Big people party for UWI Relive

Patrons at UWI Fete 2023. Photo by Sureash Cholai
Patrons at UWI Fete 2023. Photo by Sureash Cholai

While throngs of rambunctious revellers partied the morning away for the Soaka Till Sunrise fete, a cooler, more tame atmosphere emerged hours later at the University of the West Indies' (UWI), Relive fete at the St Augustine campus on January 22 afternoon.

The UWI fete is jointly organised by the UWI Development and Endowment Fund (UWIDEF) as a fundraiser for student bursaries and scholarships. It usually attracts a mature crowd and most of the patrons were older, veteran limers, eager to begin their Carnival romp.

Patrons at UWI Fete 2023
Patrons at UWI Fete 2023. Photo by Sureash Cholai

Before the 2 pm start, patrons dressed in bright colours and festive patterns began lining up from as early as 1.30 pm.

Food, relaxing ambience and good performances made the evening an enjoyable one. Freetown Collective performed as patrons gradually got into the groove of the event. The pace began to pick up with a performance from soca sensation Voice, who stirred the crowd into a frenzy with his set of old and new hits. Some patrons, while initially unfamiliar with his latest single, Long Live Soca, quickly adapted to the pace, dancing in small groups. Voice was joined by Grenadian soca artiste V'ghn for their 2023 single, Finally 2.

Speaking with Newsday after his performance, Vghn, whose real name is Jevaughn John ,said he was pleased with the crowd's response to the song and was happy to see such a large turnout.

"The response for sure was awesome, the energy was great. You can see people came out to enjoy themselves. This is not my first time coming to Trinidad, the turnout is great, the patrons are here and they're ready for Carnival 2023, I can see it."

Patrons were also entertained by traditional mas characters walking and dancing and providing fun photo opportunities. Soca duo DJ Ana and Ultra Simmo also kept the vibe lively between sets as patrons sang and danced along to the music.

Traditional Mas Character at UWI fete 2023.
Traditional Mas Character at UWI fete 2023. Photo by Sureash Cholai Sureash Cholai

Presenters Jason Williams and Whitney Husbands also kept spirits high with colourful banter, followed by social media influencer and radio personality Major Penny.

One of the high points of the night was the performance of Kes The Band, who stirred the crowd into a frenzy with their performance of old and new hits. His performance of Jolene was particularly well received as couples danced and sang the word for word.

Farmer Nappy also brought the crowd to life and his groovy soca tracks drew the crowd to the front of the stage to dance to take videos. His performance lasted just under 20 minutes as he belted out hit after hit, eventually ending with long-time favourite, Music Farm.

Speaking with Newsday Farmer Nappy said the event was a resounding success, describing it as a Big People Party, in a nod to his own song.

"The UWI all-inclusive is always a big people party. You see things like Music Farm, Hookin Meh, Gyal Like Rain, the groove side of soca, UWI people love to dance and at the end of the day there was a big turnout compared to the covid and what we faced before because people want to party but we also have to party in a safe manner because remember it's (covid19) is still here.

"The people are mature people that's why Farmer will sing in these events."

With performances from Nailah Blackman and Patrice Roberts wrapping up the fete, patrons left the event feeling satisfied with the quality of performances.

Crowd at UWI Fete 2023.
Crowd at UWI Fete 2023. Photo by Sureash Cholai


"Big people party for UWI Relive"

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