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Soca Vs Reggae 2012 (Bermuda)
Soca Vs Reggae 2012

Aug 3rd, 2012
Cup Match 2012 (Bermuda)
Cup Match 2012

Aug 3rd, 2012
Beach Fest (Bermuda)
Beach Fest (Bermuda)

Aug 2nd, 2012
Beach Fest (Bermuda)
Beach Fest (Bermuda)

Aug 1st, 2012

Bermuda Cup Match 2012

There are so many Caribbean events during the period August 1st - 5th. "Crop Over" and "Caribana" are two of the better known events but Cup Match is the untold secret. (See Carnival Calendar) I was asked to come see this cup match event weekend in Bermuda last year and I have not looked back since. Cup Match weekend really is an untold story and is the perfect time to be in Bermuda.

This weekend is not just another carnival event nor is it just another list of parties. This is a weekend of island unity and expression of artists. What makes Bermuda’s Cup Match outstanding is that no matter what activities what you are into, there is something for everyone. Bermuda is the host to one of the most famous beaches in the world, Horseshoe Bay, which is on par with some of best beaches of Barbados, St. John, and St. Martin. So if you are a beach lover, you are all set. If you are a sea person and love boats, then that is also available to you. Bermuda does not only lend to wonderful beaches. What makes this weekend most special is the cricket match that captures the attention of every since Bermudian on the island as well as those abroad. This is after all the reason the weekend was named Cup Match. The icing on the cake of this event is the friendly Bermudian hospitality. I think we can easily accept that Bermudians are among the most friendly in the world.

Let’s see how this weekend unfolds, where no two events are alike:-

Imagine standing with your feet in the sand and the sea breeze in your hair. You are facing a high stage with a full moon over head, listening to some of the best of Bermuda’s artists. The local lineup on Wednesday night include the fancy of Hannah Eggen , Haz Imari, Jelani Chewslam, Trevor Hall, Joy Barnum and Canjelae Taylor. Wednesday night kicked off the weekend with an expansion on the original beach fest event which takes place all day on Thursday. The venue was set on the beautiful Horseshoe Bay where if you did not know you were at BeachFest, there was a 50 foot sign saying “BEACH FEST”. It was such an artist's paradise with local R&B singers, rappers and poets. Trevor Hall was a different alternative style in the beach fest hailing from Los Angeles. After a plethora of the great local Bermudian artist the international rap and reggae artists namely Dead Prez and Wayne Wonder respectively came to the stage.

The original headline artist Barrington Levi was replaced by Wayne Wonder at the last minute. I think that this impacted some of the patrons who were tossed the curve ball at the last minute but the show still off the hook. It was great mix of energetic vibes and a perfectly beautiful crowd. What more can you ask for, it was not a show it was a private beachside concert.

Wednesday night also feathured a local raggae super star in the downtown area, Collie Buddz. It looked really exciting as we were passing by the venue and the Buddz entourage were making their way to the event. I wish we could have attended but we have not figured out how to be in two places at the same time, At least not yet.

If you are a beachhead then Thursday is the day you should never miss. This event again was at Horseshoe Bay but the vibes was ten times that of the previous night if you can image that. Imagine about 9000 people basking in the sun, scantily clad and have a good time. Can it get better than that? Yes it can, just top this off with some mouthwatering food and delicious drinks. Campers were on the beach in their tents since the previous night for the events. There was no space to set up a tent by lunch time on Thursday. Talk about a mixed crowd, there was someone for everyone.

Perhaps you are not the water and sand person? This is NOT a problem. Cricket, a true West Indian sport is another way to submerge you into feeling the local vibe. You can attend the two day cricket cup match between St. George's and Somerset. This Starts on Thursday and culminates on Friday with the handing over of the silver cup. This cup is decades old and while not gold is treasured by the local cricket teams and fans. If you ever want to engage a Bermudian then just make mention “who you backing St George's or Somerset?” and watch the passion explode. This kind of banter can go on for hours but all in good spirit. This event not only has a rich spirit of rivalry but is also embellished with tons of local food for sale. There is a tent behind the cricket pitch as well as a pavilion for some crown and anchor. This tent becomes a popular place to hang out during the lunch to make some extra money or for hard core gamblers during the cricket match trying to make a full pay check. The rush of gambling money mixed with music and alcohol makes an intoxication concoction for the heart, there were so many people breathing like they just ran an iron man and all this over a simple dice game. This game was traditionally played for gambling purposes by sailors in the British Royal Navy, and also in the British merchant and fishing fleets. The game originated in the 18th century. It is still popular in the Channel Islands and Bermuda, but is strictly controlled and may be played legally only on certain occasions such as Bermuda's annual Cup Match cricket game.

Friday you can attend the second day of cricket during the day and Soca VS Reggae that night. Somerset fan rejoiced after ten years of loss and draws to finally defeat St George's and take the cup. It was the 26th run of the 2nd inning for Somerset and as the bat connected with the ball, you can see a sea of red as fans in their local colors ran onto the field. The pitch was swamped with cheering fans before the bats men could complete the final run to win the game. It was one of the best games for Somerset in the last decade. We love this rivalry of the Somerset red vs the St. George's blue teams.

Soca vs Reggae.  If you have ever heard the format of Soca music and Reggae music you would see them as completely different. It is like having two children of the same parent of Caribbean music, but one is night and the other is day. I could never figure out how this could work? , but in Bermuda they have found the secret to pulling off such an event and making it sizzle.  If you like conscious music, look no further. If you are a wild party person, then you want to be in the middle this Soca hyper crowd or Reggae soldiers with intense vibes and crazy energy. This is the place to be after the Cup Match game. It’s basically a sound clash between Soca and reggae deejays and, it’s all about who can bring the most hype to the crowd. The Winner is decided by the crowd. This year was the clash of the two Marshalls..The show was headlined by Wayne Marshall from Jamaica and Shal Marshall from Trinidad. These 2 artist were backed by the hottest local reggae and soca DJ’s on the island. I want to send a special special hail out to tarantula from "Poison Dart". This experienced veteran knows how to move the crowd but this year the reggae team was over turned. I guess the big dub plate of the soca team stating the 3 boys were getting knocked over by a bus, was the prediction manifested. by the time they got to the last round, “it was a knock out!” claimed some despondent reggae fans. Let’s see how St George's and also Reggae comes back next year to do battle. I know this is one Friday that left them both feeling bruised.

Saturday is usually a day of cool down and rest if you so desire. But if you have gotten in good with the locals then you are guaranteed to find a house party or /pool party. We just happened to find both a "slip & slide" and "an all inclusive pool" party filled with the local entertainment celebrities. You know you are being politely asked to leave when the host begins to do laps at 2:30am after most guest have gone home. Old fashioned TJJ style.

All good things must come to an end and this brings us to the final day of cup match weekend; the big Sunday raft up called Non-Mariners. See my comments on this event from last year since we had to roll this year and miss out on the best of the weekend. If I had 3 words to really sum up Bermuda cup match weekend, 2012 it would be "Unity, Artistry and Evolution". Oh well Bermuda next year it will be "YOU, TJJ and Beach Fest", if God spares life…

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