It’s a HOT sunny Sunday and the staging of Jamaica’s first “Festival Of Floats” at the Pearly Beach in Ocho Rios … You don’t know what that is? I’ll tell you, it’s a beach “cooler party” where you bring your igloo filled with liquor and your floats the idea is to have everyone in the water on their floats soaking up sun and rum.
Tickets were $3,500 pre sold and $4,500 at the gate. One might think that’s pricey given you bring your own alcohol but not to despair, food was included in the cost and it was quite good. You had your choice of ackee and saltfish, callaloo, stewed chicken and curry goat. If you’re wondering how you would inflate your float, not to worry as a pump was on location to handle that for a price.
Chromatic was responsible for the music selection along with Selecta Shane and Kamal Bankay. Starting time was 11am, but in usual Jamaican fashion no one showed up till around 12:30 to 1pm. A few early birds trickled in with their floats and igloos of all sizes and shapes with ladies of different shades in their bikinis and short shorts ready to hit the water.
An early vibe ensued with some pop and alternative music being played. Some patrons wasted no time in getting their floats inflated and hitting the water to soak up some sun but then you had those who hid from it and with good reason, the heat was no joke despite the cool breeze blowing.
Around 2-3pm, there was a steady flow of people coming in and at the right time as the party was now in full swing, the tempo of the music increased and the vibe continued to grow as more patrons hit the water with their floats. The music was a good transition between Hip-Hop, Pop, Soca Dancehall and of course the “Bruck Out” session for the ladies to carry on bad (Ooh the eye candy!)
One expected more persons to be in the water, but with the heat the majority stayed in the shade provided by the trees and partied, around 5 pm you still had persons trailing in with their igloos, they didn’t get the memo that this party was ending at 6pm sharp even then you still had persons arriving with their igloos when the party ended (poor souls).
From observation I can honestly say the first staging of FOF was a success! The food, music and vibe was good and the ladies were out in their numbers and unlike most pool parties patrons participated by bringing their floats and weren’t afraid to get wet the next staging should definitely be bigger.
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