Ronnie and Caro announces BushFire as its 2024 theme

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Masqueraders of Ronnie and Caro Mas Band, This is Paradise cross the stage at the Queen’s Pak Savannah, Port of Spain, on February 20. – AYANNA KINSALE

Large band Ronnie and Caro has already put out its 2024 presentation. The band announced on its social media pages that BushFire: The Arising of New Life will be next year’s presentation.

This comes shortly after the conclusion of Carnival 2023 which was held on February 20-21.

Announcing it that early had nothing to do with Carnival 2024 being on February 12-13, bandleader Ronnie McIntosh said yesterday.

In fact, it was the band’s usual practice, he added.

He said the band deliberately gave its masqueraders an early tease.

The band’s 2023 presentation This is Paradise won it the Downtown Carnival Band of the Year.

On its post on March 19, the band told its masqueraders that early-bird registration details would be available soon.

McIntosh also spoke to a number of issues surrounding Carnival including that he did not think 2023 was the “mother of All Carnivals.” He believes that next year’s is going to bigger than this year’s.

“Based on research and experience, 2024 will be bigger than 2023 because people were hesitant and people did not recover financially from the pandemic. As long as people are hesitant and as long as people were still struggling financially 2023 could never have been the ‘mother.’

“If the right-thinking people understood that people still sceptical from covid and still struggling economically, they would not have made that statement.

“I suspect 2024 is going to be much bigger than 2023.”

He said many mas leaders knew that 2024 would be bigger than 2023’s and that contributed to the band releasing its theme information earlier.

Saying Ronnie and Caro got positive reviews from its 2023 presentation, the band decided to “strike while the iron is hot” to keep its masqueraders engaged.

He said he had proof of masqueraders sending him their bookings for 2024.

McIntosh said the band would be sticking to its virtual launches as hosting a physical band launch was very expensive.

He also called on Government and its officials to release more data about Carnival 2023.

The Carnival Committee of the San Fernando Corporation held a Carnival 2023 post mortem on March 1.

He said, from his perspective, Carnival 2023 was successful but he felt that information about its actual success was not made readily available by government officials and Carnival agencies like the National Carnival Commission (NCC).

“No one gives us the information on what the mas fraternity is contributing to the country’s GDP,” he said.

McIntosh said foreigners mainly visited to play mas and attend one or two fetes.

“Many masqueraders come in Carnival Saturday and leave Carnival Tuesday night. They want to be on the street,” he said.

McIntosh said there was very little information coming to the public at all.

“The figures that Carnival generates and the figures that mas generates is another NDA (Non-disclosure agreement). NDA seems to be the road march right now.”

He asked if figures were available about the visitors to TT for Carnival 2023.

McIntosh called for greater information flow from Government as it related to data about Carnival.

He added that many other Carnival competitions knew what the prizes were but the prizes for winning bands were often surprises.

“You have to wait till you go to the prize-giving ceremony, and then when you get your envelope, you have to peep in to see what you get.”

Ronnie and Caro will also collaborate with Jade Monkey Casino Bar and Grill in Crown Point, Tobago, once again to produce a band for Tobago’s carnival in October.

McIntosh also thinks that carnival will be huge and calls on officials to put different transportation arrangements in place.

Tobago’s Carnival was held for the first time last year.

“Please make it easier to get to Tobago. Please don’t bring anyone from New York to bring them to Piarco to put them on standby to send them Crown Point.

“Please put some chartered flights in place so that you can do Miami/Tobago, New York Tobago, Toronto/Tobago, even Notting Hill/Tobago.”

The band has already started working on its designs for Jade Monkey and the band-launch will be held on June 18.

McIntosh said the presentation will be titled Faces of Tobago.