Stranded on the Beach

Soca On the Beachsoca-on-the-beach-2

Rawacou Reciational Park

June 29th 2014

 

I have always enjoyed Island Network’s / Soca Dans’ Soca on the Beach; it has always had an atmosphere of freedom and a kind of leisurely fun.  Held on Rawacou beach, although a little hard to get to, once on the beach it’s all good.  The cast this year was promising and the local acts were joined by Denise Belfon and Fayann Lyons with the Asylum Band.

It was very rainy the entire day, and although the rain did hold up for a while during the late evening, I was still expecting some showers. Rain was the only thing I imagined would dampen the fun and as a friend always says ‘rain does only stop cricket’ so even that was minor.

I finally got to see Vicny Marshall and Mad Skull perform and they were both impressive. Especially Vincy Marshall, the ease with which he  interacting with the band and the audience was unexpected. The Hairoun Hit Squad was present minus Wiz Skid, who knows why he didn’t show. DJ 20 was fine but Royal was just not having a good night. Hypa 4000 also did his thing and the ladies loved his performance.

Luta and Hance were wondereful. Hance has some pretty good tracks that would have done much better with the right push.  Shaunelle was great and Fya Empress was really entertaining. Im not entirely fond of many of Empress’ tracks this year but her performance was on point. Problem Child was probably the best dressed cast member and he delivered with fresh energy as though Wet fete never happened.

Skinny Fabulous was quite the rage and to my delight his voice was sounding a whole lot better than it did that morning at wet fete.  Fireman’s performance was pure energy and was extended because the rain began to pour. He just kept at it till it had calmed enough for the next person to come on stage. I could imagine all his fans there were just delighted.

I was forced to listen to Sassy and Fayann from the shelter of a gazebo. They were OK, I suppose I wasn’t that impressed because I wasn’t able to see.  At this point the rain was just pouring down with no end in sight. I decided that it was now a good time to leave, as it was already some time after 1:00 a.m and the rain wasn’t about to let up. We weren’t the only ones either. This is where my entire Soca On the Beach experience went from win to ruin.

Island Network promised a shuttle service from the parking area (on the site of the international airport) to the beach and back. When we arrived, they insisted that we park in that area, as they were not allowing vehicles to go any further. The passenger van arrived fairly quickly to take us to the venue,  but now that we wanted to head back to the parking area there were no shuttles to be seen. Neither of the two buses were operating and no one we asked could confirm whether or not the so called shuttle would be returning to take us back to our car.

We decided to be patient.  Scores of patrons were already taking the hike through the rain and mud, but we trusted that Island Network would not leave us stranded, the bus had to come back … rite? Well we were wrong. After waiting for about an hour, a period in which the bus could have made about 4 trips to and from the venue we decided to brave the rain and muck and trek back to the car.

Words cannot adequately describe how furious we all were. If guided by our own intuition we would have parked closer as we had done in previous years. But we were told that no parking was allowed at the venue (although upon arrival we did see a few ‘special’ persons who were allowed to park down there). Why were we being forced to walk in the rain and mud back to the paring lot? where were the shuttles that we were promised? Why was it that no one knew what was happening? Island Network got some splaining to do!

It didn’t end there though when we finally got to the car wet, muddy and exhausted, the parking space was dark. The spotlights that were there when we arrived, were gone and it was difficult to see where the path lay to drive out of the area. Was this some sort of trap?  I wont be too quick to attend another Island Network event soon and especially not at Rawacou particularly if they insist that we cannot park where we choose to.

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