by Donna Sealy
That’s how long it took for the almost 900 female revellers’ costumes in the band Baje International to be snapped up.
The band, Break Away was launched on Friday night at Radisson Aquatica Resort and by Monday, all of the costumes in the six sections, starting at BDS$560 right up to the three front lines, which went for between $1,175 and $1,250, were sold out.
Females make up approximately 70 per cent of the Grand Kadooment band.
Men’s costumes which range in price from BDS $535 to $565 are still available.
Bandleader Richard Haynes told Barbados TODAY the response was unexpected.
“To sell out in three days is beyond our wildest dreams. We’ve done it in two weeks, we’ve done it in 10 days before [but] we never expected three days. Again we credit our revellers because we could only create the best product we can but if we don’t get the ideas, and the feedback and the support, and not always good, some of it negative … but we try to get as much energy and feedback from our customers and the public in general and have them guide us for what we’ll do the next year.
“We just thank the revellers and the public for their support and for giving us the ideas to make this thing a reality and we’re so thankful. It is humbling,” he said.
Leader of Fantasy Barbados, Amanda Reifer also reported that the more expensive costumes in her Warriors of Africa band had been sold.
She said the 30 front line costumes with a price tag of $850 up to $1,000 were gone and the sale of the others was going well.
“The majority of people are from overseas — Paris, Martinique, New York — but we have some Barbadians as well. So far, 90 per cent of my registration are people from overseas primarily because Barbadians are very last minute so they will probably come the end of June, July looking for costumes. I cater really mainly to the overseas market so they are the sort of people that have to plan their vacation so they need to book early and deal with their business early,” she said.
Reifer said those revellers did not ask for discounts and readily paid using PayPal through their website as well as with their credit cards.
“The most expensive thing is what people gravitate to. A lot of people desire things they cannot have … they will not spend money on something they don’t think is worth it. We have always looked at providing a premium product, we do premium drinks on the road and people that would have experienced our service and the level of customer service [told others who have signed up]. They are buying into a fantasy experience,… they really are not price sensitive” said the bandleader.
She added: “Another thing is the demographic I cater too. I cater to professional career oriented people. These are people who have disposable income. We are very targeted in who we try to attract in terms of the market so that, we can price our costumes in a way that they are not really scoffed at.
“The Barbadians that have signed up for the front line costumes come and pay their money just the same but this is a certain demographic. I’ve been in this business for a while and the more expensive something is, it’s like a mentality, people associate quality with the price. If I was to charge $300 for a costume, nobody wants to be a part of me. They do not associate quality with a cheap price and they will try to get into the more expensive costume. They want to be the front line”.
Reifer added the only difference between her front and back lines was the fact that the costumes were more elaborate, but the packages were the same.
She added that revellers wanted to be glamorous.
“The Bajans that jump in the front lines told me they want a feel. It is their day and they want to be glamorous and sexy and they want to go all out. They get their make-up done, beads everything,” Reifer said. firstname.lastname@example.org