This was a fantastic tour. Well worth the money and truly memorable. I have to apologize because I don't have the tour guide's name with me as I write this review. Truly sorry, because she was fantastic. She has a great personality and loves Trinidad. Her enthusiasm is infectious and you could not help but be excited about your adventure. On this tour, we met one of the owners of the tour company don't have his name with me either, who was also very nice and informative.
We went to several yards, not all were practicing that night. It is an experience to see the amount of vending by each yard. Food and drink are plentiful. Also, some yards have souvenirs available, which is rare in Trinidad, from my experience.
This tour starts after 8pm. It won't take long to get into the performances and forget the time. The crowds are there to hear the practice. I found the crowds to be mature and the entire tour was very safe and comfortable. The bands may go over a particular portion of a song over and over. I was surprised at how, after a while, I was able to note the subtle imperfection that the band leader heard and restarts the group. Another note, you are allowed to approach the band members and observe them playing, up close! I did get some great video.
Alas, all good things must come to an end. We were returned to our hotel with a new appreciation for the enormity of the impact that pan has on the young and old Trinidadians. Next time I go to Trinidad, I will take this tour again.