Irvine Hall Alumni aim to make Hard Wine a 'Big People Party'
Hard Wine: The Ultimate Soca Experience has become a staple event for college kids. Originating from the University of the West Indies, Irvine Hall, the event developed the reputation of abating tabanca, pulling soca-loving students into a high-energy fÍte right about examination time. This year, Hard Wine returns much sooner than November, with the plan to engage 'big, working people'.
"We have a very good soca product - but the mature people will see it as a kiddies fÍte," promoter Marlon Thompson told The Gleaner. As a result, to target patrons between the ages of 25 and 45 in addition to their usual GPA-chasing undergrads, Hard Wine will create a space called 'Big People Party'.
Once planned within Irvine walls, the promotion of Hard Wine now lies in the hands of alumni members.
"Where we're coming frompeople will immediately associate Hard Wine with Irvine hall on campus.
It's not a bad thingbut it's a big part of our image, so don't get more mature soca lovers," Thompson said.
To attract the mature soca lovers, Hard Wine's admission costs will be two tiered. On the first tier, presold tickets will go for $1,000, gate entry will cost $1,500. For access to the 'Big People Party', patrons will be asked to pay $5,000.
Creating a zone
"We wanted to create a space just for [working people] so they can enjoy the vibe and be among their peers," Thompson explained. If their pockets go deep enough, the same offer is available to younger patrons. "If they feel they've outgrown partying in the general area, they can come over to the Big People Party."
The Big People Party will be typical of a VIP area. According to Thompson, there will be a large platform, ground space and bistro tables adjacent to the stage. There are no billed performances.
The admission cost is drink- inclusive (premium bar sponsorship provided by Wray & Nephew). "We'll have stuff like white rum, Appleton VX, Campari- drinks for a working crowd. So of course, we'll have juices and coconut water, because as people get older, alcohol takes a toll."
Food will also be an important element in the Big People Party. Thompson told The Gleaner there will be a live pasta station, fruit platters and other amenities to frame a mature environment. "We're trying to go out of our way to make it comfortable and a great experience. We're also partnering with a spa, to provide a massage tent. We're not sure if people will actually use it, but we'll have it," he affirmed.
Hard Wine will be held at Mas Camp (Stadium North) on Saturday, January 27.