Soca Brainwash Trinidad: What to Know Before You Go

Soca Brainwash Trinidad

First of all, if you’re reading this, then you probably GT (get through)! Well, at least I hope you did LOL. Copping tickets to DJ Private Ryan’s Soca Brainwash (SBW) event can have people on the verge of a complete mental breakdown. No exaggeration. It is one of THE most notable, must-attend events held during Trinidad Carnival Season, so there’s no surprise that tickets sell out within hours of the site going live. Again, I’m not exaggerating. 

Soca Brainwash can’t even be categorized as a simple “fete”. My fellow SBW veterans can attest that it is a whole experience. If you’re attending Soca Brainwash for the first time, I want to give you some tips. Honestly, even if you’ve attended before these tips could still be helpful depending on the type of experience you’ve had in the past. Let’s get straight into it:

Arrive On Time

Y’all know I’m an on-time feter, which is not a common practice on the soca scene. However, I definitely think you need to adopt my on-time approach for this particular event. This is especially the case if you’re a content creator of any magnitude, or simply just love to capture scenic moments. Just to be clear, when I say on-time, I mean ON-TIME. I recommend arriving no later than the time indicated on the Soca Brainwash flyer.

Again, this is an experience. I don’t know who Ryan hires to produce the event, but they “be going” IN their decorative bag! Soca Brainwash is always decorated to the maximum, and there are a plethora of theme-centered photo stations situated throughout the open space. Speaking of this..let’s move on to my next tip.

Get the Lay of the Land

Once you make it past security, get your wristband and collect your signature Soca Brainwash cup… your first mission should be to gather information on exactly where everything is located, and get the photo ops out the way early. Why? Because after a certain number of hours, it will be more challenging and annoying to navigate the terrain once the masses arrive. The SBW venue is always massive, so it’s best to start your lap in one corner and walk all around the venue to make note of places of interest to you, while taking advantage of the no-line or short-line blessings. 

It’s very easy to feel overwhelmed at Soca Brainwash because there’s so much to take in… the visuals, music, culinary treats and people all play a role in the stimulation. It’s really like a big playground for adults who refuse to grow up. 

Ryan does an excellent job of ensuring that the vendors have enough supply to last for hours upon hours. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a situation where someone has said “we doh have dat”. Nonetheless, I still support the decision to arrive on time. 

Pace Yourself

Soca Brainwash is an ALL inclusive event. This means that your ticket price covers food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, snacks, and souvenirs. Everyone looks forward to different things. No matter what it is, pace yourself. Let me give you a few examples. If you like to drink, don’t get WG wasted in the first hour (I mean, unless you arrive when the event is about to end LOL). The last thing I wish for anyone is to miss out on greatness and lost coins. Fill your belly first! Stay hydrated. 

If you’re just going for the food, make wise selections. Think twice before getting that curried dish, especially if you know you have a weak stomach.  

Dress Accordingly

You’re going to be outside ALL day. I promise, by the time you look at your watch you’re going to be shocked to discover that you’ve been partying for 8 hours straight. That’s what happened to me this year, and I wasn’t nearly ready to leave. That being said, choose your attire wisely. Yes, by all means embrace the theme, but be smart about it. Here’s a quick checklist:

  • Comfortable shoes are a must. Dare I say wear sneakers… it gets very crowded, and exposed toes plus a drunken Palance segment with over 2000 people is a recipe for cracked nails…. Just ask my two big toes. Hello hi, I’m speaking from experience. 
  • Sunglasses and hats
  • Bag – unless you’re wearing some nifty cargo pants, it’s helpful to have some type of bag with you to carry your essentials. Again, you’re likely to spend a significant amount of time at SBW. You’ll need your makeup-refreshing tools, and a place to hold your phone while you eat your food standing up. You could grab these handy-dandy phone straps to assist as well. 

Protect Your Skin

Listen allyuh… sun does be hot eh! Throw a good amount of sunscreen on before you head out. Re-up right before you get inside the venue. Then use the sunblock stations in the party to re-up throughout the remainder of the event. While there is usually shade under the main stage area, the same can’t be said as you walk around the perimeter. 

I think this next tip is top tier. Yuh ready?

D’ont Be Ashamed!

If you love the bbq pork rib station, don’t be ashamed to go back for a next plate. Did you already consume five LLB’s? So what! Nobody cares that you already threw back ten Puncheon Pops. As long as you aren’t harming yourself or anyone else yuh good in my book!

Let’s face it, Soca Brainwash tickets ain’t cheap. Get your coins worth, respectfully. It is truly a luxury feting experience. Eat and drink as much as you can handle without falling ill. No one should be hungry or parched when they leave that event. No one!

For more on this topic, please checkout the related YouTube video where I dive a little deeper into these tips. Have an amazing time at Soca Brainwash!

Until next time… 


Your seasoned carnival bestie