2018 was a fantastic year! So much done, so much fun and building on previous years’ experiences. Here’s a brief overview.
Three new carnivals were attended in 2018; Salvador Carnival, Brazil (February), Antigua Carnival (August) and Las Vegas Carnival (October) in the United States. They had not been attended before by Ilovecarnivall. Other carnivals were also attended this year; Grenada Spice Mas in mid August and Notting Hill Carnival in London UK at the end of August. So in total, 5 carnivals in 2018. And this brings the overall total to 14 different countries attending carnival.
As official media press Ilovecarnivall covered Salvador and Notting Hill carnivals this year. Of all the carnivals, interviewing one of the members of the carnival band Ile Aiye and seeing them on the road in Salvador was particularly poignant and powerful. Here and now, I can close my eyes and be transported back to Salvador, high above the carnival route on the media platform at 3:45 am and see the lone dancer moving fluidly and gracefully at the top of the Ile Aiye truck. To have all the above opportunities and experiences, I am so blessed and grateful.
Of course, there were the band launches covered in London UK for Notting Hill Carnival 2018. Ilovecarnivall covered over 23 carnival bands in over 15 band launches.
Ilovecarnivall was invited to official media press launches for Notting Hill carnival 2018 and Antigua and Barbuda carnival launch in London for 2019. Amongst others, there was consultation with regards to Notting Hill Carnival by Time Out Magazine. That was a nice achievement.
Many soca related events were attended in 2018, including the Ibiza Soca Festival in Ibiza (Spain) and Ubersoca Cruise (Miami, Haiti). The Ubersoca Cruise brought so many valuable memories and was so much fun shared with friends such as Shazza. Returning to Haiti, seeing so many masqueraders of different islands just having a time was a joy. And that flag. That Caribbean flag at j’ourvert and at the concert finale with Bunji. That was soca and Caribbean history, right there.
I also have a love of reggae music. Many reggae events were attended. Summer Jam Festival was attended at the end of July in Germany. Concerts were attended; Chronixx concert in Alexandra Palace (featuring Protoje and Koffee) and Jah 9 at Subterrania in London UK. There was the opportunity to meet and greet Koffee at Brixton, London UK. This artist has serious love from her supporters. A short up close and personal video of her in Brixton was shared 3721 times and viewed 128,000 times on the Ilovecarnivall facebook page.
Many interviews were conducted this year with various artists; Nailah Blackman, Esy Kennenga, Lavaman, Skinny Fabulous, Turner, Sekon Sta and Lutenants. In our manager series, we interviewed Anson Soverall (manager of Nailah Blackman), Nickolai Assam (road manager of Ricardo Drue) and Lyndon Gomez (manager of Voice). Designers were interviewed; Melissa Simon Hartman of Legion Mas, Paul O’Donoghue of UCOM and Flora Obena of Mas With a Difference. Band manager Mike Forbes of Chocolate Nation was interviewed. Lord Edit, Shep Beats of Ruk A Tuk, JP Poteon of Frolic Nation was interviewed as well as Andrea Wallace of Addicted to Fitness. Interviews are always interesting and the conversations bring so much knowledge and insight.
Ilovecarnivall sponsored 6 events locally and internationally; Intensity Events (March), Ibiza Soca Festival (May), The Bunji and Fay-Ann Japan Tour (July), Addicted To Fitness (August) and Soca in Japan Weekender (September). It’s a good feeling to help support in some way.
Very very reluctantly, branding of a limited number of Ilovecarnivall bandanas and t-shirts happened. And despite the reluctance, it was such a good feeling seeing the brand at the top of Kilimanjaro, Tanzania Africa. It reminded me of my own Kilimanjaro climb in 2015.
It has not all been smooth sailing. There were major disappointments, missed opportunities and serious lessons learnt about people and their intentions. However, all part of the learning process and growth. I’ve met many interesting people. And there has been gratitude for every opportunity and interaction.
So what will be new for Ilovecarnivall in 2019?? Ilovecarnivall hopes to continue to bring more coverage of Caribbean culture around the world; music, interviews, and knowledge of world carnivals. And a few other things. Thank you so much for your support, advice and recommendations over this year. And please, continue to follow on this journey and share our many adventures.
Much love, Ilovecarnivall