title taken from Ramajay by Lyrikal
Brooklyn Labor Day Carnival Weekend 2015
Labor Day weekend in Brooklyn is the culmination of the summer season of partying. The annual celebration includes parties, boat rides, and lastly, the West Indian Labor Day parade on Eastern Parkway. The summer season of partying was restricted due to the loss of large venues like Pulse 48. With fewer venues, promoters also ventured into Manhattan and Queens.
With Vice Afterwork and Ransom in Manhattan and Lyrikal's 9th Level Experience in Brooklyn, party goers had great options for Thursday night. However, Lyrikal's party merged with Ransom, which caused confusion as people were not sure what type of event they were in for and others simply were not interested in making the trek out to Manhattan. Ransom went from being a deejay-centric event to an all out concert featuring Nadia Batson, Ricardo Drue, and of course Lyrikal. Unfortunately, this meant that most people ended up partying in Manhattan on Thursday night.
The West Indian-American Day Carnival Association's (WIADCA) annual Brass Fest at Brooklyn Museum on Friday night is usually so full of people that the stage is barely visible from the back. With a lineup that included Skinny Fabulous, Ricardo Drue, and The Vikings Bunji Garlin and Fay-Ann Lyons, I expected the entire field to be as crowded as it had been. Not even close. While there were still a lot of people, the numbers did not seem to compare to previous years.
The considerable drop off in attendees did not affect the integrity of the event. The Vikings still brought the crowd to their feet the way that only they can.
On Saturday night, I attended two very different events. Tribe Ignite had a deejay lineup that included DJ Private Ryan and Back to Basics and since I had never been to Melrose Ballroom in Long Island City, I opted to try that party. Despite confusion over the dress code and whether or not it was a cooler fete, the sold out party was still one of the biggest events of the weekend, but it drew a more reserved crowd.
From Queens, I headed back to Brooklyn for King Swady's I Am Soca. This ended up being my favorite event of the weekend! I arrived in time to see Patrice Roberts doing a little wine in front of a very focused young man. Surprise guest Ricardo Drue brought down the house with "Vagabond" and Brooklyn's premiere artist, Lyrikal, headlined the event. With encouragement from the crowd, Patrice Roberts returned to the stage for an encore, wherein she belted out the party's namesake, "I Am Soca."
Unlike other parties that night in Brooklyn, I Am Soca went off without incident. The party ended at 4am as scheduled and all artists advertised were in attendance and, despite the heat in the venue, Babyface of Elegance Sounds managed to get the crowd into one big circle to close out the event. If this is what is to be expected at I Am Soca, I look forward to the Miami edition!
My weekend ended with the West Indian Parade on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn. The annual parade has had its share of issues and incidents, but this year was so much fun. I was able to see all of the beautiful costumes and hear the deejays and emcees. Congratulations to 1st place winner Ramajay Mas! For the first time ever, I actually thought the masqueraders were having more fun than those of us watching from the sidelines. Hmmm...should I?
Click here for photos!