Return to Happiness
By Leiselle Maraj Saturday, January 11 2014
If just for a few hours, Island People hopes that fetegoers would forget their worries and stress and Return to Happiness as they reintroduce the very popular Amnesia fete.
Fetegoers last experienced the all-inclusive in 2010, after it was cancelled in 2008 due to a short Carnival season that year. Island People’s General Manager, Colin Greaves explained a short season would mean advertising their fete during Christmas festivities when most people would not be thinking about Carnival activities.
“We could not execute a proper event within the time frame given so it did not make sense. Plus nobody wants to see Carnival advertisements in Christmas season so we made the decision to cancel it,” he said. The fete returned in 2009 but evolved in 2011 into Yeah!, an all inclusive that offered feters two partying options.
“Yeah! was our response to the economic climate at that time. There was an economic downturn and things were hard so we made the fete affordable, offering for the first time two levels of all inclusive: inclusive and ultra inclusive,” Greaves explained. Yeah! faced a fate similar to Amnesia last year when it was cancelled due to a short season. Which brings us to 2014, when Island People has decided to answer the call of its masqueraders and faithful feters to return to Amnesia.
“We want to go back to the basics of partying. That is why the tag for this year’s Amnesia is the Return of Happiness. We want to take people back to the days when you went to a party to have a good time. People put so many things into an all-inclusive event that it has become ridiculous. Now it is about what food you are getting. It is not a restaurant, it is a party,” he said.
To create good vibes before the event on February 1, Greaves said Island People would be encouraging people to be friendly to one another. “We would be asking people to tell others good morning, or encouraging them to take lunch to work and share with others. At the fete, we would include traditional elements of Amnesia including fantastic and interactive decor. Machel Montano HD would headline the fete and we would also have Bunji Garlin, Fay Ann Lyons and the Asylum Vikings and some of the top DJs. We want to bring happiness because Trinis need some happiness now,” he said.
Montano, he said, is especially excited to perform at the return to Amnesia as it was the first all-inclusive fete he performed at accompanied by his full band.
He said while the menu is being finalised, fete patrons would be treated to local comfort food including African/Creole, Indian and Chinese dishes. While it is an all-inclusive premium bar, Greaves said patrons would be allowed to bring one bottle of their favourite beverage.
“People are happy when they are served their favourite drink and sometimes, the bar may not have it and they have to settle for what is there. We would allow patrons to walk with their favourite brand so that they would be contented in the party on the night,” Greaves explained.
When asked to explain the concept of interactive decor, Island People’s General Manager said there may be costumed characters to make patrons smile. With all that is promised, Greaves assured that the price of the fete is below that of most other inclusive fetes. “In the past Amnesias, we had Moko Jumbie bartenders serving drinks through the crowd. We may bring this back. We are hoping to create interactions that would encourage fete goers to forget their stress and problems so that they have a good time at Amnesia and come out of the fete happy,” he said.