Just as Carnival continues to evolve across the Caribbean & around the world – the evolution of fetes has become just as impressive.
With Soca Junkies coming from all over the globe to play mas, fetes are no longer on an epic level just during “Big Island” Carnival seasons as they’ve taken the best of what they’ve seen/experienced and expanded on them at home with a bit of local flavor mixed in.Soca truly is becoming a global celebration of life and why wait for Carnival a reason to celebrate?
I stepped off the plain in Nassau, Bahamas waiting in the customs line checking my messages and I hear a raspy voice say “Hey Mike.......yo Mike, what are you doing here, I didn’t know you were coming?!”. I look up and see my boy, Patrick the Hypeman ready to get it in.
It’s always good to see him as we both find ways to push the envelope & have some fun in the process – so the fact we were both here for Lagoon Fete, we already knew it was gonna be a problem lol.
(Adventures of Jouvert & Hypeman exploring Nassau)
As we began to leave the airport our driver stops Patrick & I mid-conversation saying “Excuse me, guys, but seriously I don’t think you know how crazy this is about to get & the 2 of you are staying at the house on property of the Lagoon Fete?!”
We both looked at each other and had to start laughing, eventually asking him did he know exactly what we do and if he’d been to any big Carnivals. Once he said he’d been to Trinidad, Jamaica, Miami Carnival but was jealous of the fact we were physically staying at Lagoon Fete
& wasn’t sure we were truly ready for what was about to go down. Honestly, it was hilarious, completely unexpected and helped put things into perspective of how special a fete can be for a community or island to spice up life and break people out of their routines.
The beauty of coming to an island when it’s not carnival is having the opportunity to soak in the natural beauty, lime a bit, and then turn it up when it’s time to truly fete. Whether it’s having coconut battered fried conch from the corner shack, fresh conch salad on the beach, or taking a relaxing swim among coral reefs and enjoying their natural beauty – it’s an incredible change of pace to be appreciated.
For the Bahamian crew that we’d meet on the street, in a store or group chat messaging about needing more tickets it was a whole other level of anticipation. Watching the level of excitement for something truly unique was pretty impressive, there was an energy in the air that got you hype. Essentially, you take an ocean front property with picturesque views, which happens to have the only private lagoon for miles, fill in portions of the coral with sand to create walkways, pour some concrete steps to have multiple entry points, add concrete platforms for more dancing, as well as underwater lights & then build a kickass pool with changing lights, jets, and a sitting ledge
. It’s just “that easy”
, but truly what is impressive is knowing that now that this infrastructure is in place – it’s there for years to come & there’s probably more little surprises to come as this fete is definitely positioned to continuously grow. It definitely surpasses what anyone would think of when you hear “cooler fete” – this is far more than that, this is an experience – a step away from the norm.
(How many times you seen underwater lights, people swimming & dancing in the water & everyone else wukin up on rocks around?)
The concept is clear – deliver something unique, memorable and celebrate life with Soca – a place where strangers become friends & friends become family. Add in International talent (Patrick the Hypeman & DJ Bravo)
to take the vibes over the top and you’ve got a recipe for success.
The fete went from 7 pm – 2 am, plenty of time to get your money’s worth, make some bad decisions and some memories. Being that it truly is held in a Lagoon it was great to see everyone actually come dressed to enjoy the natural setting and people actually let loose and get wet. There’s something special about being able to dance & take a dip to relax whenever you need a minute. Wining in the water, splashing around or even just in the wet sand with waves hitting your fete is not something any of us get to do every day or week – so even for Soca Junkies who hit fetes & Carnivals throughout the year, there’s always something special about getting the chance to do something out of the ordinary.
Trust, I was all over the place – whether carrying women on my shoulders out into the water, wuking up in the waves, jumping on random coolers, using railings for leverage ...... It was MADNESS – not to mention I was pleasantly surprised by all of the beautiful people willing to get on bad too, it was a no stush zone.
There are only a couple of true large scale beach fetes that come to mind that truly stand out, yet all of those are either connected to a Carnival week or a national holiday – so the fact that you can have a special getaway weekend and have a fete of this magnitude mixed with some R&R is really unique
(Hypeman & Errol Petty - originator of the Lagoon Fete)It’s clear to me that Lagoon Fete will continue to evolve/grow organically, much like say Phuket fete for TnT Carnival Friday has grown in scale, services & notoriety from just a small gathering years ago to now a massive all-inclusive with special effects lighting, smoke, and countless international DJ’s. Each island has something to be proud of & often more than just Carnival. Lagoon Fete is clearly an opportunity for Bahamians to come together in mass and acknowledges they don’t have to leave the country to have an Epic weekend, and it also serves as a great reason for Soca Junkies on the East Coast of the US to hop a short flight for a getaway weekend with fun built in and yet a chance to cool out & enjoy the island too.
I can promise this won’t be the last time Lagoon Fete sees me jumping in the water & getting on bad.
‘Til Next Time, Soca to de World