Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The K2K Review

K2K asked that masqueraders provide feedback about their experience with the band. I'm using their headings as a guide for my review. I'm also sending this post to them.

Registration Process

I found online registration to be very easy and any questions I had about the costume was immediately addressed. I then got a quick confirmation for payment and registration. However, I felt that the user should have been able to select more than one costume in the shopping bag, but I guess this was to prevent mass purchasing.

Website

I loved the professional pics on the website, which gave a good idea of what the costume looked like. Viewers saw the various options for each section with all of the important registration information. I like when a website is simple and easy to maneuver.

Mas Camp Experience

I first visited the mas camp on Feb 3 and was blown away by the prototypes. At this point I was, extremely excited especially when Mummy Norman allowed me to be to try on the wings for Dead Sea. However, the many questions that I had about the Monday wear and accessories were not really addressed, but I wasn't bothered since it was a bit early.

The following Friday I returned to try on the corset and for the hubby to try his pants. The adjustments for the corset and pants were noted, which is not typical for bands who expect you to deal with adjustments on your own. The hubby did order a size 38 pants even though he is size 36. After years of not getting an actual size 36 that was not too small, he decided to order the bigger size. But in this case, it was way too big. A few days later, the adjustments made the pants too small, and another adjustment was promised.

Costume Collection

I must admit I felt that K2K announced costume collection too late, and the collection on the Thursday and Friday before Carnival was also too late. But once I got there, it was a very easy and a smooth process. As late as this was, we were told that we had to return on Sunday to collect the Monday wear as they were not ready. I also did not get my head piece. I think any masquerader would agree that it would have been better to collect all pieces on one day.

As a small band, the venue for costume collection worked, but when the band grows next year, a new venue will have to be considered because parking in a residential area could be a problem.

Monday Costume

The costume for Monday was FAB! I am so over wearing a tshirt and hot shorts on Monday. Sadly, I did not play Monday but on TV, they looked great. Everyone looked uniformed, and it was a welcomed break from Monday tshirts. The dress could have been worn several different ways and guidelines for draping it were included in the very cute organza bag. K2K's attention to these little details is what I enjoyed the most. I really hope they keep this Monday concept and don't leave it up to the masqueraders.

Tuesday Costume

The hubby eventually got his pants to fit but opted not to wear it since he did not like the feel of the material. But you know men, they don't make a big deal about these things, so he just wore a black cargo pants that he bought and settled with that.

On the other hand, I took my costume more seriously. I'm glad that I wore a cami under the corset because the material was itchy. But everything fit really well, and it was not heavy or cumbersome. I did not feel hot in the black or with so many pieces of costume. And most important at the end of the day, the costume was in tact as if I could have worn it again.

Even though frontline masqueraders were told that we would receive our wings on Tuesday, Dead Sea got no wings until much later in the day. On arrival, I asked one of the team members about my wings and was told that "it was on its way"....2 hours later, it was still on its way.

Bar Service/Meals

Although there were 2 bars, it didn't seem like this crowd was big on the hard liquor. I also had to opt for soft drinks since I was heavily medicated. The lucozade, water and coconut water were flowing until we lost the bar at the entrance to the savannah. No one could have known that the wait would have been that long and tiresome, but this is when we really needed our drinks and food. It would be a good idea to have carts or a roving bar and food service at this point especially if we know that we would not get to the lunch stop on time.

I really hope K2K can do Id bands next year because I saw lots of masqueraders from Ronnie and Caro being served drinks from our bar.

Road Experience

On Tuesday, the band left their starting point at Lord Harris Square too late at almost lunch time. If the trucks left their departure point at 6:00am, they would have gotten to the square very easily. It is sad that the band took most of the day to get from the Square to the Savannah which is less than a mile. If we left earlier, we would have gotten to the Savannah earlier and avoided that tiresome wait. The NCBA also has to take some of the blame in this instance. There needs to be a system to accommodate the large number of bands crossing the stage because this nonsense cannot continue.

Security

Now this was a big problem....where was the security???? The number of security guards was inadequate. This is an important aspect of band management and the safety of masqueraders must be a priority. This has to be addressed next year.

Music

The DJs were good. My only complaint is that I wanted to hear more of the road march contenders on the road, and not just on the stage.

Wee wee Truck and Spa Truck

Shockingly, I didn't use the wee wee truck or the spa truck (even more shocking), so I can't really comment on them. But please keep the spa truck!

Overall, I expected a lot more from K2K. The excellent promotion of the band in the beginning made it seem like everything was in order. They had all the elements of a great band, but failed in many areas.  Carnival is more than just about costumes but the experience on the road.  I've been with 2 bands in their first year, so I know there must be hiccups but there were too many in K2K. Masqueraders are not interested in hearing about problems with suppliers, tailors or seamstresses; we just want what was promised in a timely manner. On the road, we expect easy access to drinks, a meal at a reasonable time in the day, clean toilets, a rest truck and adequate security. In fact, this is what we believe we are paying for along with the costume.

What you can't beat K2K with, is their costumes. This was the best costume I've ever worn which made me actually feel like I "played mas". The costumes were original, lacked the generic bikini and beads factor but was still  contemporary. This is their strength; they just need some experienced personnel to fill in the blanks for road management. Would I play with them again??? Yes!

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