June 18, 2021

festivals in the Caribbean

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10 Unmissable events and festivals in the Caribbean this year56-3621881-142317342229b02d034888456692e13290ebe19c38

By Patrick Norrie From The Culture Trip

An obvious reason to go to a festival in the Caribbean is because it is almost guaranteed that it will be located within outrageously beautiful surroundings. However, these fantastic festivals deserve to be attended based on its own merit. Across the Caribbean, there are many joyful festivals brimming with cultural activities. The following are ten events we think are fully deserving of recommendation.
© Digimedia Photo + Cinema for the trinidad+tobago film festival

September 15 – 29
This festival is the real deal. MovieMaker, an important film magazine based in America, bestowed ttff as one of the 25 coolest film festivals in the world. However, it’d be a mistake to perceive this as an exclusive event solely attended by a specific demographic. At the very core of ttff’s project is to reach out to its local communities: carefully selecting films that will specifically resonate with the Caribbean population. This inclusive festival will be supplemented with workshops, seminars, panel discussion and networking events. Ultimately, ttff’s work to enable greater visibility of the Caribbean film industry should be applauded.
Event takes place in various locations across Port of Spain.
Crop Over

July – August (exact dates TBA)
Crop Over is an integral part of the cultural calendar in Barbados. This delightful, celebratory event is steeped in history: originating from when plantation workers in the 19th century broke out into jubilation once the sugar crop harvest ended. Nowadays the festival represents contemporary Barbados, while simultaneously paying tribute to its heritage. Last year’s festivities featured visual art exhibitions, markets and live music ranging from soca to folk as well as a calypso competition. Crop Over always climaxes with the ultimate colourful street parade known as Grand Kadooment. So if you’re looking for something life-affirming then this is definitely the event to look out for this summer.
Event takes place in various locations across Barbados.
St. Patrick’s Day in Montserrat

March 17
A pocket of Ireland can be found in the Caribbean, on a Western Indian island called Montserrat. Ireland and Montserrat happen to be inextricably linked, owing to a seismic event in the 17th Century: Oliver Cromwell’s conquest of Ireland. The consequence of this was the beginning of the Irish slave trade, with many expelled to the West Indies. Simultaneously, African slaves were also being imported by colonialists to work in Montserrat. Therefore, St. Patrick’s Day is a significant event in this small island’s history. It is not a sombre occasion, however, but a vibrant week of celebrations marked by the Montserrat’s African Music Festival.
Event takes places in various places across Montserrat.
Chronixx live at Reggae Sumfest 2013 I © Beaver on the Beats/Flickr
Reggae Sumfest

July 23 – 28
56-3621883-1423173427676eb25ad7014b21ae74a78abfcfed0cJamaica is the home of reggae, so it is only fitting that the country hosts what is proclaimed as the ‘Greatest Reggae Show On Earth’. For 23 years, disciples of reggae have been flocking to this festival at Montego Bay. Last year, a beach party – featuring Crazy Neil and DJ Nicco – kicked proceedings off and was then followed by All White Party and Dancehall Nights showcasing the best in contemporary reggae. If that wasn’t enough, the International Nights – headlined by Beenie Man, Sean Paul and Wiz Khalifa last year – whipped the crowd into a frenzy. This is a reggae party you will not want to miss out on.
Reggae Sumfest, Catherine Hall Entertainment Center, Montego Bay, Jamaica
Curacao North Sea Jazz Festival

September 3 – 5
The sixth edition of this popular festival – located at the sumptuous Picscadera Bay Resort – will begin in style with a free event featuring two major names in Latin America contemporary music: Venezuelan salsa musician Oscar D’León and Colombian solo artist Juanes. They have yet to announce the rest of the lineup, however the pedigree showcased on previous lineups such as Prince in 2013 and Bruno Mars in 2014, only heightens the expectations. The organisers have also announced a new project: a 3 day festival for connoisseurs of Blues music. Curacao International BlueSeas Festival will explode onto the scene from 7th of May this year.
Curacao North Sea Jazz Festival, Piscadera Bay Resort, Willemstad, Curacao
11th Havana Biennial I (c) Diaspora Vibe/Flickr

