For our first fete review, Shello attended Soaka. These are his thoughts, and the first of many more to come.
Price ($400) – Normally, this would be a big no-no for a regular cooler fete. Based on the type of entertainment and the vibes however, the price might be considered to be reasonable. Scalpers made mas, as tickets went as high as $800 on the road. (3 out of 5)
Music – The live performances by Kes, Machel (Monk) and Olatunji (over CD tracks) were well received. Kes hyped up the crowd at 5am, which served to prep all of us for Monk’s entry at the brink of dawn. And trust me, he brought his A-game. The blending of “Waiting for the Stage” into “In We Blood” was a source of extra excitement for all, especially when they opened up the water hoses. Ola hit the stage near 8am, and “Oh Yay” was a monster track. I still don’t understand what the Royal Castle ad interlude was about, but with alcohol flowing, water pouring down and the sun now blazing, people sang word for word. (4 out of 5)
Bar – Since it was a cooler fete, there was not much of a bar. I did appreciate the fact they gave away free beers (Coors) and samples of Vodka/Rum to enhance your drinking experience, though. There was also a sober zone with coffee and water/cran-water available, at no extra cost to the patron. (4 out of 5)
Food – There was a food zone which was separate from the major feting zone but, as my focus was elsewhere, I didn’t have any of it. (2.5 out of 5)
Amenities – O2 Park’s bathrooms are nice when it’s not a “water based” fete. Unfortunately, Soaka is a water-based fete (if the name didn’t tip you off). So yuh know is plenty long lines and muddy water inside the bathroom. The clean-up crews couldn’t work fast enough to keep up with the crowds. (1 out of 5)
Location – O2 Park is a popular venue for this type of event. My grouse in the past has been traffic congestion, but this year I must commend the Police for properly managing the parking situation so that traffic was not an issue. (4 out of 5)
Experience – Well this fete is a prime Ultra Bare Back Barry vibes party (editor’s note: aka a Shello party, who happened to do this review). It reminded me of an old school Insomnia fete. The build-up was nice, and the DJ didn’t stick. Kes’ and Machel’s performances kept waists loose and moving. Stushness didn’t exist in this fete. For those who wanted that scene, the “VIP” balcony was present to observe proceedings from a safe (lame) distance. (5 out of 5)
THE POST MORTEM:
Soaka is the bastard child of the combined vibes of Pier 1 and Blue Range cooler fetes; with Insomnia’s time, location and water action thrown in for good measure. It was a memorable fete in which to let loose. And trust me I saw some “looseness”. Even with the bathroom issues, and despite being somewhat over-priced, I absolutely recommend hitting this fete next year.
Overall (4 out of 5)