Trinidad Carnival 2020 Fete Review – Pon De Grass
Pon De Grass 2020 – The Carnival Backyard Jam and Grill
Now, this is a story all about how… I almost didn’t go to Pon De Grass but I won’t make that mistake again.
When I created my original list of fetes for Trinidad Carnival 2020, I have to admit that Pon De Grass wasn’t originally on my list. A friend, who probably qualifies as a carnival veteran at this point, told me about Pon De Grass. He tried to convince me that Pon De Grass was a fete I shouldn’t miss but at first, I wasn’t sold. By that point, I was already set on my fete list, had created my fete budget and was basically tired of spending money on fete tickets. So when he told me he had extra tickets and I could just tag along, my ‘no’ became a ‘maybe’. In my mind, I was like “hmmm… I guess. I don’t have anything else planned for that day anyway” but I was still on the fence. Eventually, I just decided to go and I do not regret it one bit! In fact, Pon De Grass is now on my “Can’t Miss Fetes” list for Trinidad Carnival.
About Pon De Grass
Pon De Grass is a cooler fete hosted by Konata, a Trinidadian entertainer, and his team at Emurgy Entertainment, the same group that hosts the Dirty Dozen J’ouvert band. 2020 being its 6th year, it is typically held on the Tuesday before Carnival Tuesday, this year on February 18. It starts in the late afternoon and goes into the night. The dress code of the event is noted as “like is ah jam” by the party promoters so basically it doesn’t have to be anything too fancy or elaborate. It doesn’t have to be your cutest brunch outfit; you want something that’s simple but still nice. Music was mostly supplied by DJ’s, including DJ Watty accompanied by Major Penny, but there were some live performances as well, including Iwer George. Iwer George was later crowned the joint International Soca Monarch and Trinidad Road March winner along with Kes for their hit soca song Stage Gone Bad.
Amenities – What was included with my Pon De Grass ticket?
As I said, Pon De Grass is a cooler fete so no food or drink was included with the ticket but there was a bar where you could buy alcohol and chasers by the bottle or cup. There were also several food stands where you could get gyros, bake and shark, jerk chicken and more. I actually got myself a lamb gyro when I first got to the fete because I hadn’t eaten dinner. Remember people, no drinking on an empty stomach.
After the fete, I swung by the jerk man and hm, hm, hmmmm… when I started to eat the chicken I had to go up to the jerk man and ask him where he’s from. As a Jamaican, anytime I try jerk chicken outside of Jamaica, I’m always skeptical because it’s rarely done right but this chicken was so good, I was sure dude was a yaadie. Suffice to say, he was a Jamaican man from Spanish Town so I gave him my big ups for the chicken and we had a mini bonding session. After bonding over our Jamaicaness and complimenting his jerking skills, I felt comfortable enough to berate him for not having any bread to go with the chicken. They were just selling fries. Either way, the chicken was a great end to the fete.
Pon De Grass was nonstop vibes. Vibes on top of vibes on top of vibes! The fete was just so good. This was one of those fetes where the energy of the crowd and entertainers was as intoxicating as alcohol. The DJs knew their music and played the songs that the crowd needed to hear and the crowd fed off that energy. Whether they were playing the hits or the lesser-known songs, 2020 soca or less recent songs, they were played at the right time.
It was obvious to me that Pon De Grass attracted a good crowd that knew how to party and anywhere I looked, I saw people enjoying themselves. And if anyone was looking my way, they would’ve seen a girl having A TIME. Pon De Grass was so good that even though I had gone to two fetes before, I would say that this was really the start of the fetes for me for the 2020 season. 10/10 would recommend.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention that your girl also dived off the stage. A big song this year was Dive by Fay-Ann Lyons which has inspired a number of entertainers to dive off stages into crowds. At one point in the fete, Major Penny asked for volunteers to dive off the stage. I was quick to volunteer as tribute. After two others before me, I got my turn to dive off the stage into the arms of a group of men waiting to catch me. This was the highlight of the event for me and one of the most memorable moments of my Trinidad Carnival experience.
That’s a Wrap!
- Would I go to Pon De Grass again? Definitely!
- Do I think it’s value for your money? Yes. As a cooler fete, the cost of a ticket is significantly lower than the cost of all-inclusive fetes and how much you spend on alcohol depends on how much alcohol you plan to drink. Plus, if partying with friends, you can split the cost of alcohol, chaser, and ice and only need one cooler. I definitely recommend bringing your alcohol as opposed to buying it at the venue.
Pon De Grass was one of my favourite fetes from Trinidad Carnival 2020 and is certainly in my top three. I look forward to going to Pon De Grass again the next time I make it to Trinidad Carnival.
Until then, stay safe and happy fete-ing!
My top three fetes