Yard Mas’ ‘Reign of Goddesses’ hopes to rule Carnival in Jamaica 2023
The newest band on the scene for Carnival in Jamaica 2023, Yard Mas, promised to make a strong debut of its ‘Reign of Goddesses’ and did not disappoint.
A collaboration among Jamaican brands, namely I Love Soca, Fete Republic, Broadtail, Zarmak Limited and Magnet Consultants, Yard Mas is made up of local entrepreneurs and entertainment professionals who are passionate about expanding and amplifying the carnival experience in Jamaica said Andrew Bellamy, one of the band’s directors.
Yard Mas launched on Saturday, January 28 at the Cinema 2 Parking Lot in New Kingston with a movie-like premiere, by showing a video to complement the actual modelling of the costumes.
“We all decided on doing a sort-of hybrid launch,” Bellamy told The Gleaner, noting that with the changing of the times including digital advancements and more intentional marketing strategies, “and Yard Mas has come out of the blocks with a strong and unique presentation, which I believe, with where people are in the era of social media, was the right approach”.
The costumes for the band’s eight sections are: Oya, Goddess of Thunder; Athena, Goddess of War and Carnival Strategy; Queen of the Dance; Khaleesi, Queen of the Dragons; Dolly; Aja, Spirit of the Forest; Oshun, Goddess of Carnival Sensuality and Fertility; and Xena,The Warrior Princess. The line-up of models comprised influential personalities, such as former Miss World Trinidad and Tobago Athalia Samuel and professional dancer Zhané Padmore, all of whom exuded their inner goddess and had the attention of members of the audience fixated on the stage.
Although the band directors have not shared an estimated target for the number of costumes Yard Mas plans to produce for their first time on the road, it has been projected that the band could have a large turnout of masqueraders. An official announcement has been made that all payments to Xaymaca International Carnival for costumes in 2020, will be honoured. There is no specific section for Xaymacans; they can choose to register and have their credit transferred to any section in Yard mas Carnival.
Bellamy, who had tendered his resignation as Xaymaca’s chief executive officer and board member last year, said that the partnership forged with his former band, was a major step in “solving a big issue”. Richard Spence is acting in the role of CEO for Xaymaca International.
“Sometimes we find that in order to take 10 steps forward, we have to take a step back and we took time off to analyse the situation and find a way to rectify a lot of the issues, and that is what we have done with Yard Mas, which is fully owned by Jamaicans who are passionate about carnival and about Jamaican culture,” he said.
“I am actually very proud following the launch, because the energy around our presentation has been very positive and the team can feel the excitement of our supporters. That’s what we bring to the table, a whole new energy. We have found a way to improve on the experience of our masqueraders and make all the Xaymacans who registered from 2020 happy by providing brand-new costumes through our band and we are grateful to the current Xaymaca CEO for agreeing taking up our offer,” Bellamy continued.
In addition to its presentation on Saturday, the band also hosted a pop-up lyme at the ROK Hotel yesterday, more of which will be held throughout the registration period.