Release D Riddim Visit Carnivals
Around the world and experience the vibes, also to show how we do it in the UK
Carnival Helper Guide
New to Carnival? Here is our guide to help you on your way
Joining a band has never been easier, historically it has been seen as a closed booked. Where you would have to know someone who was directly involved with a Mas Band to get the necessary information to Play Mas
With more and more bands utilising the internet with their own web sites and/or social media, getting all the information and also getting involved with the carnival culture is now just at your finger tips
Release D Riddim would like to arm you with all that you need to know to join a Mas band whether it be in London or the uk or in the caribbean or anywhere in the world
If you have any questions regarding joining a Mas Band which ever Band it is we would love to hear from you. You can get in contact with by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Joining a Mas Band
Mas Band Helper
How to choose a Mas Band
As mentioned before, finding out information about Carnival and Playing in a Mas band has become so much easier over the past few years.
To gather all the information, you need to a couple of things; Watch out for Band launches for Notting Hill carnival, Bands in London/UK start to
launch their costumes around April to May; with some bands doing this earlier and some a bit later. You can keep up to date with launches by
joining groups on Facebook, look at soca event pages or by taking flyers at the end of soca events.
A band launch is normally a night put on by the Mas band; these nights are generally comprised of a party, a Costumes show and registration.
If you cannot make it a band launch you need not worry, as many bands take the time out to produce pictures you can get your hands on. They
take the time to have professional photo shoots of their costumes being modelled. These pictures and promotional materials can be found on via
Social media sites and individual band sites.
The price of carnival costumes can vary drastically depending on how elaborate the design is. Prices in the UK usually range from £100 to £300.Bands offer masqueraders packages if you purchase a costume normally this will entitle you to free alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks on the
day(s) specified and a complimentary lunch. (Occasionally the packaged offered will include breakfast.)Each year a band will select a theme each type of costume (known as section) will relate to that theme.
Within each Section the Costumes are split and can be split further into:
Individuals or Ultra: Its is the most elaborate version of that section only 1 to 3 are made.
Front Line: In between, more elaborate than the backline (some sections only have a frontline).
Back Line: The standard version of the section.
Often each section will come with variations of bikini or all in one swimsuit; the Mas band will specify which is available in each section.
What happens next!
Once you have chosen the mas band you want to join, you will be given a registration sheet, which you will need to fill in all the relevant details.
This registration form is the process in which you choose which section (costume) you wish to purchase. Although most costumes are mas
produced, the mas band will try to make tailor make it to suit your body structure. You will be required to give your measurements for bust, chest,
waist, hips. Once the registration is completed you will need to pay a deposit to secure the costume. In most band costumes are very limited,
so it is always advisable to pay your deposit early. There is usually a deadline date to pay for the remainder of the costume. As food is also
included in the costume package, a couple of weeks before carnival you will be contacted by the mas band enquiring about food options and if
you have any dietary requirements. You must respond as soon as possible as the mas band would need to place the food order.
After Joining a Mas Band : Costume distribution
The costumes are normally ready to be distributed in August, some bands handing out a couple days or the day before carnival. Collection of
the costumes take place at the mas band’s head quarters or place of operation also known as the ‘Mas Camp’.Once you have received your
costume, it’s advisable to check to ensure you have everything you paid for and where possible try the costume to ensure it fits, depending on
how busy it is in the mas camp, a member of the team might be able to do small adjustments where necessary. When you collect your costume
you will receive a goodie bag, depending on the type of costume you bought will determine the type of goodie bag you will receive, as the VIP
sections will have a VIP goodie bag. You will also receive an information pack stating where you will have to meet the band and the time the
truck will be moving from this location. In some bands you will also be given a wrist band, ensure on the morning of carnival you are wearing the
wrist band as it is your secured entery into the band on Carnival day. Some bands are very strict, if you are not wearing a wristband you will not
be permitted in the band.
On the Day
For the guys this is easy, a pair of comfortable shoes, and pants and a spare t-shirt if one isn’t provided.
For the ladies, it’s a whole different ball game.
Getting ready for Carnival is a great task, as the ladies like to look their best.
If travelling by public transport, for the ladies the best thing to do is get dress and wear track bottoms over your costume until you meet up with
the band. Some bands may have a section on the truck where you can put your bag (at your own discretion), while others may not allow this.
Double check with your mas band, so you would know not to walk with too much stuff.
The Carnival Look
Gems- Ladies normally adorn their face with gems to enhance the gems on the headpiece.
Body paint – some mas bands might provide the option to get your body painted. There is usually a patterned designed for the section you are
in. Most guys get abs airbrushed on their stomachs and the ladies normally get their torsos painted.
Tights – dancer tights are very useful to hide any lumps and bumps on your legs. The best kind to get is the sheer from hips to toe skin tone
kind, as they give the illusion as if you aren’t wearing any.
- Conformable shoes (remember you will be on the road for more than 8 hours
- Hand Sanitizing gel
- Wipes/ packs of tissues (for those bathroom runs)
- Feminine napkins (Just in case)
- Sun Glasses
- Lip Balm/ Lip stick
- Fully charged mobile phone ( always best to take a cheap mobile phone, in case your phone gets lost)
- Full Charged Camera with cleared memory card (to capture those perfect moments)
- Plastic rain coat (in case the rain falls
- Large plastic to protect the head piece if the rain falls (once the feathers are wet they never look the same)
- It’s always good to walk with money
- Write down your friends you are with contact numbers or any family & friend in case your battery goes dead