My Wild Ride at Tidal Rave 2023 - Ghana's Biggest Beach Music Festival
As someone who enjoys the pleasures of life and is very cheerful, I’ve soaked up the vibrant energy at street festivals and admired the creativity on display at art galleries. But there’s one event I’ve been itching to experience — Tidal Rave. I missed it last year, and I’ve heard it’s an unforgettable mix of music, dance, and beach fun.
When a colleague from Gold Coast XP got us tickets for this year’s Tidal Rave 2023 event, I couldn’t wait to dive into that experience and live it up as much as it was being hyped. I cleared my social calendar faster than you can say FOMO. This year’s festival was dubbed “The New Rave,” promising an ocean of endless excitement with jaw-dropping sets from top MCs and DJs. On November 4th, my colleague, Emmanuel and I hit the road, eager for the experience.
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Arrival at the LA Palm Royal Beach Hotel
Arriving at LA Palm Royal Beach Hotel, we found a whirlwind of activity, with crowds and vehicles streaming in and out as security monitored the scene. Two policemen informed us we’d need to park at the Trade Fair Center and get our tickets scanned before shuttling over.
Emmanuel navigated the quick two-to-three-minute drive to the center, where cars crammed every inch as fashionable attendees flooded the area. Guys sported Crocs with socks, short jeans, and flashy tops, while ladies flaunted strong style statements from head to toe. Security was just as prevalent here, with police directing us to designated parking.
Emmanuel slid into a spot, and we headed for the ticket scanning stations. I greeted the staffer as I offered my phone to scan the QR code in under 20 seconds, confirming my ticket. He fastened a sleek, customized Tidal Rave wristband on my right arm and fist-bumped me, urging me to enjoy the show.
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Reuniting with my colleague, also now wristbanded, we grabbed promotional Fan Yogurts while awaiting the next packed shuttle bus to the main venue. Within two minutes, shuttles pulled up and we scrambled on, the bus packing to capacity before whisking us to the hotel.
A funny guy in the back kept us chuckling with silly senior high school stories and sharp quips about the ongoing NPP presidential election. Laugh after laugh, we soon arrived at the Palm Royal, where I realized crowds exceeded those outside. Emmanuel and I queued for security, who warned attendees to prohibit weapons and ensure safety.
Getting into the Rave
Passing inspection, we entered a kinetic world, with people engrossed in activities and revelry. DJs blasted Afrobeats as dancers moved as one, drones buzzed overhead, and partygoers snapped pics and videos. Some tested their skills at archery games and tosses while constant motion electrified the hotel.
Wandering further in, we reached the main stage space. DJs assembled sound systems and ran checks in preparation for the headliners as I stared, transfixed by the massive, well-appointed stage. Dramatic background visuals proclaimed “Tidal Waves, For Ravers Only.” I told Emmanuel the production quality was an easy 10/10 and he couldn’t agree less.
The infectious energy sparked romance, with lovers dotting the crowds holding hands, chatting, and swaying to the beats. While Emmanuel and I only held our phones in our hands, feeling like a third wheel in a bicycle race but we still sipped our drinks, solo, and enjoyed the moment as the vibe enveloped us. As 7:00 p.m. approached, ravers streamed toward the stage, buzzing with anticipation.
The MC officially welcomed the hyped-up ravers and introduced the entertainment roster keeping the fun flowing – DJs, MCs, and hype men. DJ Vyrusky was on hand to assist, though not actively DJing yet.
The openers whipped up the crowd with an electric blend of Afrobeats, reggae-dancehall, hip-hop, and more. Upcoming talents got chances to shine, like ”Aba With The Sauce” channeling the combined styles of Sister Derby, Nicki Minaj, and Cardi B with her dancers.
Performances Lit Up the Stage
A reggae-dancehall artist freestyled effortlessly over the DJ’s beat, earning cheers for more. Tulenke turned up the heat with hits like “Goodnight,” “Tonight,” “Proud Fvck Boys” and his “Child Abuse” remix, swagging out in durag, sleeveless tee, and streetwear. The incredible choreographer Incredible Zigi and crew awed onlookers with their smooth moves.
With excitement at a fever pitch, the moment came for the rain god himself, the mighty Samini. I’ve seen his electrifying performances many times, and they never disappoint. Backed by his live band, he moved the crowd with smash hits like “My Own,” “Obra,” “Where My Baby Dey,” and “Obaa.”
He took his time, engaging the ravers while wishing everyone a prosperous 2024. Efya brought her melodious voice and dancers for a stirring set. Hitmakers like Kidi, Joey B, La Meme Gang, and R2Bees kept energy levels peak. But Sarkodie and Stonebwoy’s appearances skyrocketed the party.
Fresh off his 5th dimension European tour, Stonebwoy and his live band delivered. But near the end of his performance, Sarkodie’s team, led by DJ Mensah, disrupted Stonebwoy’s set over alleged time issues. Insiders claimed Stonebwoy went over his 35-minute slot, though his team contends he was delayed and only performed 30 minutes. Everything was settled off and nothing bad happened.
Then the landlord Sarkodie took the stage as ravers recorded with phones and cameras, his performance was one of the most anticipated, with the crowd rapping out his verses word for word, it was incredible.
Can’t Wait For Next Year’s Rave!
Beyond Stonebwoy and Sarkodie’s team dustup, Tidal Rave 2023 was a resounding 10/10, the best event so far. Organizers outdid themselves, and I’m already excited for Tidal Rave 2024.
I hope to see you there next year! Thank you for reading this blog. I hope you found it fun to read and informative.
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