Clash: Left, Wayne Marshall on the reggae team, versus Shal Marshall, right, on the soca team. *Photos supplied
Clash: Left, Wayne Marshall on the reggae team, versus Shal Marshall, right, on the soca team. *Photos supplied

FRIDAY, JULY 20: Cup Match is the height of the summer celebrations in Bermuda.

We party from Wednesday straight until Sunday and there are events that are synonymous with Cup Match for locals and tourists alike.

Soca vs Reggae is one of those events.

This is the sixth annual contest and this year, organizers promise it will be bigger and better.

The event is called Marshall Law, featuring Shal Marshall for the soca team and Wayne Marshall for the reggae team.

Celebrity judges include Ninja Cutty, Live Wires and yours truly.

Soca vs Reggae will be on August 3 in the Royal Naval Dockyard.

And organizers are not only encouraging patrons to buy tickets early, but to also come to the event early.

Vejay Steede of Barmuvinjam said: “Reggae is leading three to two and has won the last two years.

“So soca is in desperate need of a win.

“YGS will be captain of the reggae team and D’General is captain of the soca team”

As far as the venue goes, it’s not an actual venue but something the team created.

“We are calling it Alcove.

“As you go into Dockyard, take the left behind the Clocktower and there’s an open area that gives it a nice historic backdrop which we plan to utilize and give it sort of a nostalgic feel.


“During the day, it’s nothing to look at, but once it’s developed, it will be exciting.”

Steede said with the venue, the space will be limited and encouraged patrons to get their tickets early.

“The whole reason we started doing this was to introduce soca to reggae lovers and reggae to soca lovers.

“That said, we’re trying to introduce a new up and coming artist — Shal Marshall.

“A lot of people may not recognise him by name, but he had a few good hits, Police on the Palance ‘riddim’.

“His biggest hit this year is Trouble.

“His vibe is like Machel Montano because they do some work in some of the same production crews.

“When he leaves Bermuda, they’re going to be saying ‘when is he coming back’.”

Steede continued: “Also, I think that soca is moving, it’s taking some big leaps in Bermuda.

“I think a lot of credit has to go soca DJ D’General.”

As far as Wayne Marshall, Steede said: “He is a different kind of animal.

“We’re bringing him similarly as we brought Poison Dart. They were hot at the time and seemed to have faded.

“They had many hits in the 90s and now we are reintroducing them and they have recent hits.”

He continued: “Wayne has Overcome, Break My Heart and Swaggin’.

“He’s got stuff from the 90s and some recent songs for the younger generation.

“The fact that they are both called Marshall is what inspired Marshall Law.”

This year, tourists are encouraged to attend and transportation will be provided for them. 

“Last year, we had a very good turnout from the tourists, either tourists on the island or tourists who flew in specifically for the events and the other Cup Match activities.

“That seems to be even more significant this year as the Bermuda Department of Tourism has come on board.

“One of the things that we’re doing this year to make it a staple event for tourists is to provide transportation from three major hotels.”

He continued: “The idea being that a lot of tourists want to come to local events, but when they finish late, they have no means of getting back to their hotel.

“This will encourage them to come to the event and have a safe way home.”

The gates will open at 8:30pm with the show starting at 9pm with an early warm-up by DJ Rusty G.

Sponsors for the event include Fiji, Red Bull, Heineken, Smirnoff, Bacardi, Digicel and Bermuda Department of Tourism.

Tickets are $50 in advance and are available at Secrets or The team would like to thank WEDCO for the opportunity to host the event in the Royal Naval Dockyard.