Wed | Sep 27, 2023

Robust celebration of Carnival in Jamaica 2023

Published:Tuesday | April 18, 2023 | 1:15 AMAaliyah Cunningham/Gleaner Writer
GenXS revellers in high spirits on the road last Sunday.
GenXS revellers in high spirits on the road last Sunday.
R&B singer Omarion enjoys carnival in Jamaica on Sunday.
R&B singer Omarion enjoys carnival in Jamaica on Sunday.
‘Yardies’ enjoy themselves with Yard Mas Carnival.
‘Yardies’ enjoy themselves with Yard Mas Carnival.

Carnival returned fully 2023 and it saw a merger of Xodus and Bacchanal, as well as newcomers in the form of Yard Mas and GenXS.

Having been the last band to officially launch, Yard Mas Carnival masqueraders were not disappointed when it came to costume, food, drinks and vibes.

Speaking with The Gleaner, Managing Director of Yard Mas Andrew Bellamy shared that above all that took place before and on the road Carnival Sunday, the highlight for him was seeing the ‘Yardies’ enjoy themselves with Yard Mas.

“Given being the last out of the blocks for 2023, we had many challenges in all aspects of preparation. However, we ensured that Yard Mas experience for masqueraders wasn’t compromised. We also see the opportunity to further build the carnival in Jamaica industry with persons who are proficient, creative, passionate and efficient,” he shared.

Though this was the band’s first time in Jamaica, it was clear that they brought in people with experience as they had several masqueraders raving about their packages throughout the carnival season.

“We take the time to not only have inclusive costumes on the road but to really show that we have taken the time to think about masquerader needs. So our goodie bags had things we know our masqueraders will utilise to make the road experience great. Our breakfast lunch and snacks are chosen to be palatable for various preferences, the setup aims to provide comfort while our masqueraders rest and rejuvenate and the music gives the vibe and the route is easy,” Bellamy explained.

Nevertheless, while they are still reviewing the overall Yard Mas Experience, the team has already identified areas in which they can improve come next year.

The 2023 Carnival in Jamaica experience saw many firsts, as this year would have marked the merger of Xodus and Bacchanal. The two bands came together to provide a premium experience for revellers but it was certainly not without challenges. Just hours before things got off in the Corporate Area, some revellers were still without costumes. Unable to completely rectify the issue before the trucks hit the road, the organiser of the band issued an apology.

“From the bottom of our hearts we want to apologise ... our costume redemption was not what we have planned or what you deserve. It really doesn’t matter if most of our revellers had a seamless process at the costume pickup; the fact that even one person did not get exactly what we promised means that we failed you and that is just not acceptable,” a section of their note read.

Nevertheless, several of their masqueraders decided to make do with what they had and enjoy the road march experience regardless.

But among the standout moments from Carnival in Jamaica came from GenXS who had revellers in awe of all they had to offer. From hosting several international celebrities to being the band of choice for EBONY magazine which documented the experience, there were hardly any complaints from their masqueraders. With an all-inclusive package that covered all the bases necessary for a carefree experience, their first activation has left tongues wagging and gained some loyal supporters.