road....could not have planned it better myself lol". Then I looked up and saw the blimp passing across the sun and the light came back as quickly as it left. Well everyone breathed a sigh of relief and from the comments i heard around me they were also glad not to be burning in hell as blasphemers.

Around South Quay more frontlines in my section seemed to appear but still not the total. Of course, as predicted, the biggest girls in the smallest frontlines.And that bra costume design got increasingly horrible as the bra cup got bigger. By this point the back pack had started getting cutting into my skin (even with added padding) and the crowd was getting thicker (i.e more annoying for ppl with backpacks). I honestly can't say that I was having fun yet , I felt like I was waiting on a bus. The jam to get around the corner onto south quay was an adventure in itself. Then it had this girl calling all my frontlines to put them in the front of my section. I cannot understand why is only a set of man trying to push me out the way to cross the downtown stage first. And they hearing the girl calling for frontline is front, I mean its part of the presentation and it was just pointless. I thoughtthe music did not travel well with the section and there were a lot of dead spots along the way. Oh yeah and it was completetly disorganised.

Just after crossing the stage I got my first glimpse of the section designer who was smart enough to wear a normal floor costume and not the original prototype or other improved version. As I headed up Frederick St the crowds became suffocating. Now it was almost aggravating to have ppl knocking me all the time. Before we had even past Woodford Square I had dumped my backpack and headpiece on a truck. I had intentions to put them back on when we got to the Savannah but I can tell you now they never went back on for the rest of the day until it was time for me to go to my car and go home. I think I was much happier for it. I was finally able to enjoy myself. That was the beginning and end of my frontline experience.

We went up and down a few times before we picked a truck and we stuck with Xcalibur's truck which time and time again has proven to be the best place to be.I think from this point on the rest of the day was very much the same. Just people and more people.No order of sections whatsoever and I have no idea what happened to security. They certainly werent putting anyone out the band. We went no where fast and it felt like we spent forever on Charlotte St. Yet again Island ppl thought it was a good idea to go off route and cut across Park St to head us off.Sorry to say but that is just childish.

Crossing the Savannah stage was as confusing as ever. It had a sign saying the stage started but it never had that whole sectioning off aspec t with the security so it was all blurred together. I was exhausted by the time we went down the stretch and was pretty much sick of hearing wave it which was not my choice for road march. I had walked up towards the front of the band yet nonetheless by the time I reach the park for lunch it was ram out.I could not believe it was so late when we got there. I don't know why I decided to take a bathroom break because for some reason even though Tribe has surely doubled in size, they still ordering the same number of bathrooms for the park. My feet were aching and I had a holes in my stockings from the diamante so I was a bit on the grumpy side. My friend and I decided we had to make a pit stop at her house so we left the park early and headed out. I was able to change my stockings and my shoes. Redid my whole make up and take a cowboy with some baby wipes. My friend actually took a shower and redressed.

When you see we step back out onto the road. We was besssst. Like we now come out for the day. I had put back on my sneakers which I had the could sense to walk with and it was such a relief. I think my arches just too high to wear those custom mas boots even though I had insoles. I guess I will have to find something ready made next time. We had intercepted the band on Tragarete Rd and it was actually starting to get dark. By this time I felt I was in Poison circa 2004. We took position on a wall on Tragarete Rd and just observed the masses.You could not distinguish anyone in the crowd and we were just hoping the rest of the squad would find we. The trip towards Ariapita Ave was just a big bottleneck.More congestion, more aggravation. I was shocked to see the security starting to put ppl out the band. They were getting in everyone's face who did not have a TRIBE band,male and female.I see them nearly take down a man in a three quarter short who actually had a Tribe band and run from the sidewalk to hail someone on the road and was almost drop kicked.

I was a bit concerened of how it would have been on the road at night considering Tribe's apparent lapses. Cause you know the freaks come out at night. Usually around this time I get on a truck.But security was wukkin so I stayed on the ground. Ariapita Ave was a slow roll in the dark. I was very annoyed when I saw people clearly spectators yamming down my Marios pizza. When I went looking for where the pizza giving away I was given a run around and never got any. It was after 9pm and we were still on the Ave, drinks was still serving up until this point but were cut off shortly after. The music turned off and the band dispersed before reaching back to the starting point. As the security disappeared the freaks came out in full force so I high tailed it back to my base. Yet another good carnival stretched as far as it could go. It certainly was not the best carnival I have had and I think that had a great deal to do with the unpleasantness of the congestion and disorder Tribe had this year. The only way they can improve it to cut back.

Well the bacchanal has already begun. Saucy and I have been comparing notes and sources and have arrived at the same conclusion. Tribe will some stiff competition next year with the cycle of new bands. Things are shaping up to be almost a Tribe clone. But an improved clone? Who knows....we will find out shortly enough. I predict it will all come down to who have the hottest costumes and at what price in this suprising carnival cabinet reshuffle. I for one think that to have a uni-band ( a band where you can have free reign along the entire length) and give people options as being all inclusive package or not is doomed to fail. Even in Poison, before there was uni-Tribe, all who was in the all inclusive section passed drinks to their friends.It won't be no different in a uni-band where you have even more freedom to get drinks at any bar.You just need one or two ppl to pay the all inclusive money.Since when a wrist band stop anybody? Regardless of if you play in Tribe, IP or a shit costume is a shit costume. If you have no track record you wont make a penny if your costumes are crap, no matter how much friend you feel you have. Always the challenge with a new band. I also predict that if Tribe does not shape up next year with a stellar performance in all aspects of the band that they will be out of the game completely sooner than they think. After the fiascos this year they cannot afford to let a new band show them up cause their following will jump ship. I think they are safe for next year at least, long standing players will give them another chance because we all know they can do better. First timers and malcontents may be exploring their options.Let the battle of the bands begin. Any guesses who will be first out the gate?