THE Lost Tribe’s "202WE" presentation was voted large Band of the Year, the National Carnival Commission (NCC) announced on Thursday via e-mail. The band also won Band of the Year in 2019.
Ronnie and Caro – winner of Downtown Carnival – placed second. Showtime Carnival placed third with its Metamorphosis presentation.
K2K Alliance and Partners won medium Band of the Year to go along with its medium band win in Downtown Carnival. Kinetic Mas placed second in the medium category with Cyber Nation while Image Nation placed third with Limbo.
Kinetic Mas’ Mas Pieta was the overall Band of the Year in 2020.
The Lost Tribe’s bandleader Valmiki Maharaj said, “After the three years and after the years we have had leading up to this Carnival, to say it is hard, would be the understatement of the year.
“This is both unexpected and the most welcome happening ever.” Maharaj said he felt blessed and thankful.
He dedicated the win to Carnival’s unsung heroes whom he described as “every producer, road manager, bar person and vendor – who were struggling the last couple of months leading up to the national festival.
Maharaj said there were moments he did not know if the band was going to make it.
“Emotionally, coming out of the pandemic, there were a lot of restarting and teething issues. I think generally the world coming out of this Act of God global crisis left us as bandleaders and as Carnival practitioners, with a lot of challenges.”
He also thanked the masqueraders saying, “We make the costumes but the costume is a body and the masquerade is the soul.”
As for this year's festival being dubbed the mother of all carnivals, Maharaj said it would be naive to say one was having the Mother of All carnivals, the greatest carnival, the biggest carnival without a mix of good, bad and ugly.
“There is no way for you to have a major festival coming out of the pandemic without some hiccups. I think I saw every single side of it. I saw what I thought were some of the worst things I have seen in all experiences I have had since I started in Carnival. But as well as on the road, on both days, I felt like it was my best road experience ever,” he said.
Maharaj said he was refreshed and baptised by this year’s Carnival.
K2K bandleaders Karen and Kathy Norman were also very appreciative of their win.
In an interview before the NCC’s announcement and speaking to their downtown win, the Normans said they were relieved and excited.
They said there was a lot of work behind the scenes to ensure that things flowed as smoothly as it could on the Carnival days.
They, too, thanked masqueraders for supporting them in the first Carnival after pandemic restrictions were lifted. The sisters said they were focused on trying to make Carnival more sustainable.
“What we did this year, the section leaders and those females who bought gowns and guys who did beaded jackets they all got jute bags for their giveaway items. We felt it was a bit nifty in terms of a sustainable footprint because jute is very biodegradable.”
The Normans said going forward the Carnival fraternity might be looking toward a more sustainable Carnival. K2K’s 365-day concept ties into Carnival’s sustainability, the Normans said.
Citing some of the difficulties experienced along the route like the swarm of bees along Cipriani Boulevard and Ariapita Avenue, the Normans asked if there was a way for Carnival organisers to better communicate changes along the route.
The small band winner was Tribal Connection Cultural Promotion with its Native Pride presentation. The First Citizens Original Jab Jab placed second with Festival of the Ancestors, and Belmont Exotic Stylish Sailors placed third with Celebration: The Diamond Jubilee of Panorama – 1963 to 2023.
The winning mini band was Moko Somokow with Carnival.