title taken from "Heart of Me" by Giselle The Wassi One and Edwin Yearwood
Memorial Weekend 2016 Review
Is it just me, or was this past Memorial Weekend a real disappointment? I used to abandon sleep and sobriety for four full days in order to take advantage of the kickoff to the summer party season. This time around, I actually had two nights of deep sleep as this was one of the tamest Memorial Weekends I've ever experienced.
I kicked off my Memorial Weekend partying early. On Wednesday, Caribbean Quiet Events held a patio party at Place to Beach in Coney Island called Silent Island. You might think that headphone parties are old news, but timing is everything. Most people were ready to turn up for Memorial Weekend, but they were not ready to join team no sleep. Silent Island went from 6pm to midnight, which was good for me because I do have a day job. Deejays like Milo Myles, Lady Drea, and Back to Basics played everything from soca and dancehall to 90s throwbacks, making it hard to determine the winning team.
On Thursday, Shorblu's weekly Vice Afterwork was too much vibes! My only complaint is that they need to find a larger venue. A large group of people trying to navigate around couches and tables, trying to dance while others make their way to the bar requires too much geometry. Yes, opening the floor below was good, but with summer approaching people will want to be on the roof where the action is. I prefer when they take the party to the larger space of DL, which better accommodates the kind of crowd Shorblu attracts.
Verve on Friday night was brilliant! The Brooklyn Children's Museum was packed with the grown and sexy looking to have a good time. The draw for me was the deejay lineup, which included Back to Basics, D'Bandit from Toronto, and Trinidad's Lord Hype - of whom I have recently become a huge fan... or stalker. It seemed like the whole of Brooklyn was in this place. I actually bounced up people I haven't seen in YEARS! Unfortunately, since this is a kids' museum, there is no actual bar set up, but the organizers did their best with what they had and I was able to get my four Jack & Cokes (don't judge me) rather quickly considering the amount of people in attendance.
After that, the weekend was basically a crapshoot. Some events were hits, some were misses. Ice Gold and Green had an epic turnout and no scandal (that I'm aware of). The long line to get into Gargiulos Parking Lot on Coney Island was no deterrent to the masses who were excited for the paint and powder fete. According to Ms. Jouvert, who came up from Maryland, the party was "epic as usual." In fact, you can look out for her IGG in the DC-area on June 19th.
Yet it was Brooklyn Mirage confirming that they did not acquire a liquor license that sent promoters scrambling to find other venues at the last minute. Kes the Band relocated their Saturday night party to Mazi Nightclub in Queens, which does not have proper lighting for a live stage show, resulting in the band basically performing in the dark. Mawnin Neighbor advertised an outdoor event, but was also relocated to Mazi on Sunday night, which resulted in ticketholders looking to sell their tickets to would-be partygoers or looking for refunds.
The biggest shocker was when B2B Entertainment's much-anticipated Shine was cancelled. The event was also scheduled to be at Mirage and later moved to Stage 48 in Manhattan. However, it was announced soon after that the event would be shelved this year. The news was a disappointment to many, but to his credit, DJ Back to Basics promptly communicated to his supporters how they could obtain refunds.
For those unable to attend Shine, there appeared to be hope. Natalie Lamming, owner of D'Savannah in Brooklyn, brought out top soca artists for her annual Shhh party on Memorial Monday. The party drew a huge crowd as this was the only outdoor option on Monday. This resulted in a terribly long line made worse by slow security checks. Instagram and Twitter were littered with posts from irate patrons who stood in line for over 2 hours only to be denied entry. As a woman with a brand to maintain, she too apologized on social media and promised refunds to those who were turned away.
It is hard to pinpoint exactly what went wrong this weekend. Was the loss of one venue the problem, or is the problem that the lack of venues that can accommodate the sheer volume of socaholics in Brooklyn persists? I would say we can always fall back on boat rides, but recent events with folks trying to storm a popular boat ride may affect that option as well.
Whatever the cause, I hope that this is no indication of what is to come this summer. So was it just me, or was this weekend a let down? Let me know your thoughts and comments.