9. Fun Barbados Festivals

Barbados festivals highlights many of the peculiar cultural characteristics of this Caribbean paradise… Folk parades, street carnivals, Tuk Band music, Land ship parades, Shaggy Bears, Mother Sallies, flying fish and cou cou, and black pudding and souse are all Barbadian characteristics displayed in the island’s festivals.

So if you would like to learn more about the folklore and fanfare associated with Barbados festivals follow the links below… These are the main Barbados festivals each one showcasing the sights, sounds, craft and of course the local delicacies of this island paradise.

Here are Nine (9) Barbados festivals you’ll want to visit…

Barbados is known for its rich array of festivals other than Crop Over, each celebrating a unique facet of Bajan culture. Some of the popular festivals include the Holetown Festival, the Oistins Fish Festival, the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA), Gospelfest, and the Barbados Food and Rum Festival.

The Crop Over festival takes place annually in Barbados and spans over a period of several weeks, with the main events usually occurring in July and August. The festival culminates in the Grand Kadooment parade, which is held on the first Monday in August and marks the official end of the festivities.

1. Barbados Festivals – Naniki Barbados Music Festival

The Naniki Barbados music Festival has become the island’s premier jazz festival. It is the perfect event on the Barbados entertainment calendar for you to relax and unwind. The festival was hosted in some of the most idyllic venues on the island; these include Divi Southwinds Hotel, Frank Collymore Hall and Ilara Court.

This Barbados music festival is gaining in popularity with people from around the world who often planned their vacations to coincide with the world-class mix of local and international artist who are book to perform.

The Naniki Barbados Festival has to some extent replace the Barbados Jazz Festival which was the most popular Jazz festival on the island for about 15 years.

2. Barbados Festivals – Holetown Festival

The Holetown Festival is a demonstration in fanfare and folklore. The cultural festival feature the Tuk Band and a number of the traditional folk characters like the stilt walkers, shaggy bears and the mother sally.
The festival, which was first started in 1977, is held each year in February to commemorate the first landing of British settlers in Barbados in 1627.

Music, craft and food are the hallmarks of this one-week festival which feature a local entertainment package which includes the legendary Royal Barbados Police Force Band. A beauty pageant, historical exhibitions, craft exhibitions, folk dancing, mouth-watering local cuisine and a variety of music.

3. Barbados Festivals – Holders Season

Since 1993 the usually quiet grounds around the historic Holders House comes alive with the songs of music under the starry night skies. Holders House is one of Barbados’ most elegant of historic plantation houses, dating back to the 17th century.

The infectious strains that fill the air are the songs of various bands taking part in the Holders Barbados festival. The Holders Opera Season in Barbados is the leading Performing Arts Festival in the Caribbean and one of the most anticipated events on the Barbados events calendar.

4. Barbados Festivals – Barbados Reggae Festival

The Barbados Reggae Festival is perhaps the biggest and most popular festival in Barbados after Crop Over. Now in its tenth year this festival which is held in April, showcase the best in local, regional and International reggae in four world-class events.

Vintage Reggae show and Dance at the Three W’s Theater Kensington Oval, Reggae Beach Party on Brandons Beach, Bajan Reggae Night and Reggae On The Hill at the historic Farley Hill National Park… Reggae artist like late John Holt, Beres Hammond and Lady Saw have all performed at the festival during the last ten years.

5. Barbados Festivals – Gospelfest

Gospelfest Barbados is the premier gospel music festival on the island… established more than twenty years ago this festival continue to showcase the best local, regional and international gospel artist. Build around the theme “Seven Magnificent Events One Awesome Festival” Gospel fest has something for everyone who wants to participate.

The highlights of the festival are Hymm Speak held at the historic St. Mary’s Church in the city, The Barbados Public Workers Sunset Concert in Independence Square Bridgetown. Capital Financial Laughter and Jazz concert held at the beautiful Divi Southwinds Beach Resort in St Lawrence Gap.

The Pinehill Ultimate Gospel Concert at the Garfield Sobers Gymnasium… And the grand finale event of the annual Barbados Gospelfest “One Awesome Day” features an impressive line-up of local, regional and international artiste ministers.

6. Barbados Festivals – Celtic Festival

The Barbados Celtic Festival is a two week music festival celebrating the cultural heritage and links between the Celtic Countries of Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Nova Scotia, the Gallic regions in Europe and the sunny Caribbean island of Barbados. The festival feature folk music and flavours of food fused between all the countries.

7. Barbados Festivals – Crop Over

Crop Over is Barbados number one festival, this colourful five-week festival which takes place during the summer is Barbados biggest party. The Crop Over festival dates back to the 18th century when the then colonial Barbados was a major producer of cane sugar for the British Empire.

As sugar cane production in Barbados decline over the years so too did the festival until it was finally terminated in the mid 1900’s. However in 1974 the government and Barbados Tourism Authority revived the festival as a cultural extravaganza and a major tourism-marketing ploy.

Today Crop Over is extremely popular and renowned for its ceremonial delivery of the last canes, Calypso music, colourful costumes, street carnival and great food. Which when combined create a celebratory atmosphere that can’t be beaten.

It is little wonder that Crop Over has been one of the most popular festivals in the Caribbean for the last 25 years. Click Here To learn more about this Barbadian festival.

8. Barbados Festivals – National Independence Festival of Creative Arts

The National Independence Festival Of Creative Arts better known as NIFCA in Barbados is an arts development program hosted by the National Cultural Foundation. Many participants from within the Barbados communities compete in various categories, in anticipation of wining the various awards on offer.

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

9. Barbados Festivals – Food & Wine & Rum Festival


Barbados Food Wine and Rum Festival – is a four day Barbados festival that highlights the culinary diversity of the island. The festival showcase a number of celebrity chefs who demonstrate their culinary skills at popular spots across the island.

Now in its 10th year The Barbados Food Wine and Rum Festival offers locals and visitors a true taste of what Barbados have to offer. Each schedule event is a culinary showcase featuring interactive sessions with tastings, question and answers and the opportunity for patrons to purchase autographed memorabilia like books