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DUSK - Soca By The Poolside (Jamaica)

Apr 1st, 2013
BayCrest KAMPAi (Jamaica)
BayCrest KAMPAi

Mar 31st, 2013
Beach J'Ouvert 2013 (Jamaica)
Beach J'Ouvert 2013

Mar 30th, 2013
Bacchanal Jamaica 2013 Extras (Jamaica)
Bacchanal Jamaica 2013 Extras

Mar 29th - Apr 8th, 2013

Bacchanal Jamaica, #1 on My List!

It was a little bit of a toss up at first between Crop Over and Notting Hill Carnival, but 5 years later, Bacchanal Jamaica clearly holds the #1 spot for my next favourite carnival outside of Trinidad.

Since Dr. Ram Dass 2009 Party Guru's Guide to Carnival in Jamaica, our prerequisites are pretty much the same, except you now command more value for your US dollar ($1USD = $99 JMD), Air Jamaica is now owned by Caribbean Airlines, the Hilton hotel is gone, and our good friend Dennis no longer works at Knutsford Court (still the most popular place to stay in New Kingston). No worries, pan chicken, cane and Appleton Rum are still in great abundance on the island!

Event wise, Bacchanal Jamaica is still the foundation of the carnival with their corner stone events - Beach J'Ouvert (Easter Weekend), Bacchanal J'Ouvert (Carnival Friday) and Road March as the finale. We seriously missed midweek "Soca @ de Sandbar" event at Lime Cay this year (please bring it back), but made up for it with private lime out to the infamous Madien Cay on Friday (thank you Olly Mo).

So what were the highlights and low points for Bacchanal Jamaica 2013? Firstly, this carnival has grown into a full fledge week of carnival events. You can party from Good Friday till Road March ... yup, 10 days! There's nothing wrong if you to take a lil' power nap on your PC monitor at the office the day after a good fete ... providing your boss doesn't catch you of course!! So yes, 10 days ... don't believe me just watch, don't believe me just watch.

Ochi was buzzing Easter weekend with a few warm-up events Friday night (KA and Appleton Fantastic Friday featuring Benjai & RDX) before Saturday's main event with headliner Shurwayne Winchester and Y.O.U with guest artistes Patrice Roberts and Farmer Nappy of the HD family which certainly didn't disappoint the Beach J'Ouvert crowd. If you're a true carnival lover, Beach J'Ouvert needs to be on your "Carnival Bucket List"! To wrap up weekend one, we partied at BayCrest's premium all inclusive KAMPAi in which we saw drastic improvement in areas where they fell short the year before in addition to a few new and exciting party additivies.

Back in Kingston on Monday evening (Day #4) after a nice private lime in the country with some tasty local prepared cuisine and sweet soca music (thanks for your hospitality TC), there was NOOOO time for rest. In comes first timer DUSK - Soca by the Poolside in Beverly Hills. A poolside bottle party with a wicked view of the city.

Apparently we never got the memo for Tuesday night's event (Sunnation and CPJ Soca lime), but I'm sure for 2014 there will be a clear P.S.A (Public Service Announcement) for TJJ. Or better yet, who remember Olly Mo's invitation only bottle party from back in the day (see 2009 coverage)?? He needs to hold "Carnival Bailout" on Tuesday night. All in favour say yea ... "YEA!" With no Soca @ de Sandbar this year, 3rd year I Love Soca is nicely holding down the Wednesday night spot moving to a new home at Pavillion Gardens to cater for its growing crowd. With 100% soca music and drinks flowing (it was a cooler fete as opposed to free drinks), what more can a 'Soca Peong' ask for!

Thursday night (Day #7 ... are you keeping count?), we partying up in the hills of St. Andrew at the annual Frenchmen Block-O. With a sexy yet casual chic dressed crowd on hand, the vibe at blocko was just right. Destra, no time for sticking! Yuh missed out. In fact, we believe the vibe at blocko was better than Frenchmen's Bazodee this year. More on this later.

Friday, let the jouvert celebration continue at Mas Camp with Bacchanal J'Ouvert. The Queen of Bacchanal, Destra and her band, put on an entertaining show as partygoers eagerly awaited the paint (it never seems to come fast enough) to get down and dirty. No fret, lots of folks walked with their powder to keep things fresh pre-paint. Besides the great vibe, Bacchanal Jamaica really stepped up their game in the VIP section with food (abundant with wide variety) and drinks (prompt service). But it was the waiters walking around VIP for drink service that blew us away. Kudos! On Friday night there was another 1st time event, Pandemonium with headliners Machel Montano, Shaggy and Superblue. Personally (and since I cannot be in two places at the same time), it would have been nice to see all these entertainers in one fete OR on separate days. Not sure if carnival in Jamaica is ready for more than one power house event on the same day.

Saturday (Day #9)... in comes Sunrise Breakfast Party... (Bunji Garlin - Differentology play)

Look how the sun now raising up
and the crowd now waking up
The atmosphere have vybz
and nuttin' cyah break it up
the gyal dem ah wine non stop
We ha de drinks dem inna my cup

Sorry, couldn't help myself. After it's 2012 debut on the JA Carnival scene, all the hype and anticipation was there for Sunrise Breakfast Party. Now I'm not sure if we got there too late, but the food selection wasn't as good and the bar service wasn't as efficient as the previous year. However when Trinidad soca artiste Blaxx sang his massive hit "Leh Go", and then got Machel Montano on stage for a lil' surprise performance ... it was a wrap ... dance FOG UP ... 10 for VIBE! Jamaica Carnival has an official breakfast party!!

Saturday night, the annual "Wata Party" still takes place in New Kingston courtesy of Island Mas Jamaica bringing out the real soca fetters in their numbers. Whilst the uptown'ers link up at Frenchmen Ultra All Inclusive "Bazodee". The decor and atmosphere was toppa top, and there was loads of good eats (including the Trini stall with pholourie and doubles) and liquor, but the vibe never seem to really kick into 5th gear (6th gear if you pushing speed). Oh, we missed seeing the BBQ pigtail actually roasting on the grill as we line up.

Day #10 ... Carnival Sunday! Bacchanal Jamaica celebrated 25 years of Carnival in Jamaica with their "Le Masquerade" presentation bringing out the likes of Trinidad's soca artistes Machel Montano, Destra, Shurwayne Winchester and Kimba Solozano to name a few, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt and reggae artistes Shaggy and Beenie Man, who all appeared to enjoy the ROAD MARCH festivities (be sure to view all 4 Road March galleries).

It's clear that the mas band continues to grow in numbers and there are far more on-lookers through out the parade route. And so Bacchanal Jamaica .... having more band security (rope included) and perhaps even looking into an extraction team for those pesky stormers that try to spoil the fun for paying masqueraders is on your preparation list for 2014.

See you guys soon again!

We Know Carnival ... We Love Carnival ... WE ARE CARNIVAL!

Bacchanal Jamcia 2013

Yours truly,
Daddy Juice aka The Carnival Ref; and the 2013 TJJ Bacchanal Jamaica Team
-- D' Young Juice, GiGi and Juicy Juice

>> Bacchanal Jamaica 2012 Coverage
>> Bacchanal Jamaica 2011 Coverage
>> Bacchanal Jamaica 2010 Coverage
>> Bacchanal Jamaica 2009 Coverage

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