It’s no secret that Krave the Band has a dual reputation. Krave, still a fairly young Cropover band, came on the scene offering next level amenities. They marketed their band in ways no other Cropover band was doing at the time of their foray into the Kadooment scene. They had mastered social marketing in an undeniable fashion. In many ways, at the time of their initial launch onto the Cropover scene, Krave was one of the most accessible bands for foreigners to jump with. To much critique, up until 2018 their band launches were held in New York. With a large contingency of their team based in New York, Krave became known as the band for foreign folks. In the carnival circles, Krave’s first two years caused Krave to be known as the band that failed to deliver on both costumes and road experience. Everyone I asked warned me to stay away. But enter 2018 Year of the Savage.
I hadn't been planning on attending Cropover this year, but my closest high school friends rallied and got me on board. They have some personal connections to Krave, so for them it was a no-brainer, they would support Krave for Kadooment. I was hesitant because I was familiar with Krave's track record, but I am of the opinion that mas with your friends is priceless! I have went to multiple carnivals without a true 'crew' and by crew I mean actual friends not just carnival friends. So, I got on board and pre-registered with Krave.
Despite pre-registering for Krave, I would not suggest pre-registering with any band unless you consider yourself a loyalist to that band. Those down payments are non-refundable and it is quite easy to find yourself having costume envy if a new band blows you away and drops your favorite costume *cough* Zulu International: Supernova. Krave launched on Saturday April 14th. I must admit the costumes were beautiful. But this is no surprise. Krave often has beautiful, blinged out costumes.
Registration & Costume Selection
I fell in love immediately with Iskaba midline. The colors were vibrant and the costume was different. It really stood out. I was pretty sad to see that there was no backline version for this section. In addition, the cut-out panty only went up to a size L. So, I continued my search on their registration site and noticed that their customization options were quite limiting. I was also quite dismayed to see that a backline section was added due to demand after I registered. Once another, another con of pre-registering. Since Iskaba seemed like a no go, I ended up choosing Beautiful Savage.
All backline bras initially did not go past a 38D. I sent them a direct message on Instagram and they notified me that they did not supply a 38DD. This is not an uncommon size so I was quite surprised. They said my options were to pick the next closest size or send in my own bra to be designed for a charge of $50. Unacceptable to me, as this is not considered a specialty bra size. I could understand if my bra size ended in E,G,H, etc. Ironically by the end of the night, more sizes were made available including my 38DD. My guess is that they received a lot of queries.
For sections with cut out panties, i.e. Iskaba, the sizing only goes up to large with no option to swap for a regular bikini. This is quite limiting.
There were options for for high-waist for one or two sections at the cost of $75. I find this cost to be outrageous. While the high-waist is designed/spider cut $75 is an insane mark up to me. For reference, Zulu International offers high waist upgrades for $5. Yes, $5. But traditionally speaking, I find that for other carnivals and bands the markup is usually no more than $30-40.
The markup for a thong was $30.
Most collar upgrades were about $195
Most backlines varied from bare bones $390 to $495. These prices did not include collars or headpieces, just tiaras.
Their VIP backline section was $700+
All Frontlines & Individuals were wire bra only. There was no option on the registration site to opt for a regular bra. This is quite limiting.
Many of the backlines did not have the option to add collars or headpieces. An a la carte approach would be greatly appreciated Krave.
Some of the frontlines were beautiful (i.e. Forbidden) but the backline literally had nothing to offer.
All frontline monokini's did not go past size L. This is not necessarily unusual, but it is still quite limiting and frustrating.
Costume & Pickup
To be fair and transparent I used a concierge service to pickup my costume so I cannot report on the actual process. My costume itself was beautiful, felt sturdy and I was overall happy. There were a few goodies in the box, but overall nothing special to report on. However, my size XL bikini was a joke, it fit like a thong. Luckily I had a pink swimsuit bottom of my own to wear instead. I saw multiple women on the road with alternate bottoms for my section. I was glad to know I was not alone. Krave needs to start offering full coverage bikini options.
Krave pulled the #1 slot on the road. Did we leave #1? Absolutely not. We were more like number 16 or 17. I can’t recall the exact number, but we sat in the sun for hours before we actually left the stadium. There were two breakfast options: meat and vegetarian. Both dishes were pastry. There was also tea, water and juice available. At one point they ran out of water, mainly because we stayed in the stadium well past our anticipated time.
When we finally got on the road I was quite pleased that many people did not have frontline wings or backpacks. Krave the Band is a big band by Cropover standards. There was absolutely no room to flaunt those costumes. There was an AC van open to all masqueraders. I can’t speak on the bathroom truck as I never used it! That Barbados heat had me sweating out all my fluids.
Krave the Band had countless performers and all the top DJ’s, many from New York such Kevin Crown and Riggo Suave. The road was pure vibes from beginning to end. There were drink runners throughout the day which helped keep congestion at the drinks truck to a minimum. As much as I love carnival I do not like long mas, so I was quite surprised at how much I enjoyed being on the road versus looking to see how close we were to finishing. If you like your road experience to be full of energy Krave might just be the band for you.
As we reached towards the end of Spring Garden we made our turn for lunch (aka dinner.) The truck drivers all did impressive reversals down a tight block. While I was impressed it also seemed quite dangerous. I hope in the future they can have more folks on the ground directing the masqueraders out of the way of the truck wheels. Lunch was at a nice restaurant/bar on the beach. I arrived fairly early and had no issues obtaining a full meal that tasted great.
Krave the Band did WAY better than I anticipated. I would certainly play with them again, but I wish their costumes were more affordable and had more accommodating options. And for the record, VIP folks did get their lobster this year.
Pay for costume delivery if you are comfortable with someone else signing off on your costume (and all its pieces!)
Don’t pre-register unless you want an Individual costume.
If you have special accommodations contact them to see if they can accommodate you.
They don’t start on time, so go ahead and schedule that make up appointment.