FESTIVALS AND EVENTS IN BARBADOS
Holder's Festival is a arts festival is now held annually in Barbados during March and April at Holder's House, an old plantation mansion set in extensive grounds, just inland from Sandy Lane Bay, Barbados. This stately house has been in existence for over 300 years and is an interesting mixture of English and Barbadian vernacular. The grounds are extensive and lovely with mature tropical trees and shrubs. Founded in 1993, the Holders Season is established as the premier cultural event in the Caribbean. Acclaimed nationally and internationally, the season is a celebration of opera, music and theatre. The production always plays to capacity and its high artistic standard draws audiences from around the world. Classical concerts and opera are performed in period costumes in the open air under the mahogany and palm trees with quality actors, singers and musicians. 1997 saw the re-staging after 170 years of Inkle and Yarico - an eighteenth-century opera about a traditional Barbadian legend that was once all the rage in London's West End - as well as a concert by Luciano Pavarotti and a festival of calypso music with contributions by top performers from Trinidad and Barbados. Other unique or one-off performances have included the world première of a new opera by Stewart Copeland.
Holders House, St. James, Barbados
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Music convert at Holder's Festival
National Independence Festival of Creative Arts
After the first English settlement at Holetown in 1627, Barbados remained a British colony until achieving independence from Britain on November 30th 1966. That first independence ceremony was accompanied by the raising of the Barbados National Flag, and playing of the National Anthem for the first time. November 30th is celebrated as Independence Day and is a national holiday in Barbados. National Independence Festival of Creative is a festival organized by the National Cultural Foundation, held annually to commemorate the independence of Barbados. The festival showcases the artistic talents of Barbadians. This festival encourages Barbadians of all ages to match their talents in the fields of music, singing, dance, drama, writing, fine art, photography and arts and crafts. The festival runs throughout the month of November and culminates with a gala presentation in which the finalists are featured. Other independence celebrations run throughout November and include sports competitions, fairs, community events and religious services.
National Independence Festival of Creative Arts
Crop Over Festival
Crop Over is a traditional harvest festival which began in Barbados, having had its early beginnings on the sugar cane plantations during the colonial period. Beginning in June, Crop Over it runs until the first Monday in August This Festival sets itself apart from the avalanche of other Caribbean Festivals with its strong historical nuance paying homage to Barbados’ rich past. And even with such a distinct Barbadian cultural root, the Festival draws all people under one cultural umbrella for the ultimate party experience. Crop Over appeals to the die-hard party enthusiasts as well as the old and young! The event will include the participation of a myriad of artists from across the island. Vendors will serve-up a variety of island cuisine, from cou cou and flying fish to comforts and sugar cakes. Other elements of this diverse event include the greatly anticipated Farmers Market, The Craft Marketplace, The Urban Village, Steelpan Workshops, Bajan Fashion, ensuring that throughout the event there is something happening. The Folk Choir Concert is a celebration of Barbados’ colourful folklore, portrayed through various scenarios, and featuring the harmonious and talented voices of the island’s renowned folk singers and dramatists. This will be complimented by the pulsating rhythms of dancers and drumming ensembles, in a superb show of musicianship and iconic imagery.
National Cultural Foundation: (246) 417-6635 /6636 /6637
The Grand Kadooment Parade, Crop Over Festival Festival
Barbados Jazz Festival
The Barbados Jazz Festival celebrates the best in international and local jazz talent, it has quickly become a major annual Caribbean event. It is a jubilant affair that attracts a cast of talented musical maestros to the streets of Bridgetown who play for hours every night in festivity. Patrons attending the Barbados Jazz Festival were treated to the delights of all-star performances. Artists such as Harvey Mason & Diana Jarrett, David Burnett & Dwane Husbands, James Blunt & Kite, Angie Stone, Glenn Lewis, Nexcyx, Chrisette Michele and many more graced the stage. Unfortunately the Barbados Jazz Festival has not been held since 2010. We hope it will return again soon.
Barbados Holetown Festival
The Holetown Festival takes place in Holetown, Barbados, and celebrates the arrival of the first settlers in Holetown on February 17, 1627. The week-long celebration occurs every year during mid-February and includes a number of activities which showcase the culture and traditions of Barbados. The festival highlights local arts and crafts. Events also include folk singing and dancing, sports and games, street parades, markets, and food stalls that offer traditional Barbadian cuisine.
Oistins Fish Festival
The Oistins Fish Festival is a folk festival founded by Lady St John, wife of the late Member of Parliament Sir Harold St John in 1967, in the constituency of Christ Church, Barbados. The committee is being assisted this year by the National Cultural Foundation to celebrate the founding of the Charter of Barbados, which was signed in this fishing Village of Oistins. The festival occurs every Easter for 1 week of celebration where people gather for the excitement of the things to do revolving around the fishing industry, which includes fish-deboning competitions, boat races, net throwing, food, crafts, music, and dancing.