The Soca vs Reggae series is one of the hottest tickets of the summer in Bermuda. Held every year on the second day of Cup Match (last weekend in July), this exuberant celebration of Caribbean music has become a highlight of summertime in Bermuda, and is poised to become an essential feature of the Cup Match experience for many years to come!
The series started from humble beginnings in 2007, when the Barmuvinjam crew and about 100 loyal patrons braved monsoon conditions on the old Club Med beach in St. Georges to deliver an unforgettable event that had every shirt soaked by the end of the night. The evening saw Reggae take the crown by the narrowest of margins, when local legends Magnum Force deployed their unyielding core of devoted followers onto the front line to snatch a last minute victory away from a strong Soca contingent.
2008 saw the importation of celebrated international acts; and what a show they put on! Reggae was once again represented by Magnum Force, with Shock ‘n’ Lust, and the internationally renowned Reggaelution sound out of Miami. The real story of the 2008 event, however, was the impact of Soca purveyors extraordinaire the Soca Twins out of Germany (ably supported by D’ General and Tony Tempo). The rest, as they say, is HISTORY!
The Soca Twins reigned supreme until 2010, when Poison Dart flew in to sweep the SVR crowd off its feet for the Reggae team. In 2011 the series took the revelry to the legendary Tiger Bay Gardens (Penno’s Wharf) in St. George’s, where Poison Dart retained the crown with the help of local Sound System YGS and Jamaican artist Ding Dong.
Soca bit back in 2012 though, and Shal Marshall joined D’General and Rusty G to defeat Wayne Marshall and his team in a showdown entitled ‘Marshall Law.’ Then there was 2013. The Soca team was untouchable in 2013. Led by Bunji Garlin and Faye-Ann Lyons, the team took Tiger Bay by storm and crushed the Reggae Team, which was ably represented by Jamaican artist Demarco and local Sound King Jyrus.
Reggae pulled out the big guns in 2014, contracting legends like Stone Love, Tony Matterhorn, and Mr. Vegas to represent the team. There could only be one result. Reggae retained the crown in 2015 as well, with Gyptian, RDX, and King Jyrus edging past returning former champion Shal Marshall, 5 Star Akil, and D’General.
The score stands at 5 wins for Reggae, and 4 wins for Soca going into year ten. The ten year anniversary will be marked by an all-out battle between the Best of the Best acts to grace the SVR stage over its first decade. This will be a very highly anticipated local event, as this series has become one of the most talked about, debated, and acclaimed entities of its kind over the past decade. No team has won three years in a row, and Reggae is now on two wins running. Can Soca break the hold that Reggae has on the title? Or will Reggae solidify its recent dominance with an unprecedented third straight win? The pressure will be on both sides to win, and that will undoubtedly make for a truly explosive Cup Match after-party in 2016.