Trini Carnival Prices
After a month away in South Africa, my wife and I decided not to attend Trini Carnival this year. After 20+ hour flights, 3 different airlines, and 2 weeks of lost luggage we decided that we were just not up to living out of a suitcase for another set of long days.
Part of what helped change our mind is the inflation in Carnival prices.
When I started attending Carnival back in 1996, the prices were as follows, approximately, in $US:
Male costumes: $125
Female costumes: $180
Nowaways, the cost of Carnival has skyrocketed, so much so that a place in Tribe's all-inclusive band is costing $500 and fete tickets are approaching $300 (for Brian Lara's fete, which I remember gasping at when it hit $100.)
It is getting harder and harder to justify how the increase in prices could be accompanied by that much new value -- is lobster being served at fetes, and massages being given away to masqueraders?
Or have the security costs gone up by that much?
I'm honestly stumped here...
and the price of playing mas for 2 days in Tribe is now seriously competing with :
-- a round trip ticket to New York or London from Jamaica
-- 3-4 days at Sandals
-- a low priced laptop
-- a custom made sofa
-- 4 tickets to Frenchman's New Years' Day fete
-- 12 days at DisneyWorld
At $250 per day, it's hard to jump, eat, drink and lime enough to derive that much value, in my opinion. If I lived in Trinidad (which would make it cheaper, yet) I think that I would find a band that offered the minimum of all the high-priced items, but could possibly offer just as much fun.
Last year, I played with Tribe and it was nowhere as much fun as playing with Poison.
I guess it depends on what you want from the experience, but all of a sudden, visiting another island's carnival is looking like a real possibility.
Surely, there must be room in Trinidad for a band that is willing to cut their prices to gain some market share?