A wild, wet SPF Beach party
Mainly outfitted in fancy swimsuits, sheer coveralls, stylish sandals, and cut-off shorts, patrons of SPF Forever Beach Party, were not prepared for a thunderstorm.
The promoter's original intent of a fire-infused event was thwarted by a surprise downpour of rain. Though music halted for close to an hour, with no apparent contingency, the event carried on along the shores of St Ann until the sky turned blue.
With strict arrangements to park at the Chukka Cove polo field and be shuttled to the venue, the downpour was ultimately inescapable.
About 1:30 a.m., partygoers were forced to seek refuge in tents, by a sudden, strong gust of wind. It swept across the beach in continuous swoops, first kicking up sand, then sea, before bringing torrents of rain.
After all had swiftly vacated the sandy dance floor in search of shelter, the disc jocks were left stranded on stage and could only manage to reach for a tarpaulin to protect their equipment. This resulted in an extended moment of musical silence.
There was one who was prepared. Frequent party-hoppers will recognise Junior, often found near the gate of these events, operating his mobile 24-hour one-stop shop. Since being in the party retail business for the past 20 years, the salesman says that he has learnt how to prepare for all situations.
As everyone huddled for heat and dryness, Junior circled the venue with a bundle of umbrellas, on sale for $1,000 each.
"I have about 200 or so in the vehicle here now," Junior told The Gleaner.
Prepared as Junior was, most patrons seemed patient with the storm, or, perhaps, left with no choice but to linger. With the absence of music, many took advantage of momentary flurries to steal away to the bar and food station, the latter offering a varied menu of roasted yam and breadfruit, curried goat, jerked chicken, pork, and barbeque ribs.
Eventually, the storm did pass. By 2:15 a.m., the disc jocks felt less threatened as the downpour eased to a drizzle. Emboldened (or well-imbibed) patrons came out from their shelters into the drizzling rain, now, less concerned about the state of their fancy attires and as though making up for lost time, music (provided by DJ Heavy D of Chromatic and DJ Lank from Code Red) continued for an hour beyond the scheduled end time of 4 a.m.