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Activities: Festivals
Festival Calendar | Carnivals | Music Festivals | Street Parties | Theatre | Arts & Crafts | Literary | Religious | Sports | Cultural | Film | Culinary

Music Festivals

Barbados Jazz Festival

The Barbados Jazz Festival is considered one of the premier Jazz Festivals in the Caribbean with over ten years of promotions. It tops the musical events in Barbados, showcasing a variety of International, Caribbean and local entertainers and musicians, as well as attracting many visitors to this beautiful island. Music can range from R&B and Classical influences to African and Cuban rhythms while not forgetting the Jazz purist. Barbados' Jazz Festival boast venues of various atmospheres, you can enjoy great music outdoors in the natural beauty of the breathtaking Farley Hill, or maybe a romantic setting at the Sunbury Plantation, the Garfield Sobers Auditorium provides the acoustics for the big concert feel and the luxury Resort for those looking to be pampered.

The Festival was nominated for the Award of Best Jazz Festival in the World in 1999 and won the award for Best Caribbean Musical Event in 2000 and 2001.

Period: (7 days) - usually from early January to mid January
Event Dates

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CARIFESTA - The Caribbean Festival of Arts
Theatre / Arts & Craft / Literary / Cultural / Music / Culinary

This is a Caribbean festival for Creative Arts with a concept to accumulate and showcase in 10 days, all the creative and artistic skills from the member countries of CARICOM. In 1972 the first CARIFESTA was held in Guyana. Today CARIFESTA can see over 30 nations participating and showing their cultural diversities through Drama, Music, Dance, Theatre, Craft, Art, Music, Fashion & Design as well as Culinary and Literary Arts.

The festival is a celebration of unity, pride and dignity of what the Caribbean people have to offer the world. It starts and ends with beautiful Parade ceremonies complimented by entertaining cultural presentations.

Period: Alternates throughout the Caribbean Event Dates

Contact Info
The National Cultural Foundation (NCF)
Address: West Terrace, St. James.
Tel: (246) 424-0909
For more Information: Click here

Celtic Festival
Music / Sports / Cultural

The Celtic Festival in Barbados is two weeks of celebrations of the Celtic cultures and heritage from the early Europeans (Welsh, Irish, and Scottish) in Barbados. It all began when a Welsh gentleman called Mr. Palmer visited his daughter Ruth and fell in love with the island and its British influence, causing him to later bring his choir back to the island. Since then, cultural exchanges have been the norm with folk choirs and cultural performers from Wales, Ireland and Scotland visiting Barbados every year for the Celtic Festival sharing their culture.

The event is currently organised by Mr. Palmer's daughter Ruth Williams, a Welsh resident living in Barbados for over 25 years.

During the Festival you will be entertained by cultural music and folk dancing from respective countries as you enjoy some of the events such as the fun nights like the Haggis Night and the International Night, as well as sports events like the Highland Games and a Rugby Tournament.

Period: Usually between May and June Event Dates

Carol Anderson - Scotland
PH: +44 (0) 131 718 6022
MOBILE: +44 (0) 7836 546 256

Crop Over Festival
Carnival / Music / Street Party / Theatre / Arts & Craft / Literary / Cultural

This is a twelve week celebration of Barbadian culture through folk, art, craft, music, dance masquerading & revelry. It culminates with a huge all day street carnival displaying spectacular costumes.

Period: May to August

Event Dates

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NIFCA - National Independence Festival of Creative Arts
Music / Theatre / Arts & Craft / Literary / Cultural

The Barbados' NIFCA was introduced in 1973 to celebrate the island's Independence and as an outreach program in to the communities to develop and showcase the many aspects of Bajan culture and creative arts, through Drama, Dance, Music, Literary arts, Culinary Arts, Visual Arts, Photography and Art & Craft.

The National Independence Festival Of Creative Arts - NIFCA in Barbados is organized by the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) making it responsible for the many performances, art exhibitions and demonstrations on show.

The NCF NIFCA outreach expands into many Primary & Secondary Schools offering training, workshops and camps for all disciplines of the Arts.

Competitions usually start in September with the last four weeks of the festival used to display the talents of the finalist usually of all ages, during November the month of Independence (November 30th). Many participants compete from throughout the communities of the 12 parishes of Barbados, hoping to be successful and receive awards.

The most popular event of the festival is the Gala which ends the festival and features presentations and performances from the finalist of the competitions.

In recent years NIFCA has shown significant growth in participants, productions and crowd attendance, due to the hard work and commitment of the NCF and their outreach programs as well as giving the public productions and exhibitions of the highest standard.

So visitors and locals come out and support these Barbadians as they strive for excellence.

Period: mid-October to late-November Event Dates
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Gospelfest - Music / Theatre / Religious / Cultural
The Barbados Gospel Festival is considered the premier Gospel Festival of the Caribbean attracting many visitors to the island, while consistently maintaining efforts to ground the festival as a Barbadian / Caribbean festival with an international appeal, incorporating and reflecting strong elements of the cultural reality in the Caribbean. This was done by ensuring that local and Regional artistes participated and shared the stage with international acts. Opportunities were also given for the exposure and development of a wider range of artistic expression including dance and mime.

Period: May Event Dates
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Holders Season
Music / Theatre / Cultural

The Holder's Season in Barbados is the premier Performing Arts Festival of the Caribbean with a wonderful variety of world class performances given in one of the most beautiful & imaginable settings on the grounds of Holders House. Holders House is one of Barbados' most elegant of historic plantation houses, dating back to the 17th century. This event has become an indispensable part of the island's national calendar and one of the most important cultural events in the Caribbean. You will see and hear the best the world can offer in music and theatre.

Period: March (sometimes starting late Feb or ending early April) Event Dates
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Holetown Festival
Carnival / Music / Street Party / Arts & Craft / Literary / Cultural The Holetown Festival in Barbados is a week of events in February celebrating the first settlement in Barbados, in 1625 at Holetown by the English.

The festival was founded in 1977 by the late Alfred Pragnell, an entertainer. (Poet, actor and radio announcer)

Highlights of Barbados' history and culture are showcased at this annual festival through art, craft, food, music, fashion, and drama. The celebrations start at the Holetown Monument and ends with a colourful street fair, with some historical lectures, exhibitions, street parades and Tattoo shows in between. There is also lots cultural entertainment such as Steel Pan, Tuk Band, Stilt Walkers, Acrobats and Shaggy Bears as well as live music.

Holetown Festival is located in in a small town called Holetown on the prestigious west coast also known as the "gold coast" in the parish of St James.

Period: February Event Dates
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Oistins Fish Festival
Carnival / Music / Street Party / Arts & Craft / Literary / Cultural

The Oistin's Festival started in 1977 and is a street fair with a week of events including the Easter weekend. This event commemorates the signing of the Charter of Barbados. It is also held in honour of the fisher folks in Oistins and persons who have contributed to the Barbados fishing industry.

The festival showcases a variety of local and regional delicacies, art & craft, live music and cultural entertainment such as the steel-pan and tuk-band. Two of the main attractions are the fish boning competition and the climb-the-grease-pole competition. Some of the other competitions are the crab racing and boat racing competition.

Period: March or April - Easter week Event Dates
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Barbados Reggae Festival

The Barbados Reggae Festival is three days of spectacular events and is the main Reggae Festival in Barbados. It is also one of more popular musical events on the island, showcasing a variety of International, Regional and local entertainers and musicians, as well as attracting lots of visitors. You will experience all types of reggae and venues; reggae beach parties, vintage reggae and the most popular Reggae on the Hill.

Period:  April

Event Dates
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