The popular Kadooment band Xhosa has apologized for providing revellers with less than stellar service during the Grand Kadooment street jump up on Monday.
And bandleader Jeremy Nicholls is promising a “free event” for the approximately 400 affected members of the 907 people who paid between $600 and $3,500 for their costumes.
The band was plagued by a number of complaints, including adequate food and drinks, insufficient costumes, the late delivery of available costumes, poor communication and inadequate security.
Nicholls said at a news conference yesterday he had ordered costumes at the beginning of July, but they had been detained by United States border control.
“We had over nine boxes held in the USA customs and this affected the ability to distribute costumes at the original times posted for each section,” Nicholls said, adding that the courier company DHL had assisted in having seven of the nine boxes delivered just in time for the festival.
“Typically our standard is 85 per cent completion by Friday [before Kadooment Day]. However, this shipment affected 400 masqueraders. This agitated the revellers and at this point [the challenges] started to spiral.”
Nicholls said the band employed 90 security personnel and a 28-member bar team for Grand Kadooment, but in both cases they turned out to be inadequate, leading to further frustration for revellers.
“We share with you our trials this year that marred the Xhosa experience. We promise that . . . we are reaching out to each member to apologize personally to get their independent feedback and regroup for 2018,” the bandleader said.
“We will do a free event for masqueraders and we are looking into the possibility of putting on some kind of loyalty coupon for people to come back next year,” he added.
Xhosa won Large Band of the Year, Best Party Band and Most Colourful Band, in addition to placing second and third in a number of other categories.
“Crop Over itself, most of the people I spoke to had a good time. For me on the day of Kadooment I really didn’t have a good time because of everything else that was going on,” Nicholls explained, adding that while he anticipated this year’s experience would have some impact on how people respond to his band next year, he would pull out all the stops to get things right.