I‘ve had the MOST jam-packed weekend and couldn’t wait to share all of the photos/videos with you guys from Dreamland Jouvert and Notting Hill Carnival (videos will follow shortly). For those of you who have not yet heard of Dreamland, it’s now one of the BIGGEST pre-carnival jouverts/fetes in London and Europe!
But what is jouvert?
Well, I thought you’d never ask!
Jouvert (pronounced “joo-vey”) or J’Ouvert (“joo-oo-veh”) in Patois (a language spoken in many Caribbean countries) is a large outdoor party marking the official start of carnival – usually taking place in the streets or a large field, etc. Originating in Trinidad, J’Ouvert is now celebrated at multiple points during the year across many different Caribbean countries!
Dreamland Jouvert takes place on the Saturday before Carnival/bank holiday weekend in London and has (for the last two years) been hosted at Colesdale Farm in Potters Bar. The farm stretches across a HUGE field of land and is approximately one mile away from the nearest train station! Due to this long distance (and the messiness of your clothes once you leave the event), most jouvert-goers either get a taxi to the event, drive their own cars or pay for an optional coach service.
So, why should YOU attend Dreamland Jouvert next year?
- If you love music, particularly soca, you’ll be sure to hear island vibes all day long and maybe some bashment or reggae too.
- If you love festivals, this is the perfect place to be with festival vibes throughout the day, fresh Caribbean cuisine, a bar which serves alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and live stage performances.
- If you don’t want the fuss of having to drive home after a long day of drinking (responsibly!), Dreamland Jouvert offers a coach service with pick-ups across London so leave those car keys at home!
- If you don’t mind getting messy, painted, powdered and watered down either with a water gun or a fire truck (YES, THEY HAVE A FIRE TRUCK!!) then this is 100% for you!!
But what do you need to be wary of if you are considering attending?
- Dreamland Jouvert starts fairly early in the day and finishes late in the evening so I would advise making sure you have enough money with you to purchase food and drinks as you are not allowed to bring these into the venue.
- In 2017, the very first UK Dreamland Jouvert, there were a lot fewer people attending which meant that toilet queues were shorter, food and drink queues were shorter and wait times to enter the farm were shorter too. This year, with over 3000 attendees, the queues for EVERYTHING was a LOT longer, which means as the event grows and becomes more popular, the queues will again most likely grow.
- Definitely, pre-plan your journey to and from the event beforehand – the last thing you want is to end up stranded, on a farm, in the middle of nowhere, covered in paint and powder with no way to get back home!
- I would not advise attending this event if you feel claustrophobic easily or often – although there is a large amount of space on the field, there are railings/fences to ensure people are not leaving and/or re-entering and once you do leave the area, there is no returning. With over 3000 people jumping, dancing and running around, it can feel a little squashed if you are in the centre of the action or by the stage!
What I think about this year’s event…
In comparison to last year, it is very obvious that the Dreamland team did all they did to top last year (which was pretty awesome anyway). As promised, there was MORE paint, MORE powder, MORE toilets, and MORE mess! However, I was disappointed with some of the “issues” that became apparent on the day. These issues included catering problems, issues with evenly distributing the paint and powder, issues with the food and drink tokens and a couple of other things which did not personally affect my girls or me. Dreamland has since emailed all previous ticket-holders to apologise for these issues and have stated that they are looking to improve/make changed for next year’s event. And well, I guess there’s only one way for me to see whether or not these changes were put into action! 😝
Until next time my little minions!
Jazzy in Wonderlust