Zulu International Inc. offered a taste of Grand Kadooment at Sheraton Mall over the weekend at the launch of their 2019 band Welcome to Paradise.
Accompanied by the sounds of the Pompasette Tuk Band, the masqueraders chipped and wined on the outskirts and inside the popular shopping centre, attracting a crowd of curious onlookers.
The young and the old were in awe as they got a glimpse of the band’s five sections in which revellers will be jumping from the National Stadium to Spring Garden on August 5.
David Dewer from Trinidad is back as the lead designer. He designed three sections: Crystalized, Sunken Treasure and City Lights.
Andromeda was produced by Kirk Thomas, also from Trinidad, and Barbados’ Katrina Gittens designed Sandaled.
Zulu International general manager Aundrea Wharton told Bajan Vibes the unconventional launch, which followed the band’s social media release, was aimed at attracting all demographics. The band released a trailer on all its social media platforms on March 15.
“We wanted to bring the band closer to the people of Barbados because usually when you have an event it is 10 p.m. or midnight, so you kind of take away from the average Barbadian and the children who should want to see the culture . . . . We really wanted to have it where everybody could have seen it, where we could see a wide cross-section of people from across the island,” he explained.
Wharton explained that the theme, Welcome to Paradise, was aimed at highlighting the beauty of Barbados as the gem of the Caribbean, and each section referred to a national attraction.
The costumes will be priced between US$350 and US$1 200.
After attracting up to 650 revellers in 2018, with 70 per cent being visitors, the band will this year cater for 800 masqueraders.
Although Wharton was unable to confirm what major changes would be made to this year’s jump, he promised that Zulu would deliver on their promise to bring fun to the road for patrons.
“What we have been known for, for the last seven years, is a fantastic road experience. There are loads of other carnivals around the world that are evolving that could potentially take away from our product, so we constantly have to be taking in new ideas and changes to make sure we keep up-to-date and still remain one of the premiere carnivals and street parties that persons would want to attend,” he said.
He also informed Bajan Vibes that, for the first time, Zulu International will be participating in Vincy Mas in July. The band will be partnering with Oxygen Mas Band.