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Cali Carnivals: LA & San Fran

Are you a carnival Virgin or veteran:

I consider myself a Veteran. I’ve been playing mass for 7 years (Miami, ATL, Orlando, SF, Hollywood, TNT, Jamaica)

What was your favorite carnival & why?

Trinidad is my favorite carnival. It is the ultimate carnival experience. The road, jouvert and premium fete lineups are worth every penny. The country is beautiful and the natives were so friendly.

Tell us more about Cali Carnival. We see you’ve done San Fran & LA

SF and Hollywood are not your traditional carnivals. They’re considered “Cultural Festivals.” Meaning that all groups in the parade are not Caribbean groups. SF has been around for 40 years while Hollywood is fairly new compared to the larger carnivals, but they are definitely making their marks on the West Coast.

Beautiful costume, who did you play mas with?

I play Mas with Karibbean Vibrationz Mas Band in both San Francisco and Hollywood. The costumes are designed and created by Trisha Williams.

How many or big was the bands were there?

Karibbean Vibrationz is the Largest and #1 Caribbean Mas Band in Northern California with 327 participants in SF 2018, winning Band of the Year. There were over 90 groups in SF Carnival, 7 of which were Caribbean groups.

Hollywood is similar in the sense that it’s a large parade; however the Caribbean groups represent a small percentage. Karibbean Vibrationz was a private section within Extacy Mas Band this year for Hollywood Carnival and won Band of the Year as well.

Did it feel more foreign( out of towners) or local?

Both carnivals have more locals. Hollywood tends to have more “out-of-towners” than SF. I’m assuming that’s due to the Celebrity presence in Hollywood (ie Machel Montano, Lyrikal, Angela Hunt, Alison Hinds, etc)

Would you go back?

I intend to play in both SF and Hollywood every year. Not only is a great experience, it’s cost effective for me. My costume is ALWAYS gorgeous and I can wear it for SF and Hollywood. Plus, since I’m a Cali native, I don’t have to pay for a flight.

Did you enjoy the variety of fetes?

SF has definitely improved their fete line ups this year with day parties, boatrides, and night parties with King Bubba as the highlight performer.

Hollywood’s Fetes are always amazing! From the venues to the artist line ups and concerts… It’s a great experience.

Any tips for those interested?

Hollywood Carnival – Book your accommodations early. It’s the same weekend as the BET experience so things can get pricey and sell out fast!

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