THOUSANDS of soca fans turned up for their weekly dose of high-energy music at Bacchanal Fridays held at the newly transformed Mas Camp in St Andrew, on Friday.
From an elevated position in the centre of the venue, Toronto-based DJ D'Bandit and DJ Smoke from Renaissance provided the evening's soundtrack much the delight of the audience, who showed their appreciation in dance.
"We don't want it to be the same. We set it up like a club with the deejay in the middle," said Michael Ammar, a director of Bacchanal Jamaica, the event organiser. Ammar said word about the weekly fete was getting out and that was reflected in the patronage.
"This is a very good crowd for week two. What I notice is that there are different people from last year... The more new people come, they will come back," he said. The revamped Appleton-branded VIP area, outfitted with a dance floor, was the newest hot spot.
"We decided this year to enhance the VIP experience and were sold-out every week. We've improved on the entire experience," said Gary Dixon, marketing director at J Wray & Nephew.
Government ministers, corporate executives, socialites and A-Listers all hung out in this piece of Bacchanal's real estate.
"Prior to this, the only experience was in the Carreras booth. You can come here and have a great time," said Rohan Campbell, area sales manager for Carreras. The Jamaica Observer-sponsored evening also saw two patrons -- Ayesha Facey and Julius Grey-- winning two costumes from the newspaper publishers for the road march on Sunday, April 27.
Both had similar stories.
"This is the first time in my life that I'm winning anything. This was the last thing on my mind," said an elated Facey.
Grey said he, too, had never won anything before.
"My co-workers entered me and thought I would win. This is my first time jumping carnival and I'm excited about that," he said.
The competition required that entrants clip out a Bacchanal coupon which was published in the Observer and drop in branded boxes on site.
Bacchanal Fridays continues this week.