Bacchanal Jouvert: a combination of paint and water been thrown at you from all angles while grinding to some Soca music followed by a road march around the town till morning. Sounds fun right?? It usually is and given that I missed the Beach Jouvert held recently due to its obnoxious entry fee $6000, I made it my mission to ensure I didn’t miss this one.
Held at Mas Camp, entry was $2500 at the gate (not all inclusive by the way), so you gotta buy your alcohol. Sucks right? VIP was $5000 *scoffs* but apparently we were paying to see Kes the Band perform. So I got there around 11pm ish and the venue was basically full with a lot of patrons outside and inside. I wasted no time going in.
Once inside we navigated through the crowd and found a spot near some familiar faces. The DJ was on stage hyping the crowd while playing a slew of Soca hits but as usual nothing older than 2014. They also teased with some Dancehall hits which got a good reaction from the crowd.
Next stop was the bar which had an array of different drink options with different prices ranges. The one everyone wanted though, was the mug deal which cost $1000 JMD for an Appleton mug and 4 mixed drinks of your choosing. There was a looong line trying to get to that and by then they were introducing Kes on stage.
So after waiting about 15min the mugs were finished which meant we had to resort to buying mixed drink in these small plastic cups for $300 each (it’s like they didn’t want to give you any alcohol but wanted your money).
Anyhow I got my drinks, about 4 of them, then proceeded to watch Kes the Band perform. He did a good job; he dropped hit after hit as well as interacted with the crowd, even singing some old reggae hits which everyone sang along with him. In real Soca fashion he asked females to join him on stage. What ensued was a whining competition among the ladies and Kes himself getting double teamed.
A little while after Kes brought on another artist who has a Soca hit song known to Jamaicans (sorry don’t remember the name) but it got him a good reaction from the crowd and he also sang in Spanish. This went on for a little while then switched back to Kes who ended his set singing his well known hit “Wutless” followed by an introduction of his band and team.
Then it was time for the paint. The first wave came in the color of white with paint being thrown into the crowd from every angle then red after that blue. Sometimes you would unexpectedly get splashed in the face while dancing but that’s jouvert for ya. Individuals would also walk through the crowd to find anyone clean and get them painted even VIP had a lil area for them to get their paint on.
At 3:00am it was time to hit the road and wake the neighborhood as we got ready to parade the streets of Kingston till a morning. Slowly everyone headed to the exit while others got their drinks refilled before going outside. Once out, persons found a truck they wanted to march behind and the march began.
Now this for me was the downside of the event as from observation the majority just walked behind the trucks instead of dancing. A few people did dance but mostly it was just moving feet tryna keep up with the trucks that moved at a steady pace so those who danced had to do so for a min then stop so the truck wouldn’t leave them. I spent the remainder of the morning tryna find a hype crowd between the three trucks but no luck, I just had to steal a whine here and there .
So we definitely woke some people up as we marched pass Beverly hills music blaring and into the town. Some UWI/Utech students who were tired cut from the crowd and walked back to campus in groups while others even called a taxi to go home as their feet couldn’t handle the journey.
The March continued into sunrise and people walked till around 5am. A lot of persons would just walk pass the trucks in an attempt to get back to Mas Camp to their cars and head home.
Overall it was a nice experience given I haven’t been to a jouvert since 2009 but my memory of it was filled with a lot more dancing and i had energy to spare. Also the same issue I’ve been having this Soca season is the music selection. The DJs keep playing the same songs 10 times or more acting as if Soca started in 2014 not even an hour of Calypso but oh well no use arguing maybe I’ll give it a shot again next year.
Visit my IG shermz_Partyheart for clips of kes performance and road March