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HANDMADE DISCLAIMER AND NO REFUND POLICY

Please note that all our carnival costumes are meticulously handmade by master artisans one piece at a time. Due to this process, there may be a slight variation from one item to the next and slight variations from the sample costume pictured. Such variations are inherent in the manufacturing of handmade products, so you may expect minor distinctions that will make your purchase special and truly one of a kind. Once an item is purchased, no refunds are accepted. This is due to cost of materials and other expenses as each piece are planned, designed, customized, crafted and purchased to meet production and delivery deadlines.

SFCBLA Statement of Mas Band Standards
(Masquerader Bill of Rights)

Miami Carnival is a festive celebration of Caribbean culture including a variety of cultural events¬† embodying the key elements of Carnival culture: Mas, Steelband and musical presentations.¬† Hosted by the Miami Broward One Carnival Host Committee, Inc. (‚ÄúMBOCHCI‚ÄĚ), a Florida not¬† for profit corporation, Miami Carnival culminates in a parade of the bands every year over¬† Columbus Day weekend (the ‚ÄúParade of the Bands‚ÄĚ). Unlike many Caribbean countries, Miami¬† Carnival is produced with public resources and private sector support in collaboration with a¬† number of important community stakeholders, including the South Florida Band Leaders¬† Association (‚ÄúSFCBLA‚ÄĚ or ‚ÄúAssociation‚ÄĚ), a Florida not-for-profit corporation.¬†

The SFCBLA is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote educational, cultural,  social, and recreational activities related to Miami Carnival. The SFCBLA promotes respect and  shared understanding among diverse ethnicities in South Florida. The SFCBLA also establishes  standards and protocols to help ensure that promoters and other entities do not exploit carnival  Mas bands and masqueraders.  

Mas bands are private entities funded solely by their owners, committee members, silent  investors, and sponsors. Mas bands consist of sections by the band or other entities/individuals  known as private sections. They are the heart and soul of a carnival parade and consist of  masqueraders (you), who wear king, queen, individual, or group costumes. Masqueraders  contract directly with the Mas band (or affiliated private section) of their choice to purchase  costumes and other Miami Carnival related event access and accommodations. Band  owners/band leaders are responsible for executing their costume designs, music trucks,  food/drinks on the route, and an enjoyable experience for their masqueraders.

Sections are segments of a Mas band owned, controlled, and managed by the band or other  private entities. The bandleader holds the house sections. Mas bands and their section leaders  coordinate costumes that match a theme to tell a story for a particular year. They design and  create a coordinated look, so no costume in a band has the same colors or looks similar. 

Depending on the respective Mas band, outside entities/individuals may contract to operate¬† private sections within a Mas band. In this regard, they pay a fee to the Mas Band for every¬† individual in their section to cover all the ancillaries (food, drinks, cups, bags, tickets,¬† wristbands, et al.). The private sections are responsible for designing, selling, producing, and¬† marketing their costumes in coordination with the band’s theme for the year. Private sections do¬† not control or have ownership interests with the respective Mas band.¬†

Though section leaders are most often responsible for the production and distribution of¬† costumes, the bandleader’s responsibility is to supervise proper execution, customer service,¬† and experience for the masqueraders. All correspondence regarding costume issues (such as¬† production and distribution) will come from the section leader of a private section or the house¬† section. The band leader still must coordinate deadlines, enforce them, and provide information¬† to the private section leader to ensure a cohesive process with the band’s operations.¬†

2. Masquerader Expectations   

As a masquerader, you should expect the following consumer amenities in all phases of  your registration and participation in Miami Carnival with your registered SFCBLA Mas Band:  

  1. Miami Carnival Showcase (Band Launch)  
  2. Masqueraders have the right to see the costume for sale in its actual color.  2. Masqueraders have the right to be informed of all options if not displayed at the band  launch.  
  3. Registration. 
  4. Masqueraders have the right to see the costume for sale in its actual color.  2. Masqueraders have the right to be informed of all options if not displayed at the band  launch.  
  5. Masqueraders will not be denied registration in any band or section due to race, color,  national origin, sex, sexual orientation, physical appearance, or expression of gender.  4. Masqueraders have the right to be informed of the section leader or designer.  5. Masqueraders have the right to review registration and payment details, whether  online or through other means.  
  6. Masqueraders have the right to know the band’s policy on registration changes or¬† cancellations.¬†¬†
  7. Masqueraders have the right to be informed of a clear payment schedule. 
  8.  Mas bands have the right to accept payment in any form of their choosing. 
  1. Masqueraders have the right to clear and timely communication with their section  leader or band leadership for any concerns or questions about their registration. 

