Trinidad Carnival aka The Greatest Show on Earth is over for another year. All we have now is memories and tabanca! This year was amazing, I went with my ultimate bacchanalist-in-crime and was lucky enough to actually lime with my carnival friends this year. The vibes started early when we bumped into a friend in Barbados and drank shots and rum punch at the bar. I swore I was just going for Chefette but ended up boarding my flight barely sober. These are the moments I live for.
First order of business was collecting costumes and packages. Caesar’s Army was a breeze but Tribe was a hot mess this year! Despite paying in full and collecting on my designated day, I had to wait FIVE whole hours to collect my costume. The only saving grace was the Geera Chicken which saved me from being hungry and vex.
Silent Morning Cruise and Beach Party
First up for Carnival weekend was Silent Morning. We did the cruise to and from the beach and let me tell you, the boat was full of vibes. I heard a good mix of soca including plenty Bajan and Lucian tunes. The boat was nice but I think heading straight to the beach or taking the party bus would be better value for money. The food was basic and they had no Hennessey. Also, the boat returned before the advertised time. The last part really got me because since when do West Indian parties finish on time, let alone early?! Other than that, it was pure vibes…people swinging from the ceiling and all on the ground. I definitely enjoyed myself.
Scorch Duck Work
Scorch has vibes wherever they are but the lack of organisation always tests my patience. We arrive pretty late and there’s chaos at the entrance to the poolside. Security did a poor job of getting patrons in the party; I had to scream at the woman to get through. At this point you’d think I’d go up to the bar and get a Henny on the rocks right? WRONG! They ran out of Scorch cups and didn’t have any plastic cups…I couldn’t get a drop of alcohol (also no Hennessey)!
After finding a promoter who got us some cups I was able to somewhat enjoy the party. I was already vex so at this point I was just killing time until A.M. Bush. The party is nice but I feel like you have to go from early or not bother. The Hilton poolside is gorgeous and it’s a chance to wear a bikini and not much else, so it’s definitely my kind of party. Maybe next time I’ll pass through earlier.
Caesar’s Army A.M. BUSH
Please believe the hype because A.M. Bush is one of the BEST parties for Trinidad Carnival! I’ll start with the negatives first: not enough maxis transporting you to the venue and they ran out of Johnnie but the vibes were off the Richter scale! We arrived at 6am (I’m late to everything) and got on bad until whatever time. I don’t know if it was drunkness but the Pelau was so nice I nearly cried, or maybe it was just my first meal for 12 hours, who knows. Out of all the performers (Motto, Dynamite, Iwer…) Bunji Garlin was my fave because hearing ‘Bacchanal + Water’ live while under the water truck just did something to me! I feel that song should have got more love because it’s an entire mood! I was extra happy because I managed to find a truck with a supply Johnnie – ultimate win!
Soca Brainwash is a sure thing, it’s the party everyone goes on Carnival Saturday. After scrubbing the paint off from A.M. Bush we headed straight to SBW. The vibes are guaranteed and it’s also a chance to see (almost) all your friends old and new. I felt like the food was disorganised this year: nothing was ready, then everything was finished. I got my life at the Johnnie Walker bar and indulged in fresh coconut water – it was pure heaven! I was also loving the riddim section just outside the entrance on the way out, I could have jammed there all night.
Shades Supreme Breakfast Party
I chose Shades based on Global Carnivalist’s recommendation and it was the BEST fete ever! Let’s start with the price…a mere $100 for an all-inclusive?! The venue is absolutely gorgeous, the fete has space to eat, lime and party and the food, drink and vibes just keep on going. Unlike other fetes, Shades did not run out of a damn thing! I drank Johnnie and ate doubles all while they carried the speaker boxes out!
The best thing about Shades is you have time to sit down and eat before the party really gets started. Then out of nowhere…BOOM…water comes out, artists on stage and people climbing the scaffolding. It’s zero to one hundred for real, I even started playing the drums. If you think I was joking about the abundance of food, well I climbed the hill after the music stopped and got bake n shark and pineapple chow. Honestly, the fete is legendary!
I left Sunday night free for either Blocko or Beach House Cooler, but all I wanted was some Royal Castle and a leg rub at that point.
Carnival Monday: On the Road with TRIBE
Monday Wear by Wassiville
Despite my experience with collecting my costume, the Tribe experience is one of a kind and the vibes on the road definitely made up for it. I’m so glad I skipped J’ouvert and hit the road early because I got to cross the stage on Monday. They played ‘Savannah,’ ‘Soca Kingdom’ and ‘Top Striker’…Savannah sounds so good IN the Savannah, I surprised myself by knowing all the lyrics and screaming ‘George fuh di road’ at the top of my lungs!
All the trucks had vibes, but Truck 6 with Back 2 Basics and Tony X?! I stayed by that truck from the St James sign right down to the Socadrome. Once again there was plenty soca from different islands. Iwer George appeared out of nowhere and performed in the crowd right in front of us, I think this was the moment I truly fell in love with ‘Savannah’. Carnival Monday was everything!
Carnival Tuesday: On the Road with TRIBE
Carnival Tuesday was intense this year. The sun was HOT, I swear I drank two litres of water before we even crossed the stage! I’m so glad I crossed the stage on Monday because the Socadrome is underwhelming compared to the Savannah. That said, Tribe ain’t easy, they played Top Striker as we entered the Socadrome and I was certain my feathers would get mash up before the stage! I had a good time on the road but still prefer Monday because you have more space to get on bad. We made it to Last Lap (me still in heels from 9am) but left early to pack. Two days is not enough!
Candy Coated Wine Down in Tobago
Not even flu can stop the pump! I had a blast at Wine Down. It’s my favourite fete ever, you really have to experience it for yourself. The fete is WILD, people ‘lost’ their clothes, fell right under the water headfirst (me), fell off floaties on multiple times including the infamous raging bull (me again).
Preedy, Skinny Fabulous and Iwer George performed, with Skinny Fabulous coming into the water with the mic to join the real party. Wine Down is one of those fetes where you just get on BAD and enjoy the party without taking any real pictures or footage because it’s THAT good. What happens at Wine Down, stays at Wine Down.
Trinidad Carnival was so good to me this year! Follow me on Instagram for the highlights…coming soon!