Date: Friday 17th April 2009
Location: The Mas Camp Village. Kingston, Jamaica
Promotions: Bacchanal Jamaica
Click on thumbnails to see the big picture/entire gallery
Not just a party with J'Ouvert in it's name!
Well yes, Carnival Friday in Jamaica and the rest of Team TJJ have arrived in Kingston ... this Man vs. Carnival mission is too big for just 1 person, so the reinforcements are here.
Base camp is perfectly situated at the lovely Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston, and as it turns out, it is about 5 minutes walking distance from Bacchanal Jamaica's Mas Camp. Tonight, our destination is the front line of all the Carnival Friday action - Bacchanal Jouvert!
First its dinner at Alexander's Restaurant @ the Courtleigh Hotel & Suites with the rest of the media contingent and our gracious host Lyndon Taylor of the Jamaican Tourism Board (JTB), then upstairs to change into battle gear. After all, it's Bacchanal Jouvert we going to, so one must be prepared for both bacchanal and jouvert ... that's a lot of music, jamishness, drinks, jamishness, paint and (yes, you're guess correctly) jamishness!! But fear not, we ready ready ready ready ready ready!!
We are greeted at the gate by Bacchanal Jamaica PR manager, Samantha Franklin, and lead directly inside, thru VIP to the back stage area. Our cameras quickly spotted Vincy's Soca artist Skinny Fabulous (2nd from left in photo) and R&B artist Diana King (on right in photo) in the building. And while it's only after midnight, the bacchanal part of the night is in full swing with Trinidad's DJ Private Ryan on the set, and one Bambino aka Mr. Trevor Off-Key on the mic moving the massive j'ouvert crowd. So before we can really lock and load, we must make our way to the bar for some, shall we say refreshments. And when in Rome, do like the Romans do ... so is bere Appleton and Coke all night long!! Did we mention V.VIP was All Inclusive?
By now the Mas Camp, which is only a tad bit smaller than Jenny's Car Park (so it big), is pretty much filled to capacity so that was the right time for Miss Bacchanal herself to take the stage, I mean after all ... she name Bacchanal! They call her Bacchanal!! And with that, Destra Garcia & Her Band proceeded to put on a very high spirited performance that had the crowd captivated from start till finish. They absolutely love Destra in JA!! It was more wildness when guest artist, Blaxx (Roy Cape All Stars), took the stage and mash them up with his 2k9 hit, "Tusty" ... they couldnt get enough!! After which, there was more Destra to go, as her song "Bacchanal" might have been the most popular tune for the entire carnival ... Road March mi say!! Following Garcia's performance, it was up to the DJ's and the MC's to keep the vibe going, but Bambino alongside T&T's favourite superhero, Hypa Hoppa, know how to do just that!
So just when we thought it was time to call it a night and head back to base camp because we were told that parties in Jamaica usually end around 2AM, and everyone well drunk and covered in paint - Destra covered in paint (photo), Miss Jamaica World 2007 Yendi Phillips covered in paint (photo) and even Sean Paul & crew covered blue (photo) - this is when Bambino says to the crowd, "The trucks are ready and heading up the road, everyone outside and follow the trucks! Say what now??!! You know how long we ain't leave straight from a party, out the gate and chipping behind a truck!! Allya remember the good ole days of Chinese Association and Boy Scouts Carnival Sunday fetes in Trini?
Niceness, so it's from bacchanal straight into the Jouvert portion of the night/morning. It's about 5 trucks heading up the road with DJs and music blaring thru the streets of Jamaica into the wee hours of the morning, right up Knutsford past the hotels making a right turn and going down the road. This is not just a party with Jouvert in the name, this is a Jouvert!! And not to forget that we in Jamaica, two trucks park up in the road side by side, and it's DJ Richie D on the Frenchmen truck in a sound clash with a next truck/sound system. You will have to ask Richie D who won.
At about 7AM, the trucks made their way back into the Mas Camp, and J'Ouvert was officially over. For those of us not on the complimentary breakfast plan, it was some delicious pan chicken (photo) before having to wash down outside the hotel. Yip, the hotels weren't joking around, greeting all j'ouvert revellers at front door with towels and a smile as they pointed us in the direction of the showers. Can somebody say cold water and no soap? Back in our rooms, and a good 3 showers later, all the paint was finally gone!
What a night/morning ... a good time was had by all, the sun was up and we now going to lay down.