10. Masqueraders have the right to be informed of their amenities via the Mas band  website before registration. 

Costume Resale. 

  1. Masqueraders have the right to initiate the sale of their costume package. However,  section leaders and Mas bands must approve the sale and secure written  acknowledgment from the purchaser with a substitute registration. 

D. Costume/J’ouvert Distribution and Schedules.

  1. Masqueraders have the right to clear and consistent communication regarding  costume distribution schedules and any changes.  
  2. Masqueraders can review costume distribution schedules and changes through Mas¬† band (or affiliated private section) social media main feed posts, stories, and email.¬† 3. Masqueraders will be provided a “WILL CALL” option, with specific location and hours¬† of operation, at the expense of the band/section leader to pick up any J‚Äôouvert¬† packages before the event.¬†¬†
  3. Bands or section leaders will not resell costumes paid in full if the masquerader¬† advises them; they will not attend and want their costume mailed to them. The¬† band/section leader will contact masqueraders to arrange shipment of the costume at¬† the masquerader’s expense within thirty (30) days after the event.¬†¬†
  4. Masqueraders have the right to reasonable compensation for any distribution delays  that would require the masquerader to incur transportation expenses, loss of  participation in purchased events/fetes, unreasonable delays of four (4) hours or more  waiting for their costumes, or paid costume pick up services. Transportation expenses  include (Uber, Lyft, Taxi, and Public Transportation) but not auto rental, limo service,  or private automobiles. Loss of use of event/fete tickets due to returning to collect  costumes, (must include proof of purchase, date purchased, time purchased,  purchase price) physical or digital tickets. Cost of paid costume delivery service, must  provide a paid receipt. These reimbursements can be no greater than 30% of  costume cost. 
  5. Unless informed in advance, masqueraders have the right to receive their  COMPLETE costume in a reasonable likeness of what was displayed at registration.  Masqueraders have the right to receive compensation for any changes to the  costumes if materials used decreased by more than 5% (Feathers & Gems).  
  6. Masqueraders should expect to be informed of any changes to the costume prior to  distribution (as materials may become unavailable or discontinued before or during  production).  
  7. The masquerader does not have the right to refund their order due to changes in  materials.  
  8. The masquerader has the right to request reasonable provisions (i.e. substitution of  equivalent costume, credit towards future event participation, etc.) If bands or section  leaders do not provide their order in full at distribution.  
  9. The masquerader has the right to request reasonable provisions (i.e. repair or  substitution of equivalent bodywear, feather work, etc.) if provided defective  bodywear or feather work at distribution. 

E. The Road Experience 

  1. The masquerader has the right to request and receive the minimum on-road  amenities as promoted and committed as part of the registration, including, unlimited  drinks, truck, music, selected food choice(s), and snacks), except alcohol declined  due to visible intoxication.  
  2. The masquerader has the right to a full cup when requesting water, coconut water, or  any other hydrating substances provided by the truck.  
  3. Bands have the right to refuse bar service of alcoholic beverages without the band’s¬† custom cup.¬†¬†
  4. The masquerader should expect servers to refuse alcoholic beverages if they appear  heavily intoxicated. Masqueraders may also face refusal if they share drinks with  minors and non-masqueraders at the parade venue.  
  5. The masquerader should expect a clearly defined meet up/starting point.  F. The masquerader has a right to a safe and enjoyable road experience. The Mas band  will provide security to ensure safety for masqueraders around the moving vehicles  during the parade.  

