I’m literally sitting down at my computer and enjoying a cup of coffee while thinking about how amazing and great my life is an has been over the last couple of days.

I had a wonderful Miami Carnival experience that was capped off with the best tabanca cure ever.  Last night, in Tampa, my friend Jelani Justice and his colleagues of Top Notch entertainment hosted Machel Montano in Tampa, Florida.  After Miami Carnival, a quality fete with Machel was just what the doctor ordered. 

Now usually, I don’t do concerts with artists where they just have a microphone and are playing tracks with a DJ.  But…….. who wouldn’t make an exception for Machel Montano?!?!?! And, my goodness, he did NOT disappoint.  I have NEVER seen a Caribbean themed event like this in Tampa…. EVER!!!!  The event was sold out, the vibes were on steroids and the venue was perfect.  From the riddim section, to the VIP, to the man in the bathroom handing out real hand towels for us to dry our hands.  The DJs played the perfect blend of Soca and Reggae with a splash of hip hop. There was “maybe” 5 minutes of hip hop music total last night. And that was JUST fine with me.  I really needed a good fete in my life before Howard University Homecoming this weekend.

Now…. on to my Miami Carnival recap. 

Hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew, which was one of the largest hurricanes to make landfall on the coast of the United States in some time brought much water, wind and destruction to the coast of the United States after beating up the islands of the Bahamas and  bringing ruination to the people of Haiti.  The most difificult part of Miami carnival experience was not the travel.

That’s BS. 

We’ve all missed flights, arrived at rental car counters when there are no more cars, and have had housing arrangements cancelled. The hard part was not about missing a fete or two or about not being able to get some of that vacation time from work reinstated. The hard part was knowing that the same storm that we were trying to “dodge” in order to have fun just brought destruction and havoc to our friends and families in the Caribbean.  The tough part was seeing that person in the fete with a flag from Haiti or the Bahamas…... And while throwing a lil’ wine, you lean in and ask them… “How’s your family? Is everyone okay?”  And then they respond, “We haven’t heard from them since the storm, so we are just praying.” All while the soca music is blaring and the bass is beating off your chest. All you could do is lean in and give the person a hug while understanding that carnival is a celebration of life and you still must celebrate because time waits on no one.  And there was a balance of unadulterated madness and passion mixed with understanding and compassion which we all tried to maintain. As the time went on we were able to remove ourselves from the reality of the day and connect with the life mirage that carnival provides. And that is what made this carnival so different. It made it sad, great, and emotionally overwhelming all at the same damn time. 

The emotional waves that crashed into the banks of each fete subsided over time which changed the timing of carnival crescendo.  The usual crescendo of carnival is on Sunday, during the road In Miami. This year it was on Monday.  And it is here where I will start.  My recap this year is actually going to go in reverse order. I am going to start with Monday….. at SSS J’Ouvert…..

SSS J’Ouvert

There are very few times when you leave a fete feeling like you’ve just had a full day of college sex (that’s 3 times in one day and with classes in between) and feel like you can go one more round.  But that is what it felt like when I was walking to my car after the SSS Blue J’Ouvert fete.   I felt like my carnival was NOW complete. It’s not that it was not good before, it’s just that it was GREAT after this fete.

SSS J’Ouvert was a blue paint themed J’Ouvert party.   It was, hands down, the best fete that I attended during Miami Carnival. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.

And for the second year in a row, I watched the Grenada massive totally take over a fete and take the vibes to the next level of madness. There was a moment during the fete, where I just had to back up and observe the fete. I had the biggest smile on my face just watching everyone thoroughly enjoy themselves.


Now when it came to the all-inclusive part of SSS J’Ouvert, there was much to be desired but….. hell, let’s be honest, the price point of the party was so good that you couldn’t complain. I mean, you just couldn’t. And really, who goes to a J’Ouvert party looking to have a belly full of food? Not me!  And I don’t drink so I can’t comment on the drinks but I do know this.  I know that there was plenty of water and I was happy beyond reproach.  

If there is one fete that I will say is a “do not miss fete” for Miami Carnival 2017, it is SSS Blue J’Ouvert.


That fete was the best soca and fete injection of Miami Carnival. 

And, I know that it is difficult to say that this fete was the best out of all of Miami Carnival, but that is the truth. The vibes were on swole and the Grenadian jab music put the fete over the top.

FULL DISCLOSURE: Just so you know that I really liked it, here’s the truth. I’m a TRUE Floridian. I really do not gravitate towards nor like anything that has a hint of “new yorkness” to it. It’s just not my thing. But THIS WAS A NEW YORK dominated fete. And I kinda had my eyes squinted walking in, not knowing what to expect.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself and must admit that I have probably been allowing my closed-mindedness stop me from having some wonderful moments in life and this fete was proof of that.  I must do better and keep an open mind.

Need To Know Info
About SSS J'Ouvert

The SSS Blue Jouvert took place early Monday morning in Doral, FL. SSS Blue Jouvert was hosted by Jason Benn, Tony X, and Ago Solvo. Along side L.O.E.G Inc. & Freeze International. All inclusive tickets includes food, top shelf liquor, and a keepsake cup were offered and/or provided. There was plenty of blue paint, powder, and water.

The Scheduled DJs were:

Back To Basics (NYC)
Sounds For Life (NYC)
D General (Bermuda)
Close Connections (NYC)
Dream Team (Miami)
Freeze International (NYC)
DJ Sonic / Bad Company (NJ)

The cost of Tickets was:

General Admission – ($35)
All Inclusive – ($75)


And to close……All I can say, for those that attended is…….. “Ray tay tay tay….. Ray tay tay… Ray tay tay tay…. Ray tay tay…”

SSS BLUE J’Ouvert 2017 in Miami Carnival FOR SURE!!!!!!!

Dedicated to improving your carnival experience,

Dr. Rhadi Ferguson
"The Carnival Doctor"

P.S. If you are looking to improve your carnival experience or a veteran or a virgin make sure you get "The Ultimate Road Ready Guide" written by The Carnival Doctor.  www.TheUltimateRoadReadyGuide.com