Fete : Central Bank All Inclusive, Eric Williams Plaza
Date: February, 4 2012
Central Bank All Inclusive is held downtown Port of Spain at the Eric Williams Plaza. The best part about this location is that it is easily accessible from all points and there were assigned parking spots close by.
This was my first Central Bank All inclusive and I was told the layout was the same as last year. To me the layout felt a bit strange in terms of flow and vibe of the fete. The stage was located Broadway side of St Vincent Street and from the stage headed East was a thoroughfare with food stalls and two bars. You then had to enter the courtyard area of the Financial Complex for the main bar and more eating stations plus a main dining room set up in the foyer of the building. On that side you also had large screens so that patrons could see what was happening on stage. To me the flow felt a bit disjointed, as in if you were directly in front of the stage you felt as if you were a fete if you were on the other side it felt as if you were a lime and then in between you felt to stop and eat.
There was no decor to speak of apart from the tents but the transformation of the street I drive on practically everyday to an outdoor fete area was interesting to see.
Impressive menu! The food stalls set up on the street had a variety of finger foods from a oysters, shrimp, gourmet doubles, wantons to wild meat and horse. Then in the courtyard you had sushi, desert station with chocolate fountain and cakes. And in the main dining hall a 3 course meal with about 4 different menu options. The only caveat was the lines at the main dining hall depending on what time you got there and the fact that some stations closed up shop early.
There were two bars street side, Angostura Cocktail Bar and a Rum Bar where you could get your 1919 and Single Barrel. The main bar served Johnnie Walker then there was a wine bar with Ricadonna and other sparkling wines and lastly a vodka bar. The main bar became ridiculously crowded later in the night with long waits to get a drink and at one point stopped serving Johnnie Walker. I am not too sure if they ran out or they were restocking but there was none to have.
Finally at a fete where I was able to see every single performer until the end. Starting with Rhapsody, followed by Shadow ( much respect to the man but his performance was a little drawn out), followed by Kes who was great and ending with Machel where I had no recollection of his performance or any subsequent behavior resulting from it; he was excellent!
I can only speak for the crowd stage side, as that was where I spent most of the night and everyone there was having a fantastic time! The crowd was very mixed, saw lots of people that I knew as well as a varied age group at this fete.
Have to give this fete a 7 in the eye candy department for the ladies, saw some really good looking men all coupled up! Ladies were stylish as usual, in all honesty the women at all the fetes I have been to so far have been nothing short of fashionably fabulous.
I like the fact that there were several bathroom areas located throughout the venue, the Andy Loos/D John fancy mobile bathrooms were never crowded, air conditioned worked, was always stocked with paper and were clean. No complaints.
I would give Central Bank a 7 out of 10 and that is MAINLY for the fact that I enjoyed the performances above everything else including the bar running out of my drink of choice.And also for the price the food selection was good. If it were not for that, the rating would be a bit lower as I felt the venue was too crowded, especially when you went to the bar lining up and long waiting periods for food and drink . Also, the layout just did not work well for me. This has become a very popular fete with tickets sold out in advance so maybe the organizers can look at a different venue for 2013 as it seems the crowd has outgrown the venue.