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Bermuda Carnival 2016 | Bermuda Heroes Weekend 2016 Coverage :: on the inside


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Bermuda Heroes Weekend ... Round 2


As you start to venture into more and more carnivals, you will quickly realize that each carnival is thankfully different & has some unique factors contributing to its style and character. Bermuda placed their stake in the Carnival world in 2015, and without any doubt, went from 0 to 100 in year two. We arrived on the Carnival Friday and left on the Tuesday, but strongly advise to arrive as early as the Carnival Wednesday to better enjoy the island and pace yourself. Last year, The Carnival Doctor (@thecarnivaldoctor) gave laid out "TJJ's Party Guru's Guide to Bermuda Heroes Weekend", and this year, Jouvert Mike (@jouvertmike) hit the ground running with #teamTJJ and shares his Bermuda Heroes Weekend (BHW) virgin experience.


BHW - 5 Star Friday

Barrie Hype, Ryan Sayeed, DJ Crown Prince, DJ Stephen, King Bubba, Dru, Lyrikal, Voice, Teddyson John, Kes The Band – that's one hell of a superstar line-up for a smaller island event – and at an insanely affordable general admission price of $20 US! Three words, 5 Star Friday. Again, read back through that line-up & tell me where in the world you are gonna have that concentration of DJ's & Performing Artists in 1 fete (we ain't talking some monster stadium, we talking an intimate concert/fete) for $20 for more than 5 hours of pumping?


Carnival Veterans from across the Caribbean, North America & Europe gathered there – seeing familiar faces all around – it was an intimate size filled with plenty passion from locals pressing up against de stage jumpin, wining, and waving glow sticks & flags at the only annual event that will bring all this talent to them at one time.


After speaking with the rest of the team, there's one thing that can make this event even more epic... and that's getting it back to it's original Front Street venue.


BHW - Glow J'Ouvert

If you ask almost anyone in the world to get up at 3 am to stand out in a monstrous storm to stand outside & party in a chilling rain they'd think you're mad, but if you were in Bermuda for Heroes Weekend then you were just one of the thousands of revelers at BHW's J'ouvert fete.


As we reached in the dark of night the fete was in full force. Rain wasn't dampening the spirit of thousands of revelers. It was pitch black outside & as the music pumped all you could see from a distance was the waving of glow sticks in the air and as we got closer with the glimmer from the glow sticks hundreds upon hundreds of silhouettes wining on each other.


Bermy's are quite a creative bunch. Their ingenuity turned the weather from a hindrance to an asset as they built monster slip & slides for people to have dual races sliding across the soggy grounds. When the sun came up & the rain ceased, feters went WILD. I saw climbing, lifting, and wining of all kinds – double-up lifts, sandwich wines, piggy-back, inverted lifts (aka 69 wines) ..... it got a bit out of hand lol.


The BHW team should be incredibly proud of the growth & not experiencing growing pains with this fete. Last year roughly 400 tickets were sold, this year multiple waves of tickets were sold out – by the end they'd sold 3,000 tickets – that's MASSIVE growth! When you think of a fete growing that much internally you get a bit concerned about will they experience growing pains – like the normal bottlenecks/trouble spots of service like running out of alcohol or incredibly long lines for drinks or food, and honestly I never saw or heard of anyone mentioning an issue. So kudos to the planning committee on a job well done.


It's the only J'ouvert I've ever experienced where you came clean..... everyone got dirty & essentially everyone left clean by the time the time it was over (minus some paint covered cotton shirts & muddy shoes).


When it was all said & done, there were a whole lot of smiling faces headed back to the car park, wines still being had & a lot of people grateful the clouds were gone and everybody was ready for a shower & looking forward to de road.


