Its still hard to believe that many of us have not gotten the opportunity to go to a single fete or Carnival for 2020. Usually some of us would be in a state of tabanca awaiting the next one, but now we are in an absolute drought. And no this is not the same as not being able to afford a costume or a few fetes and having to sit out while your friends have the time of their lives. The whole world has stopped nearly completely because of the pandemic.
Every single year (or every few months, depending on your bank account) we used to look forward to releasing all of our problems, stress and energy into the music filled atmosphere the morning of carnival. We look forward to making new connections, feeding off of each other's positive vibes -- now the vibes just don't exist. No matter how many DJs hold a "virtual fete" its best we just listened to a Private Ryan mix on Youtube or a playlist created by Spotify. As much as we try to be good sports, I'm sure you'd much rather see Problem Child perform in person.
Virtual fetes and carnivals are not an alternative everyone is enthusiastic about, let's be real. We go to these events to escape family life, our 9-5 jobs, and our daily stressers at home. But how exactly are we supposed to enjoy these virtual events if we are surrounded by all of these things every single day? Its draining to think about, but whats also draining is having to worry or wonder about the fate of carnival, soca related events, and even soca itself in the coming year. Until we know for sure all we have are memories, photos and videos of previous years on the road or in someone's all inclusive fete misbehaving. And while these are great memories to have, it can also make someone sad during unprecedented times. We dont know when carnival will be back -- it's a guarantee that 2021 will not be colorful. So how exactly does the soca and carnival world push forward with no carnival? How does the caribbean community full of very social and vibrant people, deal with key events, traditions, and times of togetherness suddenly not "existing " anymore ( for the time being ).
When the pandemic is over, do you think your momentum and love for the culture will be the same as it was before 2020? How do you think we will go about living and navigating the world without carnival for the first time?