3. Filing a Complaint or Request for Mediation with the SFCBLA 

  1. Pursuant to alternative dispute resolution provisions in their Mas band registration  agreement, masqueraders dissatisfied with their Miami Carnival experience based  on an alleged violation of the standards set forth above, may initiate a complaint or  request mediation with the SFCBLA after first attempting good faith negotiation with  the respective Mas band (or affiliated private section) as provided for in the  registration agreement.  
  2. The SFCBLA will only consider complaints and requests for mediation of claims  related to the standards set herein and categorized in specific Complaint and  Request for Mediations forms made available on the SFCBLA website at:  www.sfcbla.org Complaint and Request for Mediation forms submitted to the  SCFBLA should be accompanied by all supporting documentation and proof of the  alleged violation.  
  3. Masquerader shall submit the Complaint or Request for Mediation within forty-five  (45) days after the date of the Parade of Bands for the subject year. Complaints or  Requests for Mediation first submitted more than forty-five days after the Parade of  Bands will not be considered by the SFCBLA.  
  4. In response to Complaints, after review and investigation the SFCBLA, by and  through its Compliance and Dispute Resolution Committee, may take any of the  following actions against Mas bands found to be in violation of the above standards:  
  5. Impose penalties and monetary sanctions or fines up to $2,000 per violation;  2. Restrict association membership and benefits;  
  6. Recommend Mediation or Arbitration;  
  7. Recommend suspension or expulsion from future Miami Carnival participation.  
  8. After a Complaint is submitted, the masquerader shall expect a written response of the  underlying claim within sixty (60) days from the receipt of the Complaint. 

4  

  1. After a Request for Mediation is submitted, the masquerader and Mas band shall expect  a written response and/or proposed mediation date within fifteen (15) days from receipt  of the Request for Mediation.  

G. Pursuant to alternative dispute resolution provisions in their Mas band registration  agreement, the parties (Mas band, or affiliated private section, and masquerader), shall  submit to binding arbitration if the dispute is not resolved after mediation. Arbitration  shall be conducted by a professional neutral pursuant to terms and procedures set forth  in the registration agreement. 

4. Contract Terms 

The SFCBLA is a volunteer based not-for-profit corporation. The SFCBLA does not enter into¬† contractual relationships with masqueraders. In order to understand all rights and¬† responsibilities, the SFCBLA encourages all masqueraders to carefully review the Mas band¬† registration agreement (‚ÄúContract‚ÄĚ) before registering. The masquerader should confirm that the¬† Mas band (or private section) has agreed to comply with the standards set forth in this¬† document. In addition to the standards set forth above, Mas band Contracts typically include¬† provisions for payment deadlines, costume delivery, remedies and accommodations for breach,¬† alternative dispute resolution (i.e. mediation and arbitration), exceptions for force majeure, and¬† disclaimers for handmade products. Masqueraders should review all such provisions carefully¬† and consult with their own attorney‚Äôs where necessary.¬†¬†

5. Penalties and Fines 

In order to enforce the standards set forth in this document, the SFCBLA has empowered a¬† committee to oversee compliance and dispute resolution (the ‚ÄúCompliance and Dispute¬† Resolution Committee‚ÄĚ). The Compliance and Dispute Resolution Committee shall be¬† comprised of:¬†¬†

Association Committee Member (Active Member, elected by peers)  

Chair of the Compliance and Dispute Resolution Committee (Active Member, elected by peers)  Secretary of SFCBLA  

Vice President of the SFCBLA  

President of SFCBLA  

Legal Counsel for SFCBLA  

Representative of (MBOCHC)  

The Compliance and Dispute Resolution Committee (the ‚ÄúCommittee‚ÄĚ) shall review Complaints¬† and Requests for Mediation submitted by masqueraders and alleging violations of the standards¬† set forth in this document. The Committee may also consider allegations of violations of¬† Association Bylaws submitted by members of the Association. As noted above, the Committee¬† has the power to determine whether penalties, fines, and/or sanctions (including recommended¬† suspension or expulsion from participating in Miami Carnival) shall be imposed. Monetary fines¬† imposed by the Committee will range from $200 – $2,000 per violation from first time violation to¬† repeat offenders. The Committee‚Äôs decision with respect to penalties and fines shall be binding.¬† In the event the Committee recommends and appoints a mediator to help resolve a dispute¬†between a Mas band (or private section) a¬†band (or private section) and masquerader, the mediator‚Äôs recommendation nd masquerader, the mediator‚Äôs recommendation¬†¬†shall be non-binding. However, if the dispute is escalated to arbitration, the arbitrator‚Äôs decision¬† binding. However, if the dispute is escalated to arbitration, the arbitrator‚Äôs decision binding. However, if the dispute is escalated to arbitration, the arbitrator‚Äôs decision¬† shall be binding pursuant to the terms of the Contract. All fines and penalties assessed by the shall be binding pursuant to the terms of the Contract. All fines and penalties assessed by the shall be binding pursuant to the terms of the Contract. All fines and penalties assessed by the¬† Committee or imposed in arbitration must be satisfied prior to future participation in Miami¬†¬†imposed in arbitration must be satisfied prior to future participation in Miami¬†imposed in arbitration must be satisfied prior to future participation in Miami¬† Carnival.¬†¬†

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