BHW - Parade of the Bands

TJJ joined Passion Bermuda to host our very own section "Sand and Sun" for BHW Parade of the Bands 2016. This year was a new extended route, roughly 6 miles long running alongside the airport and we planned to have incredible drone footage by LeeQuestWorld for you.... But funny little thing – FAA regulations & computer chip safety guard inside drones won't allow civilians to launch a drone in restricted airspace. I'd say that's a good safety precaution for everyone's peace of mind when they are flying, so the still shots & video from the ground will have to do for allyuh this year – or maybe just tease you enough to join us on de road next year.


This was the most picturesque road march I've ever participated in with views of the ocean on both sides as you come around bends and corners. The march literally ended at Clearwater Beach – I mean incredibly beautiful picturesque views, gentle breeze, sand, hint of saltwater in the air – it is what so many of us love about island life. Bermuda's route was made for epic photo shoots.


The march itself reminded me a bit of Bacchanal Jamaica with common bar trucks on de road shared by each band. The difference being that there are "drink" trucks here for each band that have water, juice, and sports drinks for revelers to take as they need, but the BAR trucks are spread out a bit more and revelers can either give chits.


The head count of masqueraders exponentially grew from last year (a few hundred) to this year (several thousand) and yet has retained that "small island" feel. Families, young & old lined up along the parade route and took it all in – there wasn't really a need for ropes, people just observed from the side and occasionally were invited out for a lil' wine.


Barrie Hype turned the airport fencing into a point of leverage & line-up for bumcees of all shapes and sizes to take a wine by asking masqueraders to head to the fence, which they happily obliged & had a time using. Probably the most impressive move came from one of Beyonce's Formation Tour Dancers who is clearly a professional dancer & an aerialist who took a traffic sign and used the pole to do an inverted split & wine ..... I mean that's some athletic impressive wining lol.


People attempt to compare one experience to another and stack them up in order, people love a good list of rankings & being able to debate them. Bermuda Heroes Weekend deserves some serious applause for its' incredible growth in just a couple of years (far surpassing some other carnivals that have been attempting to get on the map & be considered as major players for the last decade). Personally, I love the change of pace, uniqueness of the events in Bermuda and the picturesque views of their parade. There's no doubt the combination of these factors will continue to have the Carnival grow year after year and become a staple on revelers yearly calendar (much like Trinidad, Jamaica, Crop Over and Miami are some people's consistent list). Bermuda, great job & looking forward to the next chip down de road.


Promoter's Sunday

Locals refer to Sunday of Bermuda Heroes Weekend as "Promoter's Sunday" – with a number of new fetes added to the variety of options for revelers to enjoy. Some chose to hit a breakfast fete, there were multiple boat rides (from early early morning through mid-day) others doing more of the touristy sight-seeing, others taking it easy. With it being Father's Day – it was the perfect day for Pan in the Park where people bring their coolers – plenty food & drinks being shared and lay out on blankets, perfect relaxed picnic lime with family and friends. Unfortunately, the weather didn't cooperate with us & Pan in the Park had to be postponed/canceled.


The weather had shifted multiple fetes from beach front spots to alternative locations. Team TJJ headed to Glow Bermuda – an All-White All Inclusive fete. The original promoter Marilyn – years ago started as a small lime at her house for her Trini friends to gather on the holiday weekend. It's now been going on for 9 years and the last 2 officially as "Glow" an all-inclusive white party.


Nuphoric headlined at Glow bringing more of a Trini touch to BHW. What was really cool was how so many of their brothers came to support. It's just not often that it's even possible during a Carnival weekend in so many locations around the world but one of those beautiful nuances of Bermuda Heroes Weekend is it's a bit of a fraternal vacation for DJ's & Artists since there's a good amount of fetes/events but it's not 24/7 so when they aren't part of the line-up they can actually lime and support each other on the side of the stage. The number of impromptu performances with a quick hit – whether Ricardo Drue, Teddyson John, Voice, or Lyrikal hopped up at fete was just beautiful to see the bond & sense of community among Artists & DJ's.


