*title taken from “Far from Finished” by Voice
Top 5 Events of 2017
2017 was better to me than it was to Cardi B! I went to amazing parties, traveled to new Carnivals, and collaborated with other bloggers who love soca as much as I do. All in all, not a bad year. I decided to compile a list of the five events that made my 2017 epic.
1. Junkanoo Carnival
There are already many reasons to visit Nassau, Bahamas. From the white sand beaches to the conch fritters, tourists can find something for everyone to do here. Now there’s even another reason to visit the island, the Junkanoo Carnival in May.
Although still in its infancy, this Carnival is getting a reputation as it is one of few in Spring. Locals are taking their costume making talents around the world to bring awareness to the small island festival. Check out my spotlight on mas man Quinton “Barrabas” Woodside to see how one man is hoping to bring Bahamian culture to the world.
2. Bermuda Carnival Band Launch
To further differentiate itself from other Carnivals, Bermuda not only does a band launch, but a fantastic band launch weekend!
The weekend kicks off with The Fete - a night of music and partying. I loved it! Bermuda’s own DJ Rusty G brought the house down with his superior mixing skills. If you’ve been following Dyschick, you know that I love it when a deejay makes me dance to music I don’t even like.
Put on your gowns and tuxes the next night for an elegant dinner and dancing known as The Gala. Don’t be fooled by its name. Folks still managed to get on bad when Ryan Sayeed took to the turntables.
Closing out the weekend is The Launch where mas bands present their full line of costumes. I enjoyed this as these band leaders got creative with their presentations. Floating blimps, video introductions explaining the band concepts, and Barrie Hype hosting made for a very festive evening. Make sure you get your tickets to all events and enjoy this unique band launch experience.
3. Timehri Film Festival
I had not been to Guyana in decades so it took a big event to prompt my return this year. I was convinced to check out the annual Timehri Film Festival in late May.
Timehri is an annual film festival, aimed at showcasing the work of Guyanese and Caribbean filmmakers in the Region and Diaspora. People can submit their work as well as a quick statement about themselves and the film to be viewed during the week-long series. The films ranged in themes from melancholy documentary to science fiction anarchy. The idea that this type of event was happening in my parents’ homeland made me excited to end my 27-year absence.
I’m glad I did. Guyana is more beautiful than I remember. The hospitality at Herdmanston Lodge, the quiet seclusion at Arrow Point Nature Resort, and the good food I ate (and over ate) in Georgetown made this trip one of the best experiences of the year. Read more about my experience here and be sure to add Guyana Carnival 2018 to your travel plans!
4. Buss Head
For years Trinidadian soca artistes Machel Montano and Bunji Garlin were notoriously adversarial. Those in the industry, whether they knew the reasons behind it or not, were convinced that this feud would live in infamy. However, the two soca titans put 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 an international tour.
Promoters raked in profits as the tour sold out in cities like London, Toronto, and of course New York. I was fortunate to catch the final show in Miami and it was wicked! How can you not have a good time when two men who always put on a great stage show join together for such an amazing display of unity and respect? I’m sure there will be other events where they will appear together so keep watch.
5. Blogger Chicks
Speaking of unity and respect (see what I did there?), 2017 saw the birth of a blogger collabo that made a big impact in a short span of time. My partners in fete are Socasayso and The Socalyst. Each of us has been shouting “soca music to the world,” so we joined together to amplify our voices.
Together we hope to showcase lesser known artistes, Carnivals, and fetes from around the Caribbean, as we each represent a different nation.
I’m thrilled with how 2017 turned out. Now to focus my attentions on more urgent matters, like which new Carnivals to experience.