Xodus Carnival’s ‘bittersweet’ band launch | Entertainment

Xodus launched their 2023 band showcase ‘Sweet Treats’ on Saturday night at the Mona Hockey Field in St Andrew. Billed as the biggest band on the road since they first hit the streets of Kingston in 2017, the band were firmly focused on giving carnival newbies and “veterans” the sugar rush of a lifetime, but there were a few technical issues. the sound led to delays, which made some participants feel slightly tired.

The flip side of this was that people could make full use of the candy bar that organizers had set up inside the venue, complete with lollipop swings and popsicle pop art for photo ops, while engaging in conversation around the bars and food trucks. and placed bets with their friends on potential section titles and costs based on their chosen topic. Coppershot Sound and Laing D, while clearly frustrated, managed to keep the patrons engaged as well.

The air was hazy and the stage was affected, but the assistants did their best to wipe the stage dry to prepare the models to strut their stuff in true soca style.

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Tensions were certainly high at 1am when it was announced that some of the costumes would be presented without rucksacks, another reason for the buzz in the audience, but to avoid any further delay the show went on.

18 sections designed by approximately 15 designers from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Florida were presented. They teased the senses with catchy and complementary titles: Shawn Dhanraj’s Sweet Hearts and Milkshake; Icebreakers by Alejandro Gomez; Red Whine by Anna Guthrie; Tutti Fruitti by Lily Nikole; Candy Apple by Fon Rose; Sprinkles by Solange Govia from Aria’s Carnival; Hard Candy by Shanel Gomes; Juici Fruit and Dulche by Marie Collette; Icy and Honey Dew by Jessica Campbell; Red Velvet and Licorice by David Dewer; Jollie Lollie by Tashanna Hutchinson and Patrice Regis; Pop Rocks by Tracy Boyce of Krave the Band; and Cotton Candy and Skittles, which came from designers Ashley Miller and Sherice Dixon, who introduced carnival costumes on the main stage for the first time.

All of the costumes were feminine, sexy and decidedly bold – it was a special treat for the men in the audience to watch the models don the different looks. Scott Dunn, co-director of the Xodus carnival, said male costumers will be able to purchase T-shirts and shorts, but did not confirm any male costumes would be made specifically for any of the sections.

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Miller, a popular TV host and fashion influencer who is also a production manager at Dream Entertainment (owners of Xodus Carnival), is known for putting in the work during the carnival season to create unique costumes for friends who want to stand out from the crowd, as well as for her skills in assembling wire bras off-season. She said the reason she designed the 2023 costume was because she listened to a voice in her head to “take things to another level.”

“I’ve always been into fashion and the little pieces I would create for the people around me would always make an impact. As soon as I heard the theme ideas, I knew I wanted to present a section that was soft, gentle, yet sensual, and cotton candy screams all of those things,” said Miller.

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From a production perspective, she added: “From our presentation today, I would say it’s only going to get bigger and better as we enter the carnival season of events, while there is room for improvement, people should consider jumping with us and we promise even sweeter treats during our launch events.’

Although not clearly defined in the presentation, Bacchanal took responsibility for selling three specific sections, Icebreakers, Skittles and Jollie Lollies, under their brand. One Bacchanal Jamaica supporter, who preferred to remain anonymous, described the band’s launch as “bittersweet rather than a treat,” noting that for many of the carnival-goers in her circle, the partnership will require some adjustments.

“There’s no denying that the band delivered what they set out to do; the costume designs were modern but still captured true carnival fashion, but I came in expecting more of a Bacchanal presence. I personally thought that the selectors could have played more soca than we are used to with a veteran band. It’s like we’ve lost a band… but let’s see what both Xodus and Bacchanal have in store for the season,” she said.

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