Sooo after 2015, then the hype of 2016 – what happened? Did another soca venture crash and spectacularly burn?
I had heard about Tabanca through friends attending the first event. “You have to go”, “It’s s wicked”, “I have tabanca fever” are some of the comments I heard. So for me it was a no brainer. Tabanca 2016 would see me. I rallied up the posse and 10 of booked gold rooms, paid up in full and made the preparations to go.
Tabanca ran from Friday to Monday but due to work, I drove down late on Friday night with friends and joined the party upon arrival. It was a easy book in system, we got a wristband upon registering and that part was smooth, quick and easy. Finding chalet rooms in a vast complex was not too difficult once you had your bearings straight…but oh my days, the gold room was to me, the basic room! What was gold about this room exactly? The bruk down shower or cooking amenities? The size of it? The only good thing, was the couch/bed in the living room. Slept like a baby on it. Didnt want the bed in the room, I took over the couch and made it my home for two nights. Why oh why did they not book in a complex that had decent rooms. Yes, am sure they had to think about cost, availability and accommodating numbers but the venue really was not sufficient. Hard to say where is good, but this was not.
What can I say though? What was I expecting? To summarise, I was expecting to enter a room full of loud pumping music and carnival vibes, based on the previous feedback. After all it was Tabanca, the party to be at. It was the Lingerie/Pyjama party night, so I donned my pretty little negligee and strutted of with friends in tow to the venue. What could go wrong? What I got upon arrival was a barely filled room, no sound to the music and people having to make their own vibes. What happened? The DJ’s were a mix of haphazard mixes, you knew who was good and the bad cleared the room. Some just played for themselves, jumping up and down on the stage with the crowd looking at them saying “please change the track”. A shame the DJ’s could not see with the crowd and play in order to increase the fun levels. So what did we do. Get drunk and make the night seem great and in the drunkern haze it was utopia.
In the morning, the hangover kicked in and the reality of the living conditions gleaned clearly in our eyes. Better still was the abundant ever present seagulls. You just couldnt or didn’t dare leave food out, those buggers would terrorise you. Not quite sure how you deter them, but they were not pleasant company to constantly have around.
During the day was dry.. can’t put a better word to it. There was a lack of decent activities, sure they had soca aerobics, comedy shows during the day, but the rain put a halt to the aerobics on the beach and I suppose the lack of contingency planning and perhaps my perception of expectation was wrong. So what did I do?. I stayed in, got drunk and played cards. So we did and what fun we had. Its in those kind of times that you meet new friends and going to events like this become meaningful.
On Saturday was the wear your old mas dance. Again, I repeat. “What I got upon arrival was a barely filled room, no sound to the music and people having to make their own vibes”. The constant ‘make your own vibes’ was becoming jarring at that point. This was Tabanca, the fete of all fetes. I did make my vibes, really I did and have some great memories but on that night when you spoke to the staff you saw the disheartened faces and the sad reality that the event might be a bust.
Sunday morning/afternoon was a chill down zone for some, but the French Soca Crew maintained the vibe with the their crazy dress style and hosting of a block party that day. What a party, such fun and all was out jamming. French soca crew were great and crazy bunch of personalities and really hope to cross paths with them again. For the Sunday eving we were party to the dress up evening and by then, no one really wanted to dress up and go. We were tired and consisently drunk from rum, it felt time to go home, but we attended. It was not full, but it had the vibe of it was time to go home and fete one last time. I left the semi empty venue early in order to the do the drive back home and didn’t feel bad I left early, just felt bad I didn’t leave earlier.
Tabanca as a whole was great, as I went with friends and funnily enough made new friends too, but it could have been more… for me. I am not sure what more is but it was lacking in something that made me feel this way. The organisation was great, nothing to fault there and all questions prior to the event were answered, always on time but it was just the event itself that had me questioning the viability of it. Some of the artists booked had dropped out but to me that was not the issue, the venue had the capacity to hold so many but the event did not the have the capacity to stock the venue. So in essence, it always looked half full if everyone turned up.
My expectations were so high for Tabanca, but in the end I felt that it was used as a catch up weekender with friends, with the added benefits of fetes close by. I loved Tabanca for the friendships I made and laughs we had ……..would I go again? Yes, but would it be for Tabanca, that is the question.