You know those weekends? When you are with a group of friends and it is just laughter and fun and soca and rum and party that is on repeat for the entire weekend? That was my weekend just gone! A blast of a weekend!
I almost bit my tongue off in my first attempt to say the name of this place. But here I am in Braunschweig, Germany. At a really good soca fete (named Caribbean Wine) yet to be widely discovered in Europe.
I was here last year and had to return. I loved the vibe and it was a great soca weekend break. Organised by Bastian (this guy is so much into soca and carnival it’s unbelievable) and his colleagues in a relatively quiet little place deep in Germany. Some of the big DJ names/teams of the Europe soca scene were on the decks. We have Release d Riddim from London, Threeks from Berlin, Dj Mika from Leipzig and DJ Bacca from Sweden. The music in both rooms were on point!
So what makes this a fete to travel for? It is in a really unexpected place for soca and I love that novelty. We stayed at the Mercure Hotel which was literally 6 minutes walk away from the fete venue. So we walked to the venue and at 6am the following morning we rolled out of the fete to the hotel. There were two rooms of music and people out to have a good time. Reggae/bashment and afrobeats played in one room and the larger room was dedicated to soca. For me that was a great revision from last year’s fete. I see some familiar faces from the UK and the Dutch Soca Lovers family. The Dutch Soca Lovers represented hard! Word is they came from Rotterdam four cars strong! I’ve learnt that when it comes to soca? People will travel far and wide.
So. The first language is not English, it is seriously cold. But pour some liquor in a glass, put on some soca and it is an ‘all ah we’ kinda ting. No drama, no stooshiness, just pure niceness and great vibes! Personally, it is always exciting to go to new places and see how different cultures respond to and translate soca and carnival into their lives. Europeans enjoy soca with as much enthusiasm and passion (if not more) than most of us West Indians. Don’t believe me? Then you need to check out Berlin Carnival!
Will I return? For sure! It’s a nice soca weekender to get me ready for the carnival/soca hype of the coming year. I would seriously recommend making the trip. Even now I think back and just laugh at the antics and the new catchphrases that came out of this weekend. Those that know, know. ‘No! Let’s go!’
Pictures courtesy of Tropical Heat