It looks as though it will be Aura once again fuh Crop Over!
The masquerade band, only in its second year, has shown once again that they’re the new band in charge and ready to rule the road on Kadooment Day.
Within hours of launching last Sunday night, five of their individual costumes, which ranged from US$1200 to US$1500, were already sold out. Two backline sections are already sold out as well.
Speaking to Bajan Vibes after the launch, Aura General Manager Rondell Jones said they were again looking to give their revelers the ultimate Crop Over experience.
He stressed Aura was both a premium and party band.
“It’s been months and months of work, a lot of sleepless nights but thankfully we have a big team and everyone chipped in and came together and we made it happen.” he said.
“We have to improve the product. We just can’t sit back and assume that our people would be satisfied with what we have. We have a brand new VIP truck, we have invested a lot more in the costumes, and we are going to have different types of drinks on the road as well. We have an exciting and really fun experience for our revelers this year,” Jones said.
The band is themed Dream Catcher this year.
Jones said while he was glad the band was becoming more popular, they were trying, however, to keep the numbers down.
“Last year, we carried about 1,000 people and this year we might do about 1,300 to 1,500,” he said.
“We don’t want to go too big because we still want to keep it exclusive and we really want to have that intimate relationship with our revelers,” Jones added.
While not giving away too much, Jones said revelers can definitely expect to be partying with some celebrities this year on the road.
He said Rorey Fenty, brother of international superstar Rihanna, was their Director of VIP services and he was currently working on bringing in some big artistes.
Jones said: “I can confirm that we will have celebrities with us this year. That’s all I can say for now.”
He said as far as costumes and prices were concerned, the band was doing its best to keep them as close as possible to last year’s.
“Lauren Austin is our lead designer again this year. She has designed six out of seven sections in the band. We all know what Lauren can do and she did it again this year. We added a lot of colour to our costumes this year,” Jones explained.
“Lauren usually likes the darker colors so it was good to see her designing some vibrant costumes. Costs have gone up so it’s very difficult to maintain the same prices but we have tried that so our prices aren’t much different from last year. Having sponsors on board is essential. Our main sponsors have stuck with us and they are behind us again for 2017,” he added.
When asked if the plan was to take the Aura brand overseas, Jones said their aim right now was perfecting the brand in Barbados.
“We definitely plan to go abroad. We have been approached already but we want to make sure the time is right before we go abroad. We want to make sure our product is solid here in Barbados and that we are a dominant force here in Barbados before we go to the Caribbean and the USA,” he said.
He added that Aura was helping to fly the Barbados flag and encouraged masquerade lovers wherever they are to visit for Crop Over this year.
“Crop Over is life. It’s the sweetest summer festival. It’s the thing to do now. If you haven’t experienced it yet, you really need to. Aura is flying the Barbados flag high; we have revelers from Europe, Sweden, and Eastern Caribbean. USA, Canada,” he said.
Jones also said he was looking forward to seeing the Crop Over festival growing even more.
“If you look at the growth over the last few years, you would understand that entertainment is a very serious business in Barbados and in the Caribbean for us at Aura. Entertainment is growing rapidly but for it to continue to grow, we would need the support of both the private sector and the public sector,” Jones said.