Two years after the last local Carnival, scores of Trinidad and Tobago's entertainers, mas producers and party lovers begin five days of celebrations in Cancun, Mexico today for what has been labelled Melé Destinations.
The event will be Machel Montano's return to the Carnival arena for the first time since 2020, when he ended his Machel Monday series of concerts with The Wedding.
Events ceased soon after with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and although some artistes found opportunities abroad, Montano has kept public appearances to the very bare minimal, the most notable being his performance of a few songs at the 2022 MahaShivaratri celebrations in India in March.
He is listed for two big performances with his team, The Monk Band, at the Cancun events.
Destra Garcia, Patrice Roberts, Kerwin Dubois, Farmer Nappy, Skinny Fabulous, Lyrikal, Voice, Viking Ding Dong, Problem Child and Beenie Man are also among the line-up of entertainers for the Carnival events in Mexico.
The events are being held at the Moon Palace Resort from April 28 to May 2.
They will also showcase an A-list of local and regional DJs, including Travis World, Lurbz, Lord Hype, Private Ryan and Aaron Fingal.
The venue for some of the Mele Destinations events.
The first day will feature a party called Bienvenidos a Melé! in which Montano will perform his first 20 years of music, in a show called HITS - The Early Days, followed by several days of parties and mas, including Mas in Mexico hosted by premier Carnival band TRIBE on Day 3.
Other events include Hydrate FOAM sponsored by Carib, Ignite GLOW sponsored by Angostura White Oak, a Las Lap Carnival Cooldown, 40 Years A LEGEND featuring Machel Montano performing his latest hits, and a Soca VS Dancehall Aqua Spin.
Melé was initial designed to be a cruise as part of a collaboration between TRIBE and Montano, but the cruise was postponed and changed into the current event.
The venue is an all-inclusive resort in Mexico offering signature amenities, luxurious accommodations, 24-hour room service, gourmet dining, and top-shelf drinks among numerous other attractions.
According to Montano, though the cruise industry is taking the necessary steps to navigate a way forward for the future, cruising “will be ready for all the melé we intend to cause on the high seas at a later time”.
After months of consideration, the Melé team made the decision to move “from ship to shore,” with Moon Palace Resort, Cancun, as their home for five days and four nights.
Mele organisers following a meeting at the Moon Palace Resort in Cancun, Mexico.
When asked about the impact of COVID-19 and the shift from ship to shore, Dean Ackin, CEO of TRIBE spoke about the massive changes the Events and Entertainment industry has undergone over the last 18 months.
He maintained that the key to the continuity and longevity of any brand is innovation.
“The TRIBE brand is no stranger to innovative concepts having introduced all-inclusive mas to T&T Carnival some 16 years ago” Ackin stated.
Source: The quotes from Machel Montano and Dean Akin used in this article were sourced from a press release issued by Melé Destinations.