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Wednesday, 23 May 2012

New Mas Troupe Wants Year-Round Fun

Antigua St John's - Seen as the new kid on the block for Carnival 2012, Scorch Mas Troupe has employed a strategy that would undoubtedly give meaning to its adapted slogan, The People’s Mass Troupe.
Scorch Mas Troupe
Scorch Executive Dion George said while the band’s designs and promised experience can easily stand up beside the likes of Myst and others, its pricing reaches comfortably into the pockets of the average Antiguan reveler.

“Our vision for Scorch is that it would be a lifestyle. Not just a mass troop. The way that we will differ from the rest is that come the end of Carnival, we will not die. We will be a live brand throughout the year.”

The band caters for 300 people - six groups of 50 with five front lines not exceeding more than six for each group. The male to female ratio stands at 40 to 60. There will be two bars on Carnival Monday, one at the head of the group and another at the foot.

A ghost Trinidadian designer made all the "scorching" designs, and while the launch costumes were put together locally, the mass production would be made in Trinidad and made available to revelers at least two weeks before Carnival Monday. There are no wire bras in the designs because a survey conducted by the troop determined the design too unpopular to pursue.

At least three of the sections are up to at least 50 percent capacity already.

“We are not looking to make a profit this year,” George said, noting that the goal in 2012 is simply to raise the bar of the revelers’ experience and match that with a cost in keeping with the current economic climate.

Scorch was officially launched on June 2, and its mas camp, located in the Caribbean Cinemas building, opened about a week ago.

“We are only doing 30 frontlines so the concentration is on the 200 plus revelers. It is making it much, much affordable," the leader said.

Presently, the prices are $700 and $850 for men, regardless of the design. The women's frontline stands at $1,089 each, but are limited to only six for each design. These prices, which are among the lowest so far for the season, could be reduced by as much as $100 to $200 for each section. The bars will be 100 percent premium, it was promised, and security will play a significant role.

“This is a people’s mas," George said. "We are not filled with rules. We are not filled with doing it how it has been done for the past couple of years. Carnival is free-spirited type of enjoyment, so even within our mas itself we are not going to tell you stay within your section. If you have you friend in another section, go where you want to go. The only time we would want you together is when we are approaching the judges."

Throughout the year, group will open its camp to the public between Thursdays and Saturdays for an after-work, after-movie, weekend lime. This will be done through a partnership with Premier Beverages with a modern-styled lounge and drinks across the board. Access to the venue will be free, and food and drinks will be available “dirt, dirt cheap.”

George said that while it might seem like Scorch is out to compete with other mas troops, considering its approach and costs, it is actually not looking for a completion, but rather to create an avenue that provides an alternative that offers quality without back-breaking costs.
“I think there is enough room for that. Our demographic is primarily between 18 and 25 to 26 years old," he said. "We are looking at a sort of a next generation mas.”


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