In the last few years Carnival in jamaica has been gathering steam as the offerings grow and people start to realise the WINE:MONEY ratios are extremely favourable.
Well, this year there has been not a continued gradual increase but an EXPLOSION of growth. I have been predicting this and it has come to pass.
For 2017 there will be 4 different bands on the road. (Yes, not 1, but 4).
For 2017 there will be even more fetes.
For 2017 there are bound to be more revellers as more foreigners come and more locals try carnival out to see what all the hype is about.
This is all good right?
Several of my overseas friends who have been coming to carnival for a few years are worried that the small, intimate experience they have fallen in love with will be irrevocably changed. They loved the ease of not having to decide between so many options in terms of bands. Not having to worry about FOMO (fear of missing out) when picking a fete or a particular costume.
People are distressed!
What do I think about all this you ask?
Well, while there may be some justification for the worry, my advice is to have faith.
It is only natural for growth to occur. Saying things shouldn’t change would be a disservice to our carnival product. Any static product will inevitably lose its lustre and wither away as people grow tired of an unchanging experience.
The innovative new entities in the market are sure to bring new ideas to the table as well as spur innovation from established entities. While it may be stress for each individual entity, it will only result in the growth of a better offering to YOU the end user who will be competed over intensely.
Another factor is the competitive nature of the entities involved. In Jamaica for carnival, much like on the track at the olympics, NO ONE wants to be second best. All involved will vie for leadership even if they are not doing so badly. This friendly competition will also be to the benefit of the masquerader.
What about the entry of foreign entities?
This has been a serious issue that I have spoken about at length. I am happy to say that although foreign entities are part of the equation in this explosion of growth, their entry is no longer a threat to our carnivals identity. Let me explain why I think so.
In the past, foreign brands (fete brands mostly) were simply transplanting a foreign event into our soil then heading back to home soil with the spoils. No regard for the local entities at all and in most cases competing with local entities rather than working with them.
But now, local entities have partnered with foreign entities, bringing the best of both worlds.
Masqueraders can be ensured of a top notch costume powered by world leaders in costume production and a more solid backend to an experience lead and directed by Jamaicans. Jamaicans who know our Local experience because they were the ones who slowly and painstakingly grew it over years and years and who can grow Carnival here in a uniquely Jamaican direction. So we have in essence managed to accelerate our growth while still keeping total control over our unique identity. For the masquerader looking for a special Jamaican experience…..thats a Win-Win.
Oh, and for those worried that we will follow the path of other carnivals with 80usd cooler fetes…..fear not. Your name could be big like King Kong abroad, Jamaicans will not fear cussing claat at your brand if you don’t bring them value for money. For 10,000 jamaican dollars (80usd) you best believe if you carry a cooler its to help carry home the excess premium liquor and lobster!
So have faith…..buy your ticket….come!