Miami Carnival 2023: The Road Experience w/ Revel Nation

I would consider myself a Miami Carnival veteran at this point and this year reminded me of the goodness that Miami has to offer. In short, Miami Carnival owed me nothing. Let’s talk about it

My carnival week begun at the Saint Lucian Carnival 2024 media launch, an exciting display of Saint Lucian talent, music and more. Once that concluded, it was time to prep for the week of events.

Where I Partied

My first event attended was Citrus, a premium all inclusive event. The staging, entrance and food set up were on point, with a Hennessy fountain for those cognac lovers. Performances by Kerwin Du Bois and Patrice Roberts kept the crowd in full swing in addition to a great lineup of DJs.

That evening I changed and headed to Hybrid’s Big Phat Fish , one of my favorite all white events in Miami. This was a drinks inclusive fete with stellar performances by Voice, Skinny Fabulous and Nailah Blackman. If you came late this year, you may have been met with a closed bar as the venue directed the bar staff to stop serving drinks at 2AM. This year, you needed to come to events on time, most ended at the time designated on the flyer.

Once Carnival Saturday rolled around, many dressed for jouvert in Lauderhill. Scorch and Spice and Viva La Carnival were our chosen byob fetes. While Alkaline and Spice touched the stage at Scorch and Spice, Leadpipe and Problem Child performed at Viva La Carnival. I loved the set up of Viva but missed the truck vibes. The music did stop abruptly at 2AM, another indication that Miami Police were not playing when it came to party end times this year.

Bacchanal Beach, the last lap of Miami Carnival took place at it’s usual spot on Virginia Key. It was fun to experience some of our soca faves one last time, I was sad to see that we did not have a music truck pull off this year, an element that sets this event a part.

The Love of the Road.

My 7th year with Revel Nation was a marker of what it felt like playing mas with this band for the very first time. Revel launched their Way of the Water theme as a virtual launch in June. For patrons in the Florida region, there was an in person launch event if you wanted to see the costumes in person. It was the in person event videos and pictures that made me choose my section, Skimwing. Not typically a fan of blue, the iridescent and rainbow body-wear made this costume a win for me and it was skimpy, which i loved.

Registration was seamless, I logged into the Mas OX app and input my options – excited and prepped to pick up my costume in October. Since I arrived in Miami on Carnival Wednesday, I chose to pickup my costume as early as possible so I could avoid long wait times. With my balance fully paid, I got to mascamp around 8pm and was out by 825pm, large backpack and costume in hand.

Carnival Day

Carnival Day finally arrived. I was fed, dressed and ready to party. We got to Miami Dade Fairgrounds and met Revel Nation at the start of the route. DJs played extremely well and played an assortment of soca. I was so happy to hear some of my 2023 Grenadian faves booming through the band.

Drinks were strong and the sound system was even more impressive as speakers and subwoofers were extended to the drinks truck. The road experience was nice and long, I feel like the trucks rolled at a manageable pace allowing us to enjoy ourselves. In fact, we did not cross the stage until it was dark and I was really happy about that. Once crossed, I was bound for the food truck but did not get anything to eat, sadly all fish/veggie meals ran out. I think we had a different vendor this year but I hope to see Raphie’s team back next year. Despite my food challenge, I had a wonderful time this year dancing and partying with my friends. The feathered backpack storage truck was a wonderful amenity and was very well organized, kudos to the team!

As usual, Miami is a wonderful culmination of carnival experiences and soca throughout the year. I hope you enjoyed yourself as I did.

Yours in Mas,

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Carnival from a masquerader perspective - Where to fete? Band reviews? What to wear? I got you!

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