Fete vs Party


One of the side effects of going to Trinidad Carnival is that you start to follow carnival blogs and join all sorts of groups on facebook. As a result of this, you see all the post carnival fetes in Trinidad that you DON’T get to go to. Having experienced this quite a lot recently, this got me thinking, what’s the difference between a ‘fete’ and a ‘party’?

The Vibe

Now, seeing as I’m not actually AT the fetes in Trinidad, all I really have to go off is people’s reviews, pictures and videos. Clearly these might be a bit biased, but, lets take them at face value. After seeing the photos from josie’s jamishness it became pretty clear to me that the vibe at some of these post carnival fetes is pure, unmoderated fun and madness. The people seemed to care about nothing but but having fun, dancing, drinking, and enjoying the few hours they have at the fete…pure Jamishness.

One might think this was an isolated incident, but then I saw video from the last Caesar’s army Mai Tai… Same thing. The fete seemed filled with people concerned with nothing having fun. No posing, no mingling and no socializing and ‘catching up’, just fun.

Now, here (in Jamaica) we have some GREAT parties. Parties that you look forward to months in advance. But these are the exceptions & few and far in between. For the most part in this humble blogger’s opinion, parties never quite reach the same level of fun and freedom that fetes in Trinidad seem reach on a ‘regular’ basis. The crowd very rarely seems to let loose quite as much. The overall vibe never quite seems to get to the same level of craziness.

Maybe its the commitment?

Here in Jamaica, almost everyone buys their tickets the day before, or the day of the event. Very few people buy their tickets weeks in advance. This (from my understanding) is the exact opposite of what happens in Trinidad. In Trinidad, people buy tickets for parties way in advance. In a sense they’ve committed. Maybe it’s this commitment that makes the difference. They’ve committed to going to the event and making the best of it. To put it another way, Trinis apparently take feting VERY seriously.

Maybe it’s the music?

The cornerstone of any good fete/party is the music. Here in Jamaica we tend to focus on Dacehall & Hiphop at our parties. Outside of carnival season, soca is a rare treat at any event. In Trinidad however, based on what I’m told, while the musical range is much wider than during carnival, soca gets far more airplay as compared to Jamaica. Could this be the ingredient that encourages people to ‘bruk out’? If you ask anyone, soca fan or not, whatever the event, when soca music starts to play, the energy and the vibe of the crowd changes to what one could describe as pure madness (Jamishness?).

Maybe Trinis just drink more?

Have you ever tried to keep up with a Trini when it comes to drinking? Let me be the first to tell you, it doesn’t matter if you’re 6ft and weigh 300lbs, you will lose if you try to keep up with a 110lb Trini. You’ll end up stumbling home while the Trini loses all inhibitions and parties like there’s no tomorrow. Guaranteed. Maybe this is the reason why fetes seem to be crazier and more fun?

Whatever the reason

It could be a combination of all the above, or none at all. At the end of the day though, I think you’d be hard pressed to find someone who has partied extensively in both places that doesn’t agree that a fetes can get crazier, wilder, and way more fun than most parties here in Jamaica…or anywhere else for that matter! But then again, I could be wrong.

What do you think? Fetes or parties?


Photo credits: www.thescorch.com, Krinkot, weheartit.com

3 thoughts on “Fete vs Party

  • April 28, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    I suspect that as foreigners we have an IMMENSELY biased view of trini fetes. We take the insane amount of fun we have at carnival time (partying with many other foreigners) and extrapolate it to the rest of the year. I don’t buy it! The rest of the year I suspect they have lots of “normal” parties like we do in JA and some of them flop and lots of Stoosh-ness occurs. It would be like someone Extrapolating ATI weekend in Negril, or the almighty Frenchmen foreplay in October to the entire year in Jamaica. I do have to agree with the fact that when carnival time does come, Trinidad is THE BEST place to party (over any where else in the WORLD!)

  • April 30, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    a) I don’t think that energy can be sustained year round in Trinidad but don’t know as only been over the carnival season.
    b) I think it is the soca music which promotes inhibition
    c) not related to this post but just wanted to say great job on the blogs, reviews, site

  • April 30, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    You might be right about the energy, just like ManLi might be right about my opinion being a bit tainted due to me being exposed to Trinidad at what is the high point of the party calendar. But, just looking at the videos and photos, it sure does SEEM like the energy is sustained all year round. To add to that, the number of events that seem to have that high energy and vibe seems to be up there as well.

    but, maybe we need the opinion of a few people IN Trinidad to provide another perspective

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