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Monday, January 16, 2012

They Call me Mrs Fete :Yeah! - The Review

Fete : Island People Yeah, O2 Park Chaguaramas
Price:Inclusive: $395, Hyper Inclusive: $595
Date: January 14,2012
Location
As someone coming from the East, Chaguaramas in the West can be quite a long drive to and from the event. Thankfully even with two other events in the area on Saturday there was no traffic  en route when we arrived at 8PM. The only caveat with O2 Park is no assigned parking, you have to park along the main road though there were police and security directing you on where to park.

Ambiance/Decor
O2 Park underwent a facelift in 2011 and this is the second time I am seeing the revamped space.On entering you were greeted by models wearing costumes from Island People's Carnival 2012 presentation "Heroes" and truth be told this was the first I had seen of the redesigned costumes on models. There were also ballet dancers in white (not too sure why) and also pole dancers throughout the venue. I like the use of the white tents, with the decor of O2 Park you feel more as if you are at an outdoor living space than a blank open area littered with tents.
The layout of Yeah! was pretty good. Inclusive patrons had the area at the bottom of the hill with food for sale on the perimeter and hyper inclusive was located above on the hill with a view of the entire area. There was a seating area for dining in the sunken area and deserts on the hillside. Ample tables,chairs throughout the Hyper Inclusive area and one main bar.
Both areas had access to the stage even though there was a fence separating Inclusive and Hyper Inclusive. 
Food
Hyper Inclusive offered sushi from More Vino, Beef and potatoes from Flair, Samosas, pork,chicken, ribs and a variety of other dishes from Mangoes as well as gourmet doubles, bake and shark and deserts.I personally had the sushi which was very good, other reports also commended the food from Flair as well. For the price I think what was offered was sufficient and apart from the sushi closing up shop too early, you could have had something to eat at any point in time during the night.

Drinks
The main bar served Johnny Walker Black and Single Barrell among other spirits, with an Ocean Spray Cocktail tents and sample stations of Nuvo and Hennessy. My only complaint was that the Nuvo sample station was located outside of the Hyper Inclusive area, so if I wanted a drink I had to go down the hill...and then back up. Plus the samples were not available all night, they also closed up shop early! I understand that the bar was done by Angostura and Brydens is responsible for Nuvo, but it would be nice to have Nuvo available all night if I wanted. 
Performances
Denise Belfon kicked off the live performances and sorry to say that I was very unfamiliar with all of her Carnival 2012 offerings, and guessing by the fact that she did not rouse the crowd I can say most people were hearing her songs for the first time.Of course everyone enjoyed Denise's older songs accompanied by her bicycle wine.
JW and Blaze got things moving a little bit, but it was Kes who really kicked things into gear. Yeah! was my first fete of the season, first time seeing all the performers live. I am liking Kes's 2012 repertoire, Coming Over, Precision Wine and Stress Away had the crowd moving.
Swappi is as entertaining as always, from the minute he steps on stage and you see what he is wearing. I am still trying to wrap my mind around Bucket being such a hit; my favourite Swappi song is Bubble on a D.J.
Machel Montano is in much better form than 2011, he is actually singing an entire verse and chorus without stopping for breath this year. He looks as though he has been working out and the performance is getting back to the standard of Machel in the 90s. The great thing about Machel is that he has so many songs, so many hits and so many favourites that he can perform a variety of old and new music; I think he gave a solid performance but I want to see something more next time I see him on stage, something was missing, maybe it is too early in the season or maybe I am not thinking Pump Your Flag for road march as yet.

Patrice Roberts has really come into her own as a performer, she can now hold court with the boys and command her stage. Good job.
Crowd Vibe
I don't know if it is too early in the season, but at first the crowd was very laid back., concentrating on eating and socializing than dancing. Eventually with the performances they started to move a little and those directly to the front of the stage were full of all the energy. From my spot in the sponsor area everyone there was having a ball throughout all the performances.
Eye Candy
The ladies were very well dressed for Yeah! and so too were most of the guys! Way more eye candy for the men than the women unless you were looking to pick up a "sugar daddy" as there were more older men in Hyper Inclusive than younger ones. Cannot vouch for Inclusive area as I did not venture there to scope out the prospects.
Extras
The makeup artist doing full makeup services was a surprise as I certainly did not expect to see that there! What was even more surprising was that people were actually taking advantage of getting their makeup done while the fete was in progress! 

Bathroom 
This is specifically for you ladies since we actually care about these things. The good thing about O2 Park is no porta potties! There are permanent bathroom areas and the one in Hyper Inclusive was very nice and CLEAN with air conditioning, lots of mirrors, stalls and fancy sinks.. so fancy my friend didn't know how to turn on the water! 

Overall Rating
For my first fete of the season I would give Yeah! a solid  7 out of 10. Nothing went wrong, everything ran smoothly, good food, variety of drinks, lots of performers but the level of energy and enthusiasm from the crowd was a bit lacking at times especially when I think back to Amnesia (the Island People event this has replaced) which used to be epic! 

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