Thu | Oct 6, 2022

Bacchanal and Xodus getting ready for the road

Downtown Carnival grounded, postponed until 2023

Published:Thursday | July 7, 2022 | 12:09 AMSade Gardner and Stephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writers
Christopher Coke inspects a feather backpack at Bacchanal’s Mas Camp base at the National Stadium in Kingston ahead of Sunday’s road march.

Costume distribution is well under way for Carnival in Jamaica 2022. Bacchanal Jamaica, whose home is at Mas Camp, started issuing costumes to revellers in the Arcadia, Yayoi, and Camelot sections on Wednesday. Xodus got a headstart, having started distributions since Tuesday from the Jamaica Pegasus hotel.

With revellers getting feathered and fitted, organisers are now fine-tuning their arrangements. “What we're trying to do this year is work on all the quality things that we can so that in 2023 when we get back to the big quantity, we would have worked out the glitches with the quality. But both bands are really paying a lot of attention to the quality and experience. We want people to go, 'Wow, this was really a great carnival!' and I'm confident it's going to be,” co-director at Bacchanal Jamaica Michael Ammar Jr told The Gleaner.

Ammar Jr said the band will be about two-thirds of its 2019 size, with two new T-shirt designs added to the existing collections. As for resells, he shared “Most of them have sold off in the last two weeks. There are a few up still, but it's something that changes on a minute-to-minute basis … . In fact, people have actually added now because they see them selling, so they're putting up their costumes.”

He added that while facial masks aren't part of their costumes, they will be providing disposable masks for revellers in need on Sunday.

Xodus Carnival band director Scott Dunn told The Gleaner that they would be having approximately 3,000 costumes and T-shirts on the road, the distribution process for which started on Tuesday and will be carried on until Saturday. Dunn said the process has been going “quite well”.

“We went to great lengths and expense to store the costumes under the best conditions, for example, feathers were stored in air-conditioned facilities,” he said. “The costumes are in pristine condition.”

He added that no new costumes or T-shirt sections have been added since the initial November 2019 launch and that “only a couple hundred people” are currently reselling costumes.

As Bacchanal and Xodus get ready for the road, the third participant for Sunday's road march – Downtown Carnival – has postponed its parade.

“It is an unfavourable decision, but our band will have to sit out this year,” said Downtown Carnival bandleader O'Neil Smith, citing a lack of sponsorship and insufficient funds.

He said the band will now look to 2023.