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Online wine for Carnival Sunday - Road march postponed but local bands offer virtual festivities

Published:Sunday | April 19, 2020 | 12:00 AMStephanie Lyew - Sunday Gleaner Writer
Tessika Chavello poses for the camera along the Xodus Jamaica Carnival route on Sunday, April 28, 2019.
Kandi King during Xaymaca International Iconic 2019 Carnival Road March.
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Carnival in Jamaica’s annual road parade, originally scheduled for today, Sunday, April 19, may have been moved to Sunday, October 25, but its postponement does not stop ­organisers and supporters from celebrating the tradition. Physical distancing and ‘tan ah yuh yaad’ orders have parked the trucks, but, in turn, have moved festivities online, where the world is invited to connect and commemorate the occasion virtually.

Local bands Bacchanal Jamaica, Xaymaca International, and Xodus Carnival have put on their thinking ­costumes to flesh out ideas on how to make the best of what would have been a monumental masquerade this Easter.

Michael Ammar Jr told The Sunday Gleaner that Bacchanal Jamaica’s carnival festivities had already kicked off from Friday night with its j’ouvert, minus the paint throwing.

“The livestream, dubbed “Bacchanal J’ouvert Radio with DJ Tyler”, happened in place of the usual event, and we’ve joined with other local, as well as international, disc jockeys to try and lift the present vibes by reminding people about the good times,” Ammar said.

NO CREATIVE LIMIT

He said that though the country’s entertainment has been limited to the home, it should not limit the creativity of the people.

“We can’t go out in the streets for a day of fête, but we can all come together online to enjoy a little soca music from the comfort of our homes,” he said, urging persons, at the same time, to feel free to put on a little make-up and wear a costume from carnivals past for what Bacchanal Jamaica is calling ‘Tabanca Prescription’. Disc jockeys Kevin Crown, Barrie Hype, and DJ Duchess have all jumped on to Bacchanal Jamaica’s line-up.

The feeling of tabanca is a hard one to escape for some carnivalists, but Xaymaca International organisers believe that they, too, have the cure.

Xaymaca International director and soca professional Richie Ras said, “The Indoor Carnival 2020 Road Experience – an eight-hour presentation – is set to cure anyone’s tabanca.

“If one can’t get their fill out of eight hours – from 10 a.m. in the morning until 6 p.m. in the evening – we might just have to do it twice,” he said with a chuckle.

The event will be twofold, hosted on the band’s Instagram as a live fête and on the Mixlr online radio platforms where persons can tune into the live audio. Like soca recording artistes Voice and Kes express in their soca track Dear Promoter, “We doh need nuh fancy stage. Once Caribbean people reach in yuh fête, is niceness.”

Adding to that, Kandi King, also a director of the band, said: “It will showcase disc jockeys in Jamaica and across different regions of the world, promising a day full of excitement, entertainment, and a surprise here and there. So everybody who has that void that the pandemic has brought with it, this should do well to fill it.”

Xodus Carnival is playing it safe by paying attention to lockdown orders, but they are not out of the line-up of events to take place online this Sunday said Kamal Bankay, one of the band’s directors and chairman of the National Carnival in Jamaica Stakeholders Committee under the Sports and Entertainment Network of the Tourism Linkages Network.

The band is focused on providing the live entertainment element of the road march experience, as such the organisers have invited Voice to perform via Xodus Carnival’s social media platforms in the mid-afternoon hours with the support of disc jockeys of Coppershot Sound, Lantern MD and Chaddy G. Persons may also tune in to the live audio on the Mixlr platform.

stephanie.lyew@gleanerjm.com