Caribbean Beat Magazine

Carnival time again

Michael Goodwin shares some internet websites that deal with Trinidad & Tobago Carnival

Trinidad Carnival is here again. Whether you’re planning your trip to Trinidad and Tobago now or can only play via the internet, here are some sites to whet your appetite and get you up to speed.




Caribbean-style Carnival (however you spell it) has turned out to be one of the islands’ most successful exports. Carnival fans can click on the Trinidad button here to gain on-line access to 2002 dates, city guides, slide shows, music, photo galleries, links to mas makers, late-breaking carnival news, and more.


Trinbago Carnival 


At last there’s a site you can log onto all year round for total coverage of Trinidad’s Carnival. Operated by T&T’s National Carnival Commission, this amazing site should be your first stop when planning for Carnival 2002. You’ll find a full set of listings for last year’s contest winners, as well as hot links to this year’s mas camps, panyards, calypso tents, fetes and other entertainment. Even a weather report. Tickets for 2002 will be available here, as well as an extraordinary range of news and useful links.


Carnival 2001 


This high-profile site will probably be updated for 2002, but even if it isn’t, it’s still a great stop for anyone thinking about visiting Trinidad and Tobago for carnival for the first time. You’ll find fantastic background information on J’Ouvert; a list of calypso venues, dates and special events; an insider’s view of the panyard scene, a guide to all the hot fetes, a soca jukebox and an excellent set of carnival archives and links.


Port of Spain Carnival Map 


A good map of Port of Spain is just as important as a bottle of high-powered sunblock. This one shows all the carnival routes, identifies mas camps and panyards and is interactive.



For serious mas players, advance registration in the band of your choice is essential to make sure you get into the same section as your pals and to ensure your costume covers as much (or as little) of you as you desire. If you live in Trinidad, this is easy. If not, internet registration is the way to go.


Carnival Bands, Leaders, and Mas Camps


Want to play mas? This comprehensive list includes every band in Trinidad, from Barbarossa to Young Harts. It also provides street addresses and (where available) phone numbers, but no web URLs.



Carnival would be nothing without the sweet sound of steel, but very few bands have their own websites. Here are a few that do.


BP Renegades 


Renegades are one of the leading steelbands, and this site features fascinating slices of band history, a good version of the story of how pan was invented in Trinidad, and a detailed biography of Renegades’ arranger Jit Samaroo, plus audio and video clips of the band in full flight. As the site proclaims: “Who ent hear go feel de music.”




The glorious history of Desperadoes spans three eras — from the early 40s to today. This band inspires loyalty from its legions of fans, who can be found from high on Laventille Hill (where the band’s panyard boasts a spectacular view) to the ritziest neighbourhoods in Trinidad. The site includes a number of fabulous stories about Rudolph Charles, the band’s legendary leader.


Pan Trinbago Steelband Listings 


Pan Trinbago’s new website is a fantastic resource for steelpan fanatics. In addition to a vast amount of fascinating background information on Trinidad and Tobago’s national instrument (a glossary of terms, instruments, listings of literature and pan pioneers, coming events and so on), you’ll find a full listing of every steelband in T&T with a mailing address, the leader’s name, a contact number and (in some cases) an e-mail address and website.



Calypso and soca fuel the fetes and tents that keep Carnival babies jumping from dusk to dawn. There are quite a few sites devoted to bands and musicians.


David Rudder




Square One 





Trinidad Calypso Tent 


This is one of the oldest-established sites on the Caribbean scene. You can listen to a programme of kaiso music that changes weekly, and while the sweet sounds play you can check out calypso discographies, special tributes to Kitchener and Sparrow, and a list that reveals the real names of hundreds of calypsonians. If this doesn’t put you in the mood for carnival, nothing will.


Finally, getting there is half the fun.




Not to blow our own horn, but when you’re planning your trip to Carnival 2002, try our splendid new website. BWIA is celebrating over 60 years of dedicated service as the leading airline of the Caribbean, and in addition to all the usual online services you’d expect (ticketing, schedules, cargo information, vacation packages, duty-free specials, and online enrollment in the BWEE Miles programme) you’ll find a complete itinerary for the West Indies cricket team.