So - what is a fete? It's the Trinidadian version of a party - a party beyond most people's imagining. Or try -
200 or 2000 or more people. Everything included in the ticket price. Lots of top shelf alcohol, lots of food, and lots of music. It's a Sunday. Leave home sometime between 12 and 2 in the early afternoon. The sun's hot. Dress to kill - glamorous comfort is the order of the day. You need to be able to wine and jump. This is where you can find the cream of Trinidad society - the politicians, the executives, the young professionals - rubbing shoulders with everyone who can get the price together & get a ticket. Tickets are hard to come by for these parties - don't plan to get one at the door. They are also expensive - $40-50 US is the going rate. But, for the price, you get unlimited drinks, and in many, unlimited food. You're safe here - there is lots of security.
De Big Bram:
We start with 2000 people. Up to 20,000 people in some. A large parking lot, or the Savannah. It's late at night. How many music bands? Up to 10 or more - multiple stages, live bands. This is the energy of Carnival. Dress comfortably - shorts, jeans, sneakers. Take a bandanna to wipe away the sweat. You will be dripping before long - jumping, wining, dancing with the mass of revelers. Bring your money. It's cheap to get in - about US$10-20. Buy your drinks at the HUGE bars - run by Carib or Angostura. Corn soup vendors by the fence and outside the fete. And the names - Soca by the Silos - Flour Mills; Soca Flowing Like Water - WASA fete (the Water Authority); Army; Customs; Police; Boy Scouts. Keep your wits about you, and have a time!
De House Party:
Someone's house. We cooking. A DJ and some guest appearances by Iwer, 3canal, Superblue. Good friends. Everyone knows everyone else. This is the friendly fete. Neighbors. Friends. Family. If you can get invited - go! You'll have a wonderful time!
Anchorage, Pelican, Pier One, 'Nuts, Base. mainly in the West - the Chaguaramas peninsula is big. Square One from Barbados with Allison Hinds belting out the hot soca; on the other side - Machel and Xtatic; down the road - Blue Ventures with Sanelle and Ronnie. Soca for days! Bring your cash - you will need it. Food, drink on sale. The ubiquitous corn soup. Prices are higher here, but not that much.
De Band Launching:
Did you choose your costume yet? The band launching is exactly what it sounds like - this is when the masquerade bands (mas bands) showcase the designs for their Carnival presentations. Or at least that's what it started out as. The mas bands also showcase the live and DJ music that they will have on the road for Carnival. However, it's a big party, and many bands have started having multiple band launchings. These can be large, free to all, or by invitation only. You can find out about them on the mas band's website.
De Breakfast Party:
What a concept. Party starting midnight. Going until 10 - 11 am. Lots of bands, lots of music. Make sure that you're rested, cause these are LONG! And nobody leaves until the party is over! But - breakfast isn't really served, unless you count the orange juice in your screwdriver! Of course, as in most parties, there is food on sale.
Fete information courtesy of Jacqueline
The above information on De Fetes and what a fete is, along with the various types of fetes was written by Jacqueline A. Morris from Carnival on de Net.