BHW - Raft Up

If you haven't seen the videos (check out our YouTube channel) yet – RAFT UP is the sickest thing out there & truly the reason I hopped a last second flight to come for Bermuda Heroes Weekend. I really would like a dollar (US) for every time we heard between our arrival and reaching Raft Up – "Hey, are you guys really Trini Jungle Juice?" or people just yell out from across the street when they see the Blonde Beanstalk aka Dre aka The Carnival Ref (@thecarnivalref), "Trini Jungle Juice!!!!!! You ready for Raft Up?! We love your video". No lie, there wasn't a restaurant, hotel, or fete that we went to that someone didn't smile fondly and say "that Raft Up video is the reason I'm here." ..... the power of Social Media & avid followers of TJJ is truly appreciated – which is why we strive to engage all of you in all manners possible (video, pics, blogs, & in person at fetes – we want you to live, breath, and dream Soca).


We ain't talking about some stush boat ride either. People come by boat, jetski, kayak – anchor up near the barge (which has a road march mack truck with full sound system) out in the middle of the ocean & people just GO WILD. I mean seriously, is there a better recipe for enjoying island life & Soca? Gorgeous water, thousands of feters in the water – wining, drinking, liming – truly a beautiful scene.


Being a Carnival Chaser you like to look forward to unique experiences at each & every carnival and Bermuda definitely doesn't disappoint. It was clear from the minute we reached that everyone foreign & local was looking forward to Raft Up Monday. Plenty of islands & cities have boat rides, but NO ONE and I mean NO ONE does it like Bermuda. They have a Barge as the center point with 100+ boats anchored up surrounding the barge loaded with speakers, world-renowned DJ's & major Soca Artists ---- and it is FREE as long as you found a way out ..... whether swimming out with an inner tube, a paddle board, kayak, jet ski, private boat – or if you chose to pay for a booze cruise to get to the area.


This was yet another unique experience – part fete/part lime – with artists performing & DJ's rotating throughout the afternoon. Everyone basically was just liming – cracking jokes, having drinks, and then finally – the little kid in everyone (along with some good ol' fashion peer pressure) had everyone diving in the water. Back to Basics, Barrie Hype, TonyX, DJ Stephen, Ricardo Drue, even Lyrikal – WHO CAN'T EVEN SWIM ..... jumped in the water (mind you we had a few floaties and several of us ready to grab Lyrikal as he surfaced – you still got a man jumping in the very deep ocean on faith that we're going to make sure he gets safely to a raft to hold on to & float lol. There just isn't an event ANYWHERE ELSE that you'll see this many artists & DJ's hosting/performing, liming and letting loose literally swimming around interacting with feters in such a fun & relaxed environment.


There's no doubt this IS the signature event of Bermuda Heroes Weekend and if you leave Bermuda without experience Raft Up you're MAAADDDD, it's the don't miss event of the weekend.


All things considered – picturesque road march, intimate concert with stacked line-up, pleasant alternative to standard Carnival line-up with Pan in the Park, mix in a handful of other fete options (more coming next year ... including a TJJ event) & the signature event of Raft Up ..... there's no doubt that Bermuda Heroes Weekend is a "must do" & I truly anticipate that this will make it into the annual rotation of staple Carnivals/top tier of MANY Carnival Junkies in the years to come just as the several thousand new revelers added to the mix this year.


‘Til Next Time, Soca To De World.


Jouvert Mike / The Carnival Ref; and the 2016 TJJ BHW Team
-- Juicy Juice, Lee Quest and D' Original Lime Flavor

Bermuda Heroes Weekend 2016

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Destination Carnival: Bermuda

Watch Video Destination Carnival - Bermuda 2016 - 5 Star Friday (Segment 1/5)
Watch Video Destination Carnival - Bermuda 2016 - Glow J'ouvert (Segment 2/5)
Watch Video Destination Carnival - Bermuda 2016 - Parade of the Bands (Segment 3/5)
Watch Video Destination Carnival - Bermuda 2016 - Glow / Raft Up (Segment 4/5)
Watch Video Destination Carnival - Bermuda 2016 - Raft Up (Segment 5/5)

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