Mondays for Mas
Five of the six sections launched last Friday by Baje International have been snapped up by loyal revellers and, according to bandleader Richard Haynes, he is “extremely grateful for the response”.
“We have loyal customers and word of mouth has drawn new faces, so the response has been overwhelming. Unfortunately we cannot meet the high demand for more costumes because we have set our numbers to no more than 1 200.”
Haynes said this was in accordance with the band offering “quality service” and those numbers were easier to control and manage. “Plus with our sponsors, staff, crew and entertainers on the road we feel more comfortable with the final figure at about 1 500.”
Baje was all about Mondays at their band launch at the historic Charles Fort on the premises of Hilton Barbados last Friday. For their 16th year on the road the band chose the theme Mega Monday 2014 and the inspiration is to pay homage to our West Indian heritage for “redefining Mondays” with carnival festivities such as our local Kadooment Day and Trinidad’s Carnival Monday to name a few, subsequently ?leading to New York’s Labour Day parade, London’s Notting Hill Carnival and Toronto’s Caribana all being held on Mondays.
The six sections: We Day, Ignite, Badso, Bacchanal, Rush and Epic all seek to represent some element of the celebrations which take place on Mondays throughout the Caribbean for carnival. The costumes were introduced to a packed audience with the assistance of a digitalised back drop, James Lovell Drummers, motorbikes and well-choreographed dances, and although it may seem like a lot, all the elements meshed together for a great presentation.
Usually a highly anticipated event, it was no surprise that the line at the entrance was backed up for hours and Hilton’s large cark park was filled, with cars overflowing all through Aquatic Gap and onto Bay Street. According to bandleader Richard Haynes their ability to “consistently appeal to such a large audience every year is a result of them asking and listening to what revellers want and evolving to suit”.
Haynes also stated this year “one major change” for Baje International is their Jouvert event being moved up one week from the usual Friday night before Kadooment Day.
When asked if the move was influenced by a decrease in patronage to the event over the past few years because of the increased popularity of the ForeDay morning jump, which is held at the same time Haynes said that they have actually “done good on numbers as the turnout was a 3 000-strong crowd at last year’s Jouvert fete . . . . The decision was merely to start earlier this year.”
He said he was not bothered by the overwhelming response to Zulu International and Krave and has “nothing but respect for them . . . . I love competition because it keeps me and my team on our toes and pushes us to stay current,” he said, adding he has a good team in Val Bridgeman, Corey Knight, Jason Cozier, Corey Garrett, David Blanc, Dawnya and Gary Serrao and Neysa Bridgeman.