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Joukanal set to explode

yvette Best

Joukanal set to explode

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THE DUST HAS not yet settled on the first Joukanal Carnival, but organisers are already talking about expanding.
Chetwin Stewart, managing director of Power X 4 which took over the carnival usually held by the University of the West Indies, told the SUNDAY SUN they were so blown away by the response to the J’ouvert Party on Friday night and yesterday’s jump-up that they are looking to expand it to include students from outside of Barbados.
“Since we’re having such a good response, we’re looking to turn this into the first ever Spring Break Carnival. We’re already talking to some of the hotels and stuff, in terms of putting up people and the airlines are willing to work with us as long as we get over 25 people booking a flight. So we’re looking to bring girls out of California, people from all over . . . not only the Caribbean,” Stewart explained.
Social media will be the primary mode of getting the word out about the festival that is to be billed the Joukanal Spring Break Carnival, Stewart said.
“That is what took me by surprise with these young people [UWI students]. When they first approached me, and they told me to go and look at their websites and look at the photos and stuff I was really impressed, because coming out of the age of Congaline all we used to do is run a few ads and stuff like that. But when you go online now, they’re doing video shoots and photo shoots and all kinda stuff. So I think it’s going to be very easy to market overseas. What we’re actually going to do is maintain it as a student’s carnival and the bands in Barbados will produce the costumes and the students overseas will register online to jump in their favourite costumes in Barbados,” he said.
Power X 4 is already planning to include some videos showing would-be revellers how to dance and wuk-up Bajan style.
“We’re going to throw some Spring Break parties. I’ve always been one to promote that Barbados has some of the loveliest beaches in the world and we should do something on the beach that is why I did the beach at Kensington. But this time we’re looking to bring in a lot of young students and have a climax on the beach,” he said of the initial plans that have been made.
A time has not yet been identified and all Stewart would say is that the Joukanal Spring Break Carnival will be held earlier than this year’s inaugural event in order to tap into that large demographic.   
Noting that the J’ouvert Party was more than they expected, Stewart said more than 2 000 young people were at the Party Stand for the party “enjoying themselves in the paint and water and powder.”
“We had to close it off to at 4 o’clock to prepare for today [yesterday] but they had a good time,” Stewart said.
The anticipated 1 500 revellers did not materialise and organisers were forced to pack the estimated 900-plus behind one truck for the parade which went from the Party Stand on the Harbour Road to the roundabout and the bottom of University Hill and back.
He said that despite having just over a month to prepare they were still able to get costumes together for 11 bands.