May 22 – June 22
56-3621885-142317343378f5be9e7cc84bf18981ddc61f7caa34To mark the 30th anniversary of the Havana Biennial, the curatorial team decided to do something different this year. There will be no central exhibition area in the 12th edition of the Havana Biennial, instead the city itself will take center stage. Titled ‘Between The Idea and The Experience’, the biennial will explore the creative process in context of the urban landscape. Also this socially immersive project intends to ruminate on previous biennials in Havana, and to explore whether our traditional conception of an exhibition requires re-energizing.
Event taking place in various places across Havana.

April 29 – May 3
Trinidad and Tobago’s annual literary festival, Boca Lit Fest was founded in 2010, and provides a significant space in the calendar to champion Caribbean writers. The festival also offers the local population a forum to celebrate literature and meet international writers. The week is packed with activities from book signings and film screenings to music and storytelling events for children. Anticipation grows as the winners of the 2015 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, the Horlick Arvon Prize for poets and the Burt Award for Caribbean Young Adult Literature are also announced. A particular highlight includes the Verses Bocas Poetry competition, an event which sold out at the Central Bank Auditorium last year.
Event takes place in various locations across Port of Spain.
Junkanoo I (c) mathieu.fortin/Flickr

December 26
56-3621887-1423173441fd51c6a32ec44085b845f574b6c9a984Junkanoo has become a major source of tourism in the Bahamas. There is now a Junkanoo Carnvial Festival taking place on May 7-9th along with the Junkanoo Summer Festival during June and July in various towns across the Bahamas. Undoubtedly, the most significant dates are the legendary Boxing Day and New Year’s Day Junkanoo in downtown Nassau. On December 26th, the parade – known as the ‘first rush’ – starts at 2AM and finishes approximately at 10AM. The procession is truly a sight to behold: a street of exuberant dancers, supported by musicians playing goatskin drums, horns, whistles and cowbell.
Event takes place in Nassau.
St. Kitts Music Festival

June 25 – 27
St. Kitts hosts one of the best annual music festivals in the Caribbean. Festival-goers have lauded the natural beauty of St. Kitts as being the perfect location for a musically-rich three day festival. Last year, the highlights of the lineup included the highly acclaimed calypso artist Explainer and soca musician Skinny Fabulous as well as former Destiny’s Child member Kelly Rowland. Although this year’s lineup has yet to be announced, the island’s other features as well as the tasty West Indian meals served up on festival camp-site at Warner Park Stadium – in Basseterre – will make it a definitive highlight this summer.
St. Kitts Music Festival, Warner Park, Basseterre, Saint Kitts and Nevis
Grenada Carnival – Spice Mas Festival

10 – 11 August
This event’s unfettered ebullience has put Grenada on the map. The organizers work hard to build up the anticipation for the Grenada Carnival, with events such as calypso and soca competitions leading up to it. Yet the carnival – also known as Spice Mas – officially begins with the J’ouvert, early in the morning on the 10th of August, when the ‘Jab Jab dancers’ take to the streets. They are covered in bright colours or mud and wear horned helmets, dancing to calypso music and to steel band as they splash paint on bystanders. The street party carries on relentlessly throughout Monday night and the whole of Tuesday the next day.

For more on this story go to: http://theculturetrip.com/caribbean/articles/10-unmissable-events-and-festivals-in-the-caribbean-this-year/

EDITOR: Cayman Islands also has “Don’t Miss Events” too:
November 12 – 22 2015
Pirates Week – Cayman Islands National Festival http://www.caymanislands.ky/eventsoffers/piratesweek.aspx

May 2, 2015
Batabano http://www.caymancarnival.com/

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