HomeCaribbean CultureIsland Insider, Vol 1: Pierre Goubault, CEO of Xodus Carnival

Island Insider, Vol 1: Pierre Goubault, CEO of Xodus Carnival


Carnival season is upon us! Are you ready?! We had the chance to speak to Pierre Goubault, who was recently appointed the CEO of Xodus Carnival.

Xodus Carnival was born as a passion project in 2017 and is now one of the most remarkable and premium bands in Jamaica. With Goubault at the forefront, he is focusing on enhancing the overall experience for revelers and growing the band in Jamaica and to other Carnvials around the world.

Check out Volume 1 of our Island Insider series to learn more about Goubault and to get the lowdown on what to expect at this years carnival.

Urban Journey: Can you share some background on yourself and what led you to starting Xodus?

Pierre Goubault: I started in the entertainment industry as a disc jock then became one of the founding members of Bloodline Sound System. I ventured into party promotion 25 years ago and that gave me the opportunity to work with every major alcohol brand and launch many amazing products, and on my own projects such as ATI/RTI weekend in Negril, now popularly known as Dream Weekend.

How the Xodus band originated is actually a funny story! After a group trip to Trinidad Carnival in 2016 the Directors of Dream Entertainment linked up with YUMA Carnival to join their Carnival Experience, we then invited them to Jamaica for carnival to Jump with us in our Envy Section within Bacchanal Carnival at that time. At the close of the parade, rum talk took over and the late Stefan Monteil, YUMA Founder, said “let’s start a band”, and the rest is really history.”

UJ: What’s your vision for Xodus Carnival Jamaica and globally in 2024 and beyond?

PG: We have made a lot of steps to re-define our company’s goals and our vision for the global Carnival space, not just our band. This is led by a detailed analysis of what our patrons’ needs are and how best we can accommodate, and exceed them, within the different regions we will operate in. My vision for this year and beyond is to expand Xodus Carnival into more territories and provide revelers with the same first world experience they’re used to while having Carnival in Jamaica.

UJ: Doing what you do is a tough job (but I am sure lots of fun!) What’s been the biggest challenge/lesson so far?

PG: While I do enjoy every aspect of my new position as the CEO, it’s WORK! Carnival is a lot more complex than just promoting events. From costume design, production, sales, distribution, events, marketing and not to mention Road March- think of it as a 6 month long festival. The biggest challenge that we face as a company is to top what we do year after year. With each staging of Xodus Carnival, immense focus is placed on curating amazing experiences for patrons and partners, overcoming challenges in the industry with production, vendors, etc. and forging a path for others to follow. We are big thinkers and doers and so raising the bar each year can sometimes be a big task but we have been able to get it done successfully so far.

UJ: What are you most excited about for Xodus Carnival in 2024?

PG: I think the 2024 Season Theme ” Mas Couture” and how it was translated to our costume presentation is my most exciting memory to date. In November 2023, we launched our in-house concept to creation costume design and production house called “MasCreate Studios” and the team has been doing an amazing job since. I can’t wait until everyone can see what they have created for our next staging in another region this year (it’s still a secret…).

UJ: What’s your favorite thing about your job?

PG: Challenging myself would be my answer. Finding new or more innovative ways to operate, using technical data to base decisions and breaking the norm of how Carnival bands operate and what procedures we adapted from our counterparts.

UJ: Can you give us a few personal insider tips for those coming to visit Jamaica for the first time?

PG: Jamaica is one of the most exciting countries to visit, there are so many places to go, things to do, experiences to have and food to eat. But I’d definitely recommend planning all flight & accommodations early and getting your costume order and all Xodus Fete tickets as early as you can. Also, try to visit some of the major tourist attractions in the city.

UJ: We know you recently threw a wildly successful Major Lazer Event! Can you share some highlights/your favorite moments from the event? Are there any other great artists Xodus is teaming up with and bringing to Jamaica or Globally?

PG: Oh, that event was a movie! You had to be there to feel the energy, words can’t describe it. The biggest challenge was trying to keep the sand in your toe experience authentic, but provide first class execution and logistics to the event. A memory for me was seeing patrons standing all around the turntables interacting with the DJs while more & more people are trying to get closer standing on every cooler to get a better view. We are always teaming up with some of the biggest names in the carnival industry, but not yet ready to announce any additional major acts that may be performing under the Xodus brand.

UJ: What can carnival-goers look forward to at Xodus Carnival this year?

PG: Patrons can look out for an even better experience for 2024, more carnival week fetes, shorter routes, activation along the route, amazing DJ & Artist line up, we have re-launched our lunch spot to now be the a Xodus Xperience Zone which will include breakfast kick off including hair & make up services, on site backpack distribution & cool down fete. Then we have some secrets our revelers will just have to experience on their own.

UJ: What’s your favorite thing about living in Jamaica?

PG: The diversity of cultures and the beauty this island holds.

UJ: What’s your life motto or your words to live by?

PG: I tell myself daily, Live life to the fullest, but with respect! Treat everyone as human and show respect no matter the class, color or creed.

UJ: What motivates you and inspires you daily?

PG: I would say my family plays an important role in my life, leaving a legacy for my kids and being an inspiration to whoever I interact with.

UJ: Who are your core partners Jamaica and globally?

PG: Our partners and sponsors are very extensive, Notably we have regional carnival partners K-Paya (Miami), Carnival by Krave (Barbados), Lila Nikole (Miami), Scorch Carnival, and YUMA (Trinidad), Island Vybz (Toronto). We are aligned with the Biggest Brands locally, led by Campari as our title sponsor for this, last and next season, and we just signed a significant multi-year sponsorship agreement with First Rock Group as well.

Additional sponsors this year are: 876 water, Pepsi, Lucozade, Dream solutions, Dream Weekend, Jamaica Observer, Andrews, KFC, Pegasus Hotel, Courtleigh Hotel, Carnival Glam Hub, FX Trader Cambio, ZIP FM, Courts Ready Cash, Swiss, Intranet Solutions, Peadialyte, Voltaren, Kisko, Chas E Ramson, Foska Oats, Hungry Jack, Elle & Vire, Recycling Partners of Jamaica, Carerras, Grace Foods, Tropical Rhythms, and Doritos.

So there you have it. We hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about Pierre Gaubault and Xodus Carnival. We sure did! Be sure to get your tickets for Xodus Carnival before they sell out, and stay tuned for more interesting interviews with our Island Insiders.

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