More than ever, music lovers are traveling to “vacation destinations” to see and hear their favorite artists. Over the past decade, music festivals have been growing in popularity, and Caribbean music festivals are no exception.
Traveling to the Caribbean to attend a music festival is a fantastic idea for more reasons than one. First of all, the Caribbean is a region known for its incredible beaches. The beach is an incredible setting for a live outdoor concert. Secondly, the Caribbean has mostly mild, sunny weather all year round, so there’s never a risk of an event getting canceled because of the cold or snow. Third, what could be more awesome than hearing your favorite tunes in a exotic location? Think about this: the sun setting over the calm sea, palm trees swaying in the light breeze… as you and your pals sway to sounds of your favorite band.
So why not plan your Caribbean vacation around one of these fabulous upcoming events? Here are Caribbean music festivals that you can attend in 2019, in the order in which they will take place:
Vujaday Music Festival
Where: Barbados, each day at a different location
When: April 3rd-7th, 2019
Headliners: Moodymann, Soul Clap, DJ Tennis, Lee Burridge, Mikey Lion, Sasha, Bedouin, Octave One
Described as an underground house and techno festival, Vujuday is only in its second year. It’s the biggest Caribbean musical festival of its kind in Barbados. Spanning five days, the festival is hosted at a different venue each night.
Vujaday has already gained quite the reputation for being a hip event for the younger crowd. The official website describes it as is a “thoughtfully curated selection of musical and cultural experiences that invites you to explore lush landscapes, dance on flawless palm-covered beaches, and soak in translucent azure waters under a golden island sun.” (Now if that description doesn’t get you to buy a ticket, we don’t know what will…)
Antigua Sailing Week
Where: Nelson’s Dockyard, Antigua
When: April 27th to May 3rd (Reggae in the Park takes place on April 30th)
Headliners: Christopher Martin, Junior Kelly
Antigua sailing week is an annual sailing competition that also features beach parties, live music, games, and cultural activities. You can participate in the great boat races, or simply cheer on the sidelines as a spectator. Afterwards, enjoy the celebrations that top off the competitions.
To hear some exceptional live music, hit the Reggae in the Park event on April 30th. Since its inception, Antigua Sailing Week has hosted Third World, Maxi Priest, Kymani Marley, Steel Pulse, Damian Marley, DJ Private Ryan, Shaggy, and Luciano. This year’s headline acts will be Christopher Martin and Junior Kelly.
Tmrw.Tday Culture Fest
Where: Negril, Jamaica
When: April 30th to May 5th, 2019
Headliners: Dubfire, Protoje, Stacy Irie Soul, Chris Hawk, Audiofly, Teflon Zinc Fence, Max Glazer, Sabo
The Tmrw.Tday Culture Fest runs for 6 days and is called a “culture fest” because it involves more than just music. It’s one of the most well-rounded Caribbean music festivals. Besides getting your groove on at a beach concert, you can attend workshops, fitness and wellness classes, and eco courses.
Saint Lucia Jazz Festival
Where: Lincoln Center, Saint Lucia
When: May 4th through 12th, 2019
Headliners: Christian McBride, Ledisi, Etienne Charles, Russell Hall, Patrick Bartley, Dianne Reeves, Agustin “Jab” Duplessis, Catherine Russell, Creole Soul, Gregory Porter, Jowee Omicil, Mario Canonge, Nubya Garcia
This year’s Saint Lucia Jazz Festival is produced in Collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center. The event will feature world class jazz music in both intimate and public settings over the course of 9 days. Members of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra and local musicians will also participate. In addition, some headliners will collaborate with local talent, including students from the Saint Lucia School of Music.
In addition to concerts, guests can attend master classes and professional development workshop.
For more information, visit stlucia.org.
Crop Over Festival
When: May through August, 2019
Headliners: To Be Announced
It’s all about “wukkin’ up” and having some fun in Barbados! The Barbados Crop Over Festival is a huge event featuring themed parties, competitions, and live music concerts. It culminates in Grand Kadooment Day on August 5th. On this day, bands and revelers parade through the streets from