Here is the link for this year's competition, everything starts tonight around 8......or was that 9?
But anyways, it's that time again, it's Carnival Friday, Trinidad and Tobago is abuzz, thoroughly beset by a whirlwind of activity and anticipation as the "Greatest Show On Earth" begins in earnest. For those fortunate enough to be in Trinidad, somebody please jam a rolly polly for me.
Sadly, like many reading this, there is to be no Trinidad Carnival for yet another year, having suffered the misfortune of being stuck abroad for one reason or another. But as usual, thanks mainly to the robust broadband connections available to us and the proliferation of online streaming options, we foreign-based trinbagonians still experience a bit of the bacchanal.
It's just that this "experience" unfortunatley brings it's own unwanted form of bacchanal. Case in point, the aforementioned Soca Monarch finals......yes I can hear you all groaning already.
Those that go through it every year, you know of what I speak, the crashed servers, the broken links, the frozen video feeds and dropped audio; trying to watch Soca Monarch these past few years has often required the patience of Job. I even had a friend who resorted to watching it on Facetime through an ipad setup streaming from a tv in Trinidad.
Last year's experience I think was the absolute worst we'd had in years due in part to the removal of the pay structure previously in place to access the stream. Right on cue, the suddenly free service got slammed (I'm not sure why organizers didn't see that coming) and the servers were down and offline long before the show even got started. By the time we were able to find reliable access some kind soul on Ustream, our crew had already missed all of the Groovy Soca segment.
But this year promises to be different. Soca Monarch is now available over pay per view on many of the major US cable providers. The option is also available for paid online streaming; the hope is that this new system would limit the strain on existing infrastructure hopefully leading to a stress free viewing experience later tonight.
Have a Happy Carnival.
...........please Lord don't let them mess this up.