Three words come to mind when the word Myst is whispered. Three words come to mind when the event is branded with Myst. And three words come to mind when hordes of people are jamming through town in the Myst Carnival. Myst is creativity, innovation and reinvention.

Merging entertainment and excitement with their strong business principles, four young entrepreneurs Taslim Gordon, Marlon Rawlins, Michael Freeland and Daryll Matthew created Myst Carnival Inc., a concept that since its inception in 2008 has materialized into an evolution of Carnival and Carnival-related activities. A Myst Carnival is not just a season or series of events; a Myst Carnival is an experience unparalleled to any other.

Changing the landscape of Mas and Carnival, Myst, in six short years, has become one of the largest Carnival Bands on the road by changing the dynamics of the masquerader experience. Seeing the demand for premium entertainment beyond the two days of Carnival, Myst has introduced several novelties to include electronic registration; a central Mas Camp (aka the Myst CAPITOL) that has become another scene of entertainment and camaraderie; and weekly activities to prep Mystics for the climax of the Myst experience on Carnival Monday and Tuesday. And on these two days, Myst Carnival not only ensures its players’ safety with top security, but also their comfort with air-conditioned cool zones, and in-band paramedics.

Over the years, the Myst team has also expanded to ensure that their standard of excellence is maintained. Apart from the four directors, the Myst team includes Edwin Ambrose, Samantha Moitt, Athlyn Davis, Andre Edwards, Michai Robertson, Saranya Greenaway, Fana Allaway, Anjulie Edwards, Ayiesha Solomon, Peter Abraham and Mark Ralph.

Beginning with a mere 350 revellers, The band now boasts 1300 revellers. This is testament to the Myst motto: There is good Carnival, there is better Carnival, then there is Myst Carnival.

Feeling the Myst on Carnival

Myst Carnival continues to evolve and be a trendsetter in Antigua and Barbuda. Arguably, Myst has single handedly revolutionized the Carnival experience for all revelers.

In 2008, they reinvented and evolved the Band Launch. Unveil became a must, ushering in the Carnival season, and creating a building block for the experience of Mas. With its chic all-black attire, element of mystery, and unprecedented unveil of costumes, Myst Carnival spurred other Bands to revolutionize their launches. In essence, Band Launches have now become competitive affairs cemented in the island’s calendar of entertainment.

The first to introduce the Monday Wear in Antigua, Mystics blaze through the streets in uniformity on Carnival Monday in their custom tanks and shorts. Embellishing their Monday Wear and enjoying an even deeper sense of revelery, not worrying about wear and tear on costumes for the next day, Monday Wear affords Mystics the opportunity to let loose and get on bad!

The opening of Carnival has also taken on new meaning. When it was once businesses who took to the street in their T-shirts, Myst Carnival has contributed to the evolution of what is now known as the highly-anticipated T-shirt Mas! The opening affair not only creates the precedent for the climax of the season, but it affords those Mystics who won’t be able to join in the revellery on Carnival Monday and Tuesday, due to other obligations, the opportunity to get a small dosage of the Myst experience.

Joining the growing plethora of all-inclusive fetes, Myst Carnival introduced Heelz, an all-inclusive fete that invited patrons to don their best, giving the ladies the opportunity to experience a true Metropolitan club ambience in their stilettos. An evening of premium bars, a variety of catered cuisine, a live performance from reigning Soca Monarch Tian Winter, and the best mixes from DJs Tanny and Nez, Heelz reflects the Mystic experience.

Creating an entire season around Myst Carnival, patrons and guests are welcomed to join the various bar crawls held in the months leading up to Carnival Monday and Tuesday. Going a step further, HUG was created as a drive to encourage Mystics to band together in fund raising activities for charitable events. The Scavenger Hunt, for example, sees teams compete as they race through the island testing their trivia knowledge, but the greatest satisfaction comes from knowing that proceeds are donated to a charitable cause.

Undeniably, Carnival has indeed felt the Myst!