Yard Mas Carnival makes royal debut
Proclaiming to be 'the guardians' of soca and carnival in Jamaica, Yard Mas Carnival directors have promised to not only contribute to the island's growing carnival scene, but also to deepen relationships with creatives, curators, designers, artistes and supporters from the wider Caribbean region.
The band made its official debut on Saturday night, presenting its 'Reign of Goddesses' theme for the upcoming carnival season.
Speaking to THE STAR, Dania Beckford, one of the band's directors and owner of Broadtail Designs, which is responsible for designing one of the sections, predicted that 2023 will be one of the biggest years for Carnival in Jamaica celebrations.
"I'm comforted in knowing that a lot of persons who have had carnival on their bucket list or who did not get to do it, and were left in disbelief when the world shut down, are deciding that they are doing everything on their bucket lists and will come out on the road this year," she said.
The five Jamaican brands, namely, I Love Soca, Fete Republic, Broadtail, CS and Zarmak Limited, have joined forces to create Yard Mas.
"Yas Mas Carnival is fully Jamaican-bred and grown and one of the reasons, us directors, as a team, call ourselves 'the guardians of the renaissance of soca' is because we recognise all that has been happening from past to present, and we aim to defend what it means to us and doing what we do on a larger scale for our fellow Jamaicans," Beckford said.
The names of the eight sections revealed are Aja, Oya, Queen of the Dance, Athena, Xena, Oshun, Khaleesi and Dolly.
The band has announced that persons who in 2020 registered with Xaymaca International, which is currently being led by Richard Spence, will be able to re-register with Yard Mas and apply their credit for a costume from one of its eight sections.
"In 2020, when the COVID pandemic happened, it was acknowledged that it would not be possible for all bands to go on the road, and masqueraders who invested in Xaymaca from then have been wanting to rejoin the local festivities through the band from then. So, Yard Mas is honouring those who would have registered and made payments to Xaymaca, whom we have partnered with. They'll be able to select a costume and get all the merch promised to them," Beckford shared.