Thursday, May 8, 2014

PARTY GUIDE - Atlanta Carnival 2014

Atlanta Carnival 2014
Party Schedule
                                                   Memorial Day Weekend
                               May 22nd  - May 26th 2014

(the weekend before Carnival)
May 17th, 2014

Cooler Fete*
Performer: Lyrikal
Jolie Event Center
5240 Panola Industrial Boulevard
Decatur, GA 30058
General Admission - $40 advance
Tickets: International Roti House - 404-534-2318
              Georgetown Foodmarket - 404-534-0208
              Thomas Bakery - 404-284-8421
Synopsis: This is a no-brainer, the premier Atlanta Carnival launch party several years running, it has been consistently good with the added benefit this year of a live performance by Lyrikal.

May 21st, 2014

Carnival Hangover 8
Free drinks, free food all night
186 Auburn Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30303
General Admission - $20 before midnight with text or flyer (link below) or join the VIP List
Synopsis: If I had to go anywhere the Wednesday before Atlanta Carnival, I'd definitely do Hangover which has always been consistently good, you can't go wrong with a Krushmore fete, not to mention the all night freeness (food, beers, liquor). 

Army Fete
D1 Event Center
2520 Park Central Boulevard
Decatur, GA 30035
General Admission - $10 at the door, ladies free before 11:30
Tickets: N/A
Synopsis: I'm not so sure about this one honestly; from a trini soca lover's perspective the line up (with the exception of DJ Stephen) seems heavy on the dancehall and VI music front not to mention that it's a Wednesday night, folks still have to work the next morning. By all means go if you like dancehall or small island music but soca lovers beware.

May 22nd, 2014

Performers: Kerwin Dubois, 5StarAkil
Museum Bar
181 Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard
Atlanta, GA 30312
General Admission - $25
VIP - $45
Synopsis: Kerwin always gives an electrifying live performance and with the inclusion of the "To me heart" man 5 Star Akil as well, I Am Soca 2014 should not disappoint. I highly recommend this fete.

Flag Party 2014
Performers: Iwer George
Cream Ultra Lounge
3249 Buford Highway NE
Atlanta, GA
General Admission - Free entry with any flag before midnight
Tickets: N/A
Synopsis: This is the first time I've ever seen Flag Party featuring a live performance. My recent experience with this particular Atlanta Carnival regular has seen Flag Party become a very small island affair, which is fine if you come from the VI, St. Kitts etc, but doesn't bode well for bonafide soca lovers. This might have been the fete to go to had there not been I AM SOCA taking place the very same night. Iwer George may have been better served hooking up with Kerwin. 

May 23rd, 2014

GBM Showcase*
Performers: KES, Destra, Ravi B, , Lyrical, Shall Marshal, Nutron 
Golden Glide Roller Rink
2750 Wesley Chapel Road
Decatur, GA 30034
General Admission - $25 advance, more at the door
Synopsis: How much more convincing do you need? It's Kes, Destra, Shal, Ravi B Nutron and Lyrical, don't be ridiculous.

Atlanta Carnival J'Ouvert
Performers: Bunji Garlin, Fayann Lyons, Beenie Man
The Atrium
5479 Memorial Drive
Stone Mountain, GA
General Admission - $25 in advance
Synopsis: Not to be confused with actual jouvert, this confusingly-named annual Atlanta Carnival party has been perplexing generations of party goers for years. Here is where things begin to get a little complicated; feters are now faced with a choice, either Bunji/Fayann/Beenie, or GBM Showcase with Kes, Destra etc which are both frustratingly on the same night.

2nd Annual Official Atlanta Carnival JOUVERT
Herndon Stadium - Morris Brown College
643 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive
Atlanta, GA
General Admission - $10 advance, $15 at the door
Synopsis: Closer to what should be expected of an event called "jouvert," come prepared  to be covered in mud, oil, paint, chocolate, etc, definitely not an event for the clean minded folk. To be honest, I'm not entirely sure about this event; first introduced last year, it does not yet have a major following and also faces stiff competition from the GBM Showcase and the Bunji/Fayann/Beenie Man fetes that same night.

May 24th, 2014

Atlanta Carnival Parade*
Atlanta Underground
50 Central Avenue SW
Atlanta, GA 30303
General Admission- $10 
Synopsis: This year Carnival moves to Underground Atlanta; please, for the love of everything holy, buy your tickets ONLINE. Do not under circumstances attempt to purchase carnival village tickets onsite, you will be in line for've been warned.

NOTE: Be very careful folks, there appears to be two listings on Eventbrite claiming to be "The Official Atlanta Carnival Village 2014." There is always some confusion with Atlanta Carnival every year, I swear, but please be mindful that the only Official Carnival, is taking place at the Atlanta Underground, NOT Herndon Stadium at Morris Brown College, that was last year's venue.

Kooler Fete*
Karibbean Konnection
2620 Park Central Boulevard
Decatur GA
General  - $20 advance
Tickets: Thomas Bakery - 404-284-8421
               Sugar Island Jerk - 770-985-0491
               International Roti House - 404-534-2318
               Tassa Roti Shop - 770-977-3163
               Marlies Food Kitchen - 678-647-3389
               Karibbean Konnection - 770-883-4566
               Fadda Slackey - 646-541-6435
Synopsis: Every other fete this year (except the other Cooler Fete) offers online ticket sales, what exactly is the holdup? Who exactly has time to drive around trying to buy tickets? It is my hope that they address this issue in future, it's 2014 after all. Kooler Fete 2013 was fun but there were issues. For one the DJ didn't have any of the headline act's music which led to an a capella performance and worse, him singing other artistes' music. Secondly the sound system was horrible, the outdoor speakers shorted out, leaving those outside with no music. It is my sincere hope that important lessons were learned, that these issues shouldn't resurface this year, I thoroughly expect to have a good time.

Carnival Scandal
Performers: Benjai, Tallpree
Agape Event Center
6420 Hillandale Drive
Lithonia, GA 30058
General - $20 advance
Synopsis: I'd be careful with this one folks, Benjai and Tallpree are definitely tempting prospects but I don't know much about the promoter in question and there does not appear to be much buzz around this. Don't be surprised to find only you Benjai and Tallpree in the building when you get there.

Atlanta Carnival VI Wuk Up
Performers: V.I.O, Spectrum International, Pumpa, Rudy and Show Dem Band
5479 Memorial Drive
Stone Mountain, GA 30083
General - $25 advance
Synopsis: A great fete option for the VI Crew and small islanders among us.

May 25th, 2014

Sunday Morningbreakfast fete (8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.)
Mc Bride's Complex
2272 Park Central Blvd
Decatur, GA 30035
General - $20 advance
Synopsis: Third year running, Sunday Morning is the place to be on erm.....Sunday Morning. Good food, great music, nice vibes, be there if you can wake yourself up to go.

15th Annual Wear White*
Performer: Iwer George, Blaxx
Golden Glide Roller Rink
2750 Wesley Chapel Road
Decatur, GA 30034
General - $20 advance
Synopsis: Even though the Machel fete last year was the same night, it did nothing to tame this party which ran tim 6:30 Monday morning. With no Machel to steal its thunder this year, plus the inclusion of Iwer George AND Blaxx, one would be silly to miss this.

So that's it folks, I hope that you will all find this information useful this year, it's always my goal to help you the soca lover, to properly navigate the mess that Atlanta Carnival can be from time to time. Go on out there, be safe and more importantly have a very good time.

As usual, if I happened to miss something, please leave a note in the comments, I'll try to update the listings as quickly as possible.

*highlighted events are ones that I personally plan to attend.