Dream Weekend: Jamaica’s number 1 party festival
The green and lush town of Negril located in Westmoreland came alive for Dream Weekend, a party series that runs from August 2-6 annually. This year was the 11th staging of the festival which builds on Jamaica’s rich culture, music and entertainment as patrons party in paradise all while enjoying live performances from the hottest dancehall acts and famous DJs and sampling the best of Jamaican cuisine.
The parties are held at a number of venues within the town and give a true Spring Break type vibe with non-stop partying, food and drinks. In spite of this, many were still able to enjoy the natural beauty of Negril and all its offerings which includes water sports, diving and snorkelling.
The sleepy town attracted thousands of revellers who came from across the island and visitors – mainly the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom as they soaked up the Jamaican sun by day and moved to the riddim by night! Jamaica’s sizzle and sawy moves the world and is renowned for its music, entertainment and popular dance moves. Dream Weekend was a non- stop event with fun around the clock. Patrons were dressed to the “nines” as we say in Jamaica, and were able to enjoy authentic Jamaican music and culture.
On journeying into Negril, one can’t help but notice the excitement of visitors along the Norman Manley Boulevard. Every restaurant on the strip was pumping with music and visitors enjoying the food, drinks, the famous 7-mile beach and the Caribbean Sea. Food spots were flowing with visitors who were enjoying fresh Jamaican food right off the grill!
Within hours of the first event, scores of vendors, some who came as far as Kingston, set up shop. Coupled with the music and excitement, it felt like grand market in August! (For those who don’t know what grand market is, it’s usually an open market around the Christmas time when vendors set up and you can feel the excitement of the holidays).
The first Event Twisted Spiritz was on August 2 from 10pm – 4am at Wavz Beach featuring a live performance from the reigning Queen of Dancehall herself – Spice. The dress code was pyjamas and the ladies came out in in their sexiest negligée and lingerie. The men were not out done as well. The party culminated with a live performance from Spice reeling off her hit songs.
DayDreams was definitely the talk of the town. The all-white themed party was a fashion block with a variety of enticing outfits and styles! The music and entertainment set the tone for the week as live sets from Chromatic appealed to the crowds.
It was Yush that brought vibes with a spectacular performance by Capleton! Yush’s theme was 90s Dancehall as it played favourite hits from that era. It was a dance fest as patrons who left Daydreams went back to their hotel- napped and went out again to Yush!
The Wildest Wet’n Wild at Kool Runnings Waterpark, will be one to remember as revellers partied into the night as the sun left and the rain poured! Usually the most anticipated of the events, this event drew the largest crowd of the entire week’s festivities. Later in the night, the party animals returned to Wonderland, Negril where World Vibes saw lyrical damage done by Tony Matterhorn and Escobar playing hits after hits. The highlight of the event was a live performance by Alkaline performing.
Mawnin After had performances by Ding Dong Ravers and Kemar Highcon. The breakfast party started at 6am and was held by the beach where patrons were able to jump into the water as the sun rose above. This wasn’t an issue though as Negril’s weather was cool with intermittent showers. Patrons merrily enjoyed the rain and continued partying.
Celebrity playground was a sea of red clad persons in their best name brand outfits. It was hosted by American reality star Safaree and had live performances from Munga Honourable and Gage. There were also lively juggling by Coppershot music and Chromatic as well as Dj Nicco and Jazzy T.
The final day of Dream Weekend festivities ended with Igloo and Dream Jouvert. Igloo is a cooler party where patrons were allowed in coolers to bring their own liquor. Teejay and Hot Frass performed live and there was a surprise performance by dancehall sensation Shensea.
Dream Jouvert was reminiscent of carnival and truly a taste of Jamaica carnival if you missed it. Paint, powder and abeer were loaded into water guns as party-goers coloured each other. The water truck was also a curious object of excitement as those within the venue were soaked. Soca and dancehall music vibes set the pulse for the night as the night winded down and everyone made their way back to their respective hotels.
Dream Weekend is a signature calendar event in Jamaica and while it promotes Jamaica’s music and entertainment, it also promotes the island to visitors. Visitors interested in Dream Week 2020 can visit www.dreamweekend.com for packages which includes hotel and hospitality services.