A new location plus a new date equals the “biggest crowd ever” at Awaken Oasis Ultra Premium fete.
The two major changes to the annual event had such a positive impact that promoter Tremayne Austin is looking to do it again later this year. “We are seriously exploring the possibility of having an out-of-season Awaken in November,” he told Bajan Vibes during an exclusive interview.
Austin said he has received nothing but positive feedback from patrons. “I am very happy with what I have been hearing about the event from the people that matter most, the patrons. We all would have worked tirelessly to put on a good party. We know the best form of advertising is when people endorse your event when people get with their friends and talk. That way, someone who has never been would want to be a part of the next event,” he said.
Close to 900 people braved heavy morning showers accompanied by thunder and the occasional lightning to be a part of the premium event. The non-stop pouring rain saturated the grounds making it mucky. Some patrons tied their shoes with plastic bags while others folded the bottom of their pants. They made the necessary improvisations, but it was clear that no one intended to leave before the end of the fete. Partygoers stood with umbrellas in hand, cramped under the tents and sought refuge at any vantage point in order to enjoy the fete.
One patron who said he flew in for the event told Bajan Vibes that he had been to every Awaken fete and this year’s event was, by far, the biggest and the best. “Awaken is lit. Rain pouring but nobody is moving. This vibe is sweet. I was sceptical about the turnout when they moved forward the date but this is the most people I have ever seen at this event. I come every year. We’re all just having a good time…” he said, as he continued to party with his group of friends.
The increased numbers were confirmed when Bajan Vibes checked with the police who said the crowd was close to 900.
DJs kept the vibe going from 4 a.m. while live acts took to the stage later in the morning. Fadda Fox, Leadpipe & Saddis, Mara Rose, Jus D and Hypasounds sang some old-time favourites as well as their 2019 songs.
There was food aplenty. Roast breadfruit, pasta, soup and pastry were some of the items on the menu. The bars were fully stocked with alcohol and those who didn’t want to go to the bar had the option of having an alcoholic snow cone.
Although the sun was not shining, there was plenty of heat in the place. Coconut water on demand and bottled water were available to quench patrons’ thirst. A few lucky early birds would have received a complimentary fan branded Awaken as they entered the party.
Awaken, which is always the first major all-inclusive event for the Crop Over, attracted some familiar faces and who’s who in society. Spotted there were: Chairman of Barbados TODAY Peter Harris, Chief Executive Officer of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. William Griffith, Chief Executive Officer of SigniaGlobe Financial Paul Ashby, Flow’s Senior Manager Communications Southern Caribbean Marilyn Sealy, businesswoman Shelly Williams, President of the NUPW Akanni McDowall and cricketer Tino Best. Entertainers TC, Natahlee and Nikita were also present.
The fete which was slated for 4 a.m. to 11 a.m. ended at 11:20 a.m. Patrons were seen liming and chatting well after the event had ended.
Austin thanked the sponsors, committee members, staff and the patrons who he said “made the annual event a resounding success”.(IMC)