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Jamaica Carnival 2018 | Bacchanal Jamaica 2018 | Carnival in Jamaica 2018 Coverage :: on the inside


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Jamaica Carnival - The Virgin vs. The Veteran

The Virgin


Visiting Jamaica and experiencing their carnival firsthand wasn't something I had expected to be doing for the Easter of 2018, and to be honest, I didn't know what to expect. I had only heard about the carnival and that it was getting better and better every year, but being the lazy researcher that I am, I decided to just let it surprise me and that it was!

The moment we touched down, we were greeted with samples of Jamaica's famous bun and cheese at the airport and it tasted great. Such a guilty pleasure in eating that. Having the rest of the day to settle and after checking in to the hotel we decided to prep our gear then go exploring in search of more of this heavenly bun and cheese. The next day, we made a trip to Ocho Rios, where the first few fetes were being held and where we'd met up with the Bacchanal Jamaica crew. Such cool people, but their accents were a bit troubling for me to understand ... lol.

The first of our 9 days of carnival started on Saturday morning, with Frenchmen Rise Up Breakfast Party, and it was a great first start. Everyone was vybzing and having fun with their friends at Pearly Beach, and apart from the friendly and welcoming faces of the people, the view of the beach was amazing! It wasn't too long before people decided to go dipping in the ocean and on the dancefloor, and talk about generous waist. The day wasn't finished yet as we headed to the main event for the weekend ... Bacchanal Jamaica Beach J'Ouvert in the evening. In keeping with the beach luau theme, everyone was welcomed with a chose of straw hats, sunglasses, lais and other paraphernalia. The venue was awesome! Why don't we have beautiful venues like this in Trinidad??!! As the sun was setting, the lively activities started. Paint was everywhere! No man or woman was left unpainted. It was great seeing everyone enjoying themselves. Who doesn't love getting painted? But the treat was far from finished as we had an excellent performance by Trinidad's headliner Kes the Band. Apparently, besides the paint, the one thing you can always count on at Beach J'Ouvert is a 1st class Soca act. Apart from singing their hit songs, Kes also paid tribute to some of the other popular songs by our Soca artists. All in all it was a great first day.

Sunday came and it was time to go again to none other than TJJ's SUN RUM FUN Cruise. What more can I say? What happens on SRF, stays on SRF! With the exception of whatever surfaces on our website of course. Sailing on the turquoise water in itself was pretty mesmerizing, and we also had a stop where everyone could safely go into the water and enjoy it firsthand. Even if you couldn't swim, the boat crew had a large supply of safety jackets. Coming to the end of the cruise it was fun having the intoxicated party-sailors to say the words "SUN, RUM, FUN" 10 times as fast as they could. After a good night's rest it was back to Kingston where we would spend the rest of the trip.

Monday evening was DUSK - Soca Music Festival. It was nice seeing our Caribbean celebrities Usain Bolt and Machel Montano just enjoying themselves. It was also my first time witnessing a brief segment of dancehall music at a Soca event and the local dances. Genna Bounce to Fling Yuh Shoulda and everything in between.

Tuesday night was Tabanca Tuesdays and Soca By Di Tree and these locals knew how to get down to Soca! Hosted by DJ Smoke but with an all star DJ cast, we rocked to the perfect blend of Soca and Dancehall for another night straight.

Wednesday afternoon was Trini Jungle Juice ARRIVALS Jamrock and had an amazing DJ lineup with Lord Hype featuring The Hypeman Patrick Anthony, Back to Basics, DJ Private Ryan, Team Joy and more. Despite the last minute setbacks with the location having to be moved to the beautiful Hope Zoo, we still managed to have a lot of fun partying with some of our loyal TJJ supporters. We love and appreciate you!


Thursday evening was aFLOAT Soca Cruise and I must say, if you weren't on board Boat 1 or Boat 2 you missed one of the best cruises! Both boats were packed to the max capacity and from the sail-off to the end was just high energy and flexing galore. There was a moment when both boats came in close vicinity with each other and was competing with who was the best party boat (Boat 1 was obviously the best.) Both boats were amp'd with Soca artistes; some who performed, while others were enjoying the cruise with friends. Immediately after aFLOAT we went to Frenchmen Blocko street party, and man it was ram. With an excellent performance from Bunji Garlin, Fay Ann and surprise guest Chi Ching Ching, the entire street of people swayed to and fro like a beautiful river.

Only 2 days until the long awaited Carnival Sunday, but it was met with some more great events. Soca Brainwash Jamrock (Diary of a Soca Addict) was one of them. On entrance the attendees had the choice of running to the front to dance to the music or use some of the colored paint to write on the huge blackboard provided. With a lineup including Skorch Bun It, DJ Young Chow, and even Walshy Fire of Major Lazer was present and teamed up with DJ Private Ryan to give an outstanding set.

But we didn't stop there. We had to skip Scorch Duck Work in order to recharge our batteries (on all fronts), because soon after all roads led to Bacchanal J'Ouvert with performances by T&T's Nailah Blackman and Ricardo Drue representing both Antigua and T&T. Pulling up to the Mas Camp around 11pm, I swear there were around 500 people on the outside trying to buy tickets. Sorry, sorry Sold Out! On the inside, Barrie Hype, Back to Basics and DJ Smoke kept the energy pumping, but the party went to another level once the paint was released. Paint, paint, paint! There was no getting away!! Even my camera fell victim of the paint. After all vagabonds were well painted up in the Soca Kingdom, we hit the road! From the streets filled with revellers, I eventually made my way to one of the music trucks which was powered by DJ Cruise and mic man TonyX. Energy was amp'd with lots of antics on the road. We got back to the Mas Camp not too long after sunrise.

We didn't stop there either! It was Saturday morning and that meant Sunrise Breakfast Party. All inclusive, this was an event to dress up, drink, eat and enjoy the vibe. The food was excellent with a variety of options including Trini options such as doubles, Tastee, and my favourite KFC. The drinks were on point and the music was even better! There were performances from the Monk himself Machel Montano, Voice and a surprise appearance by dancehall star Aidonia. It's non-stop pump but definitely worth every minute.

Then at night was Bazodee, another Frenchmen All Inclusive, to dress up, try the great food and party again! Another lineup with Trini options, local Jamaican and International dishes. Caribbean Queen Alison Hinds performed followed by Kes, who brought out Sekon Sta to sing their new collaboration. At the end of it, Frenchmen publicly thanked Kes for being with them for 10 years as they celebrated 25 years in the business of class and vibes.

Finally it was Sunday. The day of Rebirth with none other than Bacchanal Jamaica on the road. And what a beautiful sight... feathers and bling in abundance! Special shout out to all of our TJJ x Frenchmen "Eclipse" section posse. You guys rock. The saying "Carnival Is Woman" definitely applies to Bacchanal Jamaica! And there was no shortage of Bacchanal (with a capital B) either!! Drinks flowed and security kept any potential stormers out of the band... including Team TJJ until we secured our credentials lol. Let's talk about the lunch stop. Freshly prepared food or grilled on location (Frenchmen)? Massage, make up or hair? These were all choices you had. And yes, drinks were still flowing. Time to hit the road again. Both Kes and Ricardo Drue were spotted in the crowd soaking in the vibes and taking selfies with masqueraders before re-energizing the band with live performances. Kes really loves to jump up with his 'People People' and Drue is a true 'Professional' when it comes to carnival. When compared to Trini, I totally enjoyed the Bacchanal Jamaica road experience because of the space on the road to move about freely. Then add premium drinks, top notch service and beautiful revellers... you have a wining formula. The Road March ended at the lunch spot where a stage had been erected for the last of the jamming. With a final performance set by both Drue and Kes, everyone still left standing was back into action. From security to management, bartender to photographer, and everyone else involved had their time to let loose and say thank you for another beautiful and successful Carnival in Jamaica with Bacchanal Jamaica, Frenchmen and everyone else who made it all possible.


Until we meet again Jamaica! Soon Come! ❤

-The Virgin


The Veteran


10 years later, the carnival I once knew and fell in love with in Jamaica is now a thing of the past. Is the love gone? No, of course not! This carnival has grown leaps and bounds with an array of new parties (around 40 fetes during the carnival week), two additional mas bands (as of 2017) and an influx of foreigners. For one, the locals are happy for the options. And as they say, competition is healthy. The foreigners are also excited for another carnival option on their annual calendar at a less expensive price tag that comes with most other carnival destinations. And as The Carnival Doctor pointed out in last year's review, "The hurdles for entry into mas bands and fetes is a lot less rigorous." Jamaica No Problem. Yet, for some reason, I still miss the good ole days of 1-2 events per day, and best yet... everyone in the same parties... and mas band. This is what I truly loved about Carnival in Jamaica. The ONE LOVE spirit. However, change is inevitable, and we must embrace it. The new mas bands attract new comers to Jamaica who might not have come otherwise. The array of fetes, including those of Trinidad and foreign promoters, give patrons an opportunity to enjoy offerings they are accustomed to in other parts of the world in Jamrock. Awesome stuff. To conclude, as the new era of Carnival in Jamaica continues to develop, all I ask is three (3) things:-


  1. Stay affordable. Keep the cost of parties and playing mas at a price point which allows everyone, especially the locals, to participate.
  2. Be authentic. Don't try to be Trinidad or any other carnival.
  3. Don't lose the 'One Love' attitude. Support, love and foster one another.


For the Love of Carnival ❤
-The Veteran


>> Bacchanal Jamaica 2017 Coverage
>> Bacchanal Jamaica 2016 Coverage
>> Bacchanal Jamaica 2015 Coverage
>> Bacchanal Jamaica 2014 Coverage
>> Bacchanal Jamaica 2013 Coverage
>> Bacchanal Jamaica 2012 Coverage
>> Bacchanal Jamaica 2011 Coverage
>> Bacchanal Jamaica 2010 Coverage
>> Bacchanal Jamaica 2009 Coverage

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Watch Video Bacchanal Jamaica - Road March 2018 [Official After Movie] (HD)
Watch Video Bacchanal Jamaica - Road March 2018 After Movie (TJJ TV HD)
Watch Video Bacchanal Jamaica - Road March 2018 Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 (FB Live)
Watch Video Bacchanal Jamaica - Bacchanal J'Ouvert 2018 After Movie (TJJ TV HD)
Watch Video Bacchanal Jamaica - Bacchanal J'Ouvert 2018 - Nailah Blackman Live | Ricardo Drue Live performance (FB Live)
Watch Video DJ Private Ryan - Soca Brainwash Jamrock 2018 (FB Live)
Watch Video Bellamy | Bourne | Richie RAS | Dre (TJJ) - aFLOAT Soca Cruise 2018 (FB Live)
Watch Video Trini Jungle Juice - SUN RUM FUN Cruise 2018 After Movie (TJJ TV HD)
Watch Video Bacchanal Jamaica - Beach J'Ouvert 2018 After Movie (TJJ TV HD)
Watch Video Bacchanal Jamaica - Beach J'Ouvert 2018 feat. Kes the Band Part 1 | Part 2 (FB Live)


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