Monday, July 22, 2013

Kingston's Summer Soca Scene

A couple years ago, I never would have thought that there would be so many soca parties in Jamaica outside of its carnival season. With the many summer parties, I assumed that it would be hard to get enough patrons for a successful fete.  The truth is that there is a die-hard soca group who don't mind partying to soca all year which ensures a successful soca event.

I missed Carnival Rewine and the SOS cooler fete last month, but was able to attend Soca vs Dancehall and the Tailwind Blocko Cooler fete.

Soca vs Dancehall
July 13, 2013
Hope Gardens
JA$2500

This was my second time at a Soca vs Dancehall event.  It could just be my bias, but for me, it was just okay. I kept reminding myself that it was not an exclusive soca event so I shouldn't expect too much.  One of the shortcomings of being a Trini in Jamaica is that we tend to expect soca themed events to be similar those in T&T which is probably why I didn't love this party. I was also told that I got to the event too late (which I did), so I didn't get to appreciate the earlier soca sets.  I really didn't mind the dancehall; it's just that the mix of the dancehall and the soca wasn't my thing...

the best crowd shot I got (still can't master my camera)
But all was not bad.  Hope Gardens was an appropriate venue for these fetes- it's not too big and not too small.  In addition, there was easy access to the drinks at the bar and the Johnnie was flowing. More importantly, patrons didn't have to settle for cheap liquor.  Also, the restrooms were clean which is always important when chasing alcohol with coconut water...

The organizers of Soca vs Dancehall have established loyal followers which include those Jamaicans who are not 100% into soca.  Ultimately, I do see it as a staple even for the summer soca scene...

Tailwind Blocko Cooler Fete
July 20th, 2013
Norbrook Acres Rd and XS club
JA$1500

Now this was a strange event and I'm not sure what happened.  Much of it can be attributed to the current noise abatement laws and its effects on parties held in residential areas in Kingston. 

The cooler fete was advertised as a blocko on Norbrook Acres Rd which looked like a very posh area to me. Not to upset the residents, parking was accommodated at a nearby school and we were shuttled to the venue.  Although I was grateful for the shuttle, it was inconvenient to carry the cooler in the bus...

Once in the venue, it was clear that DJ Richie Ras had set the tone and the soca was pumping.  For about an hour, I was enjoying my drinks and the music until a little after 10pm when it was announced that the police had instructed the organizers to end the fete.  They also said that the fete would continue at XS club in Liguanea Post Mall.  What???? This announcement was confusing because my ticket indicated that the fete time was 4pm-12am....

I really didn't want to go to this new venue because I had lost all interest and vibes, but I left for XS anyway.  Honestly, the hour I spent there wasn't bad, but this event wasn't an indoor one and I felt like I was in a club and not at a fete, and I don't like clubs. Thank goodness the music was still great and people were enjoying themselves...

The lesson here was clear- end your fete at 10:00pm...

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