Ian and members' suggestions for planning parties that include Ian's music.
Over the years Ian has performed at and helped people plan countless tropical-themed parties. He's learned a thing or two about tropical parties while doing this.
Ian's Initial Suggestions:
1. Make sure to understand the logistical needs of the band so they can put on a great show.
2. Put the band close to the action (food serving, bar, etc.).
3. Don't just hope for perfect weather and not plan for bad weather. While having a glorious, sunny day for your tropical party is ideal to most people, some of the best tropical parties that Ian has been a part of in the Northwest have been in the pouring rain. Hey, it rains in the tropics too... a lot. A little bit of planning can assure that your party will be fun regardless of the weather.
If You Want To Encourage Interaction with the Music/Musicians (Not Just Background Music):
4. Leave a little space for dancing.
5. Limbo sticks are a lot of fun at a tropical party! This can be just a broom stick or a fancier "official" limbo stick with different levels. (Be careful with the "limbo sticks" from party stores that are ballons where you put water in the base. They don't really seem to stand up.)
6. You can purchase or order some shakers and musical instruments for guests to play and take home with them. One place that we have used is MakesParties.com. If you wanted to get really fancy you could even have something printed on them to commemorate your party.
7. Let people know there will be oportunities to win some prizes participating with the band. Ian does things like a hand jive competition, prizes for knowing who wrote certain songs, limbo competition, etc.
8. Will there be kids there? One thing Ian does at school shows and retirment homes (and even sometimes at restaurants and bars) is to have audience create their own musical instruments out of recycled materials before the show. He then gets them up performing with the band on their instruments and they show the band how to play their instruments and the band then creates original music with these instruments. Another option is to have a craft table station where the kids and adults can create their own instruments at your party. This idea may take a little more planning to pull off but it will certainly make your party unique! Find out more about this concept at www.recycalypso.com.
Caribbean Themed Parties:
There are now a number of very yummy Caribbean restaurants in town. My favorite is Pam's Kitchen in the University District in Seattle. You might contact them about catering.
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