Bunji Garlin, receiving payment for Hard Fete repeat at Bacchanal Blocko 2023. Photograph: Overtime Media

Cash delivered on stage to Bunji for ‘Hard Fete’ repeats

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Caesar’s Army patrons whipped out wet TT and USD bills to pay performer Bunji Garlin (Ian Alvarez) to pull up and restart his hit song, Hard Fete during his performance at Bacchanal Blocko, held at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on 4 February.

Fans of the artist and the song continue to demonstrate their affection for both in different ways throughout the season: from taking the microphone and singing Bunji’s verse word for word at a recent event, to volunteering to pay for repeat renditions with cash-in-hand.

Passionate fans believe Hard Fete can win this year’s Road March title, and just last week Bunji said, whilst on stage at St Mary’s all-inclusive fete, that he had finally been convinced to register the song for the competition. Road March is judged on the number of plays each entry receives at various judging points around the country.

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Taking the stage around 8am, Bunji received a warm welcome, even though the previous performers, namely Devon ‘Lyrikal’ Martin and the Grenadian duo now known as Wussways, had already smashed the audience with their distinctive voices, high-energy deliveries and antics.

Bunji’s potent delivery, flow and lyrics on the beat were all that he needed to demonstrate his superior skills, as the Caesar’s Army assembly took hold of Hard Fete and made it their own – generally a good sign for a Road March contender.

After leaving the venue, Bunji posted a video on his instagram page complaining that he had come prepared to be coloured up with paint and powder, but had not received his colours. He said, “I had a time in Bacchanal Blocko this morning, real vibes, though it was 8 in the morning, people was just soaked and if you see them in all kinds of colours – and yet, I am here to make a complaint: I was born in Trinidad and Tobago, you know. I love Carnival and Carnival is rooted in me. I came dressed in a particular way, I was all up on the fence and still, look at me…”

Dressed in white shorts, Alvarez barely got a few yellow dots of paint on them to account for his experience; hence his stated complaint. Although written partly in jest, Bunji’s grievance was scheduled to be aired avenged the following Sunday at the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba, as the Caesar’s Army faithful gathered for the final instalment of the Bacchanalia Festival weekend, the Bacchanal Road experience, from 2-8 pm.

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