Bacchanal Friday a reveller’s paradise
Bacchanal Friday was the perfect way to get the weekend into full swing as revellers from all backgrounds came out ready to soak up the good vibes that permeated the venue. As first-time attendees and longtime supporters came out in their numbers, there was no better way to commemorate the event’s 21st anniversary celebration and remind soca lovers why Bacchanal Jamaica has stood the test of time as one of the island’s earliest carnival bands.
Located in the heart of Kingston, Mas Camp provided the perfect ambience, with the large open-air space for party-goers to feel free and release all their inhibition. The inclusive and welcoming vibe could be felt the moment patrons walked into venue as the energy transported them to a ‘Soca Kingdom’. Women dressed in carnival costumes gyrated on the stage and in no time dancers were drenched in sweat on the dance floor. People beamed with excitement and hands were raised in approval.
It was evident that patrons all had a singular mission in mind as it was difficult to find anyone who was able to contain themselves while the DJs played tune after tune. The music was arguably the highlight of the event.
DJ Dre, Marlon Musique, Coppershot’s Marc Chin, and Cyclone, and DJ Riche Ras had the task of keeping revellers going all night and if the multiple dance trains that randomly formed throughout the night, along with the feedback from the crowd, was anything to go by, then they all received high commendations for their work. Tracks, such as Engine Room by Olatunji and Long Live Soca by Voice were among the 2023 tunes that had the event-goers basking in the euphoric feeling that comes with carnival.
Of course, a few dancehall tunes were spun throughout the night, but soca was definitely the order of the day, and the crowd, on several occasions, managed to sing the tunes word for word. Where they could not sing, the synergy between the movement of their bodies and the beat of the music were enough evidence to prove they knew all that they needed to have a good time and that for most of the patrons that was what made the event so enjoyable.
According to patron, Ann Jeffery, she came out because she was guaranteed a good time.
“I have been coming out to Bachannal Friday for as long as they have been having it. For all the 21 years, I have been here, and it has never disappointed. That is why I keep coming,” she told The Gleaner.
Still, while the music carried the event, it alone would not have made Bacchanal Friday so special. The ease of access to bars and vendors who were present onsite made the party extremely inclusive. There was little hassle to get drinks in the general section of the party and VIPs were treated to a welcome drink and unlimited drinking throughout the night. Some party-goers paused to enjoy some jerk chicken and other food options before returning to the dancefloor, while others waited until after the last song was played at the end of the event some minutes to 3 a.m.
Despite the crowd, the organisers of Bacchanal Friday ensured that the event was safe and enjoyable for everyone. With no reports of security concerns or incidents, the night was just pure fun and the words of soca-lover Abi McFarlane, who attended the event for the first time, sums it up well.
“With the line-up of events scheduled for this weekend I think this was the perfect way to start. I came out with my friends and the moment we walked in we started dancing. I also appreciated that the DJs played mostly soca music because usually after a while the party just becomes a dancehall thing. I would definitely come back next year and perhaps the year after that,” McFarlane said.