My summer kicked off innocently enough with a relaxing trip to Guyana. That was supposed to be my last bit of relaxation before the summer party season kicked off. I had my events list all set, including my first trip to Barbados Cropover, but health concerns forced me to miss out. Although I could not personally take advantage of all of the Carnivals and fetes, I collected the highlights to bring you my can't-miss events from Summer '17.
I’m dubbing this the West Indian Coachella. LL Cool Blaze brought the concept to Miami, Florida on July 3rd. The 12-hour outdoor event featured some top deejays from various genres like DJ Sliink, DJ 4B, and DJ Private Ryan. While there was little turnout (possibly due to its being scheduled over the July 4th weekend) the folks who did make it there had a great time!
This is an event worth supporting, so here are some recommendations for the organizers:
Provide relief from the heat. Tents, umbrellas, or tarps would allow patrons to utilize the entire space. We found a group of people hiding behind the large billboard in an effort to avoid the sun.
Stagger the stage show. While Bunji Garlin is a great headliner, it would be better to stagger the live entertainment throughout the day. I would suggest 4 artistes from around the Caribbean who would perform every 3 hours to make sure that the crowd has a reason to stay stage side. I would love to see Spice, Lavaman, Rupee, and Machel Montano.
Allow coolers. When I asked what they would like to see next year, resoundingly patrons said they would like to bring coolers since this is a great opportunity for liming over the long weekend.
I would love for Electric Karnival to grow and become another reason for West Indians to head to Florida.
Grenadians are notorious for coming out in droves to mash up fetes so it is no surprise that there would be a large turnout for Grenada Day at the Old Boys High Field in Brooklyn.
Vendors sold their food, clothes, and even bottles of their special alcoholic mixes. International Grenadian deejay Kevin Crown kicked off the stage show which was headlined by artistes Shortpree, Inspector, and Wuss Wayz.
I am glad that I was able to attend the family day type celebration of culture so here is what I think can make this even better.
- Publicize this to non-Grenadians. If I was not closely connected to SocaSaySo, I may not have known about this and I would have missed out. Give all of us an opportunity to share in the celebration.
- Bring more artistes. I would love this to be a can't-miss event for artistes as well. How great would it be to have well known or lesser known artistes unite to show off Grenadian pride? I'd be there for that!
I had a great time and will definitely continue to support this event. See you next year at Grenada Day in Brooklyn.
Soca titans Machel Montano and Bunji Garlin set aside their differences this year and provided socaholics with a monster track called "Buss Head." To promote not just this song but the unity it represents, they decided to take their show on the road with a worldwide tour. Because of the significance in both of their careers, the duo had to bring the Buss Head show to Brooklyn.
The party was marred with controversy over its 3pm start time as it would detract from the West Indian American Day Carnival parade. However, as the parade wound down around 5pm, thousands were able to spend the day on Eastern Parkway before filing in to the Brooklyn Mirage.
My tips to the organizers:
- Get a larger venue! The Mirage can hold 6,000 people - but not comfortably. Socaholics had to jump up almost shoulder to shoulder during the energetic stage show. As stated by Bunji Garlin in his freestyle, the show should be moved to a much larger venue like Madison Square Garden. I guess the promoters didn't see the Blogger Chicks episode where we mentioned that.
- Choose a less problematic time. While I'm sure this will not happen next year, I do think that no one should hold an event on a day when streets are blocked off and the logistics of getting to and from the event are deterrents.
Barbadian soca legend Rupee held his birthday bash at the Resort World Casino in Queens, NY and he brought along a bag of friends. Brooklyn's own Request Band, D All Starz (formerly The Roy Cape All Stars) featuring Ricardo Drue and Teddyson John, Lead Pipe & Saddis, Linky First, Orland Octave, Lyrikal, Kerwin DuBois, King Bubba, Kes the Band, and the Vikings Bunji Garlin and Fay-Ann Lyons. Yet the "surprise guest" stole the show. Machel Montano surprised a hall full of fans by coming out during Bunji & Fay-Ann's performance. The soca giant snuck in to the event and left before fans had a chance to maul him.
With such a heavy lineup, I expected that some artistes would be performing as lights were coming on or they would not be able to perform at all. I humbly admit that I was wrong. The show went on at a steady clip with each artiste getting the chance to perform at least two full songs and keep the crowd hyped throughout the four hours of showtime.
Rupee hinted that he would like to do the event again next year and I hope he does. Although, who else could he possibly bring to outdo this show?
As for my tip to the organizers:
- Don't change a thing!
Regardless of whatever parties you attended, I hope you enjoyed the Summer 2017 party season. As for me, I am fully recovered and all set to get back into the bacchanal. Stay tuned for more fete recaps, music reviews, and more from DysChick!