Snapshot Saturdays

With Carnival quickly approaching (23 days to be exact) all that’s on people’s minds is fete.

Which fete you going to this weekend? Which band you playing in this year? Have you bought your costume yet? Which fetes you going to the Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, and Sun before Carnival?

So you can imagine their surprise when I tell them “I won’t be in Trinidad for Carnival this year..I’m going to travel instead.

Whaaaa? Yuh mad or wha? How could you leave now? This is the best time to be in Trinidad!..This is what this country is about!

Yeah, yeah..I know..” I say. “Carnival just isn’t my thing..I would rather travel if I have the chance to..Maybe next year. that I’ve dropped that bomb, I’ll continue..

This is my first time being in Trinidad during this ‘pre-carnival’ period. Previously, whenever I came to visit my family it was during Easter, Summer, or Christmas Holidays. So..I guess you wouldn’t be too surprised to know that it’s only recently that I learnt what a “Cooler Fete” is. When I think about it, the concept is..rather..genius. You pay between $25-$35 to go to a rather large, open-air venue with a DJ and live performances by popular soca artists (Machel, Kes, etc etc). And that’s not even the best part – you walk with your own cooler full of whatever it is you want to drink..brilliant! So all in all, it works out to be a pretty good deal. (I imagine you can pack snacks too, but if you want something more substantial to eat, they have food vendors throughout the party).

Cooler fetes are a big deal in Trinidad. So much so that they even right features like the below in local publications. The subheadline reads, “Coolers are like lovers, each has their own special qualities and not every one is for you, but somewhere out there is your perfect match. How to find the one that will really fulfill your specific needs? Consider this a cheat sheet.”

If I had to would be The Portable.

Cooler fete

Getting the best cooler for your needs

So ‘Cooler Fetes’ are a great way to have a good time with your friends..without totally breaking the bank (I guess that also depends on how much you buy to put in the cooler and whether you only go for premium alcohol!). And since most of the people who attend these fetes are between the ages of 20-30,..and these fetes/parties/mini concerts take place every weekend before really goes over well. Oh, and on top of that, glass isn’t allowed inside of the venue – so fights with broken bottles are never a concern.

I went to my first Cooler Fete a few weeks ago..and I really understood why this system works so well. Not only from a financial standpoint but also from a logistical standpoint. I mean, having to fight up to get your drink in a crowd 1,000-2,000 people deep would be a nightmare..not only for patrons, but also for organizers. (I used to work in events back in Miami, so I always think about these things whenever I attend something new).

This is a flyer from a cooler fete that took place in Brooklyn, NY..I really really like this concept and think that event organizers all over the world could learn something from Trinis and how they fete. Has anyone heard of Cooler Fetes taking place outside of Trinidad/Caribbean communities elsewhere? That would be interesting to know..

Cooler fetes


Anyway, I took a couple of ‘snapshots’ of my first cooler fete experience.

Cooler fetes

Coolers galore..

Cooler fetes

Whaddyuh know? They also double as case you need to see over the crowd..

Coolere fetes

Mixing drinks at the Cooler fete..some even brought their own snacks..yes they thought i was kind of crazy for wanting to take a picture of their "area." oh well.

Cooler fetes

My cousin showing us how it's done.."5 parts vodka, 1 part soda."

Cooler fetes

The beginning of the night..just getting started..

Cooler fetes

Crowd shot later in the time!

I managed to capture a couple of videos of some of the favorite being when 2 white boys from Maryland got on stage and started to wine (third video..absolute hilarity! haha) If you listen closely to the first video of Kes performing, you can hear my dad say,, “ayyayyaaaa tune boy!” when Kes starts singing ‘Wotless.’ Classic. Good times.

Cooler fete

Maryland boys at Rehab..they were causing quite a stir at the party..especially the one on the left in his kilt.


And that about wraps up this week’s Snapshot Saturdays!

woop woop!

Promise to get back to some more ummm…’thought provoking’ pieces next week. 😉


Filed under Life in Trinidad

5 responses to “Snapshot Saturdays

  1. Trinicat

    Where the Heinekin in the coolers. I haven’t seen any.

  2. I’m taking off for Carnival myself, and the reaction is “BLASPHEMY!” Having lived here for 2 years now, those days off to travel and see new stuff are golden to me. It’s so weird to me when I come back too. It’s like Carnival never happened. Anyway, cool post. Keep them coming!

  3. i’ve been here for 35 years now. used to be on music trucks with the band when my father used to play. ran bars on the route for carnival. went in POS during the festival to look on and drink. NEVER PLAYED MAS ONCE. do not intend to. especially not now with the prices. don’t do the fete scene either. will go to ones i can get into free, but i think it’s a waste of money for me. i think soca has degenerated, the carnival itself has been watered down and lost its meaning. but the long weekend is great. was going to run a business for carnival, but not feelin it that much again. i would fly out from here no problem. you could imagine the comments i get for this?!! i just wrote an article for a local mag that is anti-carnival. can’t wait to see what happens with it. hahaha!!

  4. Kevin

    My crew + music+Cooler Fete= level bessness

  5. Diana

    There was a cooler fete here in Miami. A couple of minutes away from what used to be Bayside Hut. Anyways it was the place to be… loved every minute of it. I really have to go and experience some true fetes in TNT. I’m Colombian, but my husband is Trini and I have yet to go to TNT lol
    By the way …Love your blogs!!

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