Review of Miami Carnival and Fetes 2023

This year, I decided I was not covering Miami Carnival or the fetes. I just wanted to go out and free up mehself since I didn’t get to go to St. Lucia as planned. I even did something that I said I was done with. After 12 years, I decided to play mas in Miami with FreaksMas in the LIV Section. The LIV Section is one of the reasons I played Mas and missing out on playing Mas in St. Lucia honestly. I was very happy that I did play with them, cause omg, Miami Carnival go see me again. Now before I go into the Carnival, let’s talk about de fetes.

First fete for me was Tipsy Music Festival with the headliner being Machel. Now I should have learnt my lesson from last year’s fiasco but I decided to give them a second chance because it really wasn’t their fault per se. Last year, I got tickets to go to Tipsy just to see Burna Boy (yeah I know it was a carnival weekend and I listening to Afro-Beats) then some bacchanal passed with whoever was having Machel’s event and they combined the two events. That was a big mistake on their part, cause now you have 2 big artists that coming with their crowd and not changing the venue to a bigger one. Let me tell you, when I tell you dat place was so damn crowded. I had VIP tickets and ended up in General because there was no place to breathe in VIP. I say never me again, but here we are this year. This was the line up:

If you are not familiar with Miami, this is where they should have been in 2022. The place is huge, a headache to get there for something like that, because it is basically one road in, one road out, but it is a big venue. Anyway we in 2023, we reach there and it was okay. I didn’t think I was in a carnival fete eh, cause for de amount of non-soca music I hear tun (but according to my husband, it was a music festival….me backside). Now let’s get to the highway robbery…now yall know I am not a drinker drinker, I can do one drink and done. Gone to the bar and they ent have ish I can drink, but advertising wine….so I take my fast self and ask sis what kind of wine, she goes moscato but we only selling it by de bottle. *blank stare at her at this point*. So I go how much is the bottle, sis telling me $80, hubby goes take it, my daughter say she will drink it with me (cause yall know a lightweight like me wasn’t drinking a bottle by myself). Later we standing, and bottle girl passing, oh do yall want a table? Typically at other fetes, if you buy a bottle, you would get a table, so I go sure, sis coming, oh it’s $60. I say nah we good! So I have to buy yall overpriced drink and then buy a table for it too (for $60 I going home with that table oui). How is me uh? Tipsy was ok, it wasn’t wow, it wasn’t bleh…Bunji come up dry af, Skinny and Nailah brought the crowd to life a likkle, Machel was bleh….Tipsy you shall not get meh money again, next year if God spare I doing Citrus, heard that was banging!

Next day, another fete, ValeVibe Miami…this fete is always a vibe eh.

Real big people party scene. This year it was at Parrot Jungle. We got there later than usual so most of the good breakfast food was gone, but there was food of all kinds if you are a eater at fetes person (I am not). I did have some jerk chicken and festival and that was good. I didn’t drink any alcohol (I say I was partially saving my liver for SBW oui). So I stuck with drinking pineapple juice and water. Now let’s talk about de highway robbery here again…a bottle of my favorite cheap water there was $5. A case of BJ’s flipping water with 40 is $3.99, so how you telling me yall selling 1 flipping bottle for $5. Y’all make y’all money on de case right there already oui (but I digress)…it was hot sun so I minded my business and drank my water eh. De DJ’s were on and on there were a few technical difficulties but de rhythm section in de front kept us entertained. At a certain time Parrot Jungle management moved the party location to their upper level and to me that kind of killed the vibes, so we left but honestly I already had a time there so I was fine. Vale Vibe is a must for Miami Carnival, so they will see me again next year if God spare.

On to Fete #3

I had been looking forward to this fete forever. I have heard and seen all good things throughout the years with DJ Private Ryan events. So I was happy to experience it. And let me tell you, it was an experience. The traffic to get there was not the best eh and I don’t even know what they could have done about that. We paid for parking in advance and couldn’t even get into where that spot was.

When we finally got into the venue, I was like wow. Whoever does his staging, needs a raise. Everything was on point and stuck to the theme. The fete was 99.8% soca. There were 2 fete areas…Mardi Grasjam where every and anything was played and SocaBaby which played music from the 80s, 90s, and 2000s.

Remember I mentioned this was what I was saving my liver for…these kinds of all-inclusive fetes are not for me but I’m like nah, yolo…I had 2 Bacardi and coke then drank my 2 bottles of water after eh and I was nice (I had a YOLO moment with my 2 Bacardi and coke eh). I didn’t get to eat (by choice) but I heard the food was really good. We were having a time and then de rain come dong…rain stops only cricket, few people ran but most stayed in the rain. And in true Caribbean people fashion, these umbrellas they had for decoration were torn down (well some of dem)

But let me tell you if you have never been to a Soca BrainWash you are missing out. The only thing I can say if you are coming to this fete, don’t come late, you have to come early to really enjoy the ambiance and all the vibes. This is definitely an added fete to my list once I can get de tickets!

Now, to end it all…Miami Carnival……It was really nice getting out of my 12-year hiatus. I was not sure what I was expecting when I got there because I always thought it was a parking lot lime boy was I wrong. Dat sun was blazing and I could have done with that rain from SBW the night before oui. The weather held up beautifully. Let me just say that after seeing some kinds of things, I will never talk about my belly again eh. Carnival is really for everyone, BBL’s and all. I love it for them because they didn’t give a rat’s ass about what anyone thinks and were having a time. I must give it to FreaksMas for playing plenty of Lucian music, that was one thing I missed at a lot of the parties. One song they played at most parties and I was so happy to hear was Kedek Kedek (one of my fav Lucian tunes). My road experience with Freaks was very good, my costume pickup was good (heard a few people had issues with their pickup, long line, and waiting), but I was treated like a VIP (I think they were afraid of my mouth so ah got special treatment, just kidding). I didn’t drink at all on the road, that sun was telling me to just drink water and I listened, because I was not looking to pass out at all. LIV I will do you again in Miami, not Lucia, as I am a J4Funner for life lol…sorry.

This section is for the designers…when yall doing y’all nice fancy fancy costumes with a million strings to tie, please give de band/section leaders a likkle tutorial video nuh…I was hot and tight on Sunday morning and didn’t even want to come on de road cause I didn’t know how to tie de shit…and ummm most Caribbean ladies doh have long necks, keep dem neck pieces short man….dat ish made me feel like I was in some tribe trying to stretch meh neck oui. I fenk you!

This section now is for Miami Carnival Committee, now I know the bands pick their numbers but in my opinion, the bands should be categorized by small, medium, large, and then have the smaller bands pick first from 1-5 or whatever and then the mediums pick next and so on. So now you giving the bigger bands some more time to be on the road. What I saw was that some of dem big bands, although they made it on time for them not to be fined, their revelers did not and really didn’t get to experience jumping in their bands but jumping with other bands. But dais meh 2 cents eh!

Miami Carnival will be celebrating 40 years next year, so let’s see what 2024 will be bringing for all dem bands and for them! Save the date!

Below pic is the last time I played Miami Carnival with Party People and that was in the Hardrock Stadium

2023 with FreaksMas

I also have to thank Miami Carnival and Trinlu Kitchen for showcasing what I do in my professional life (Organ Donation). Hoping for continuous collaboration.

Follow them on IG: TrinLu Kitchen


Meli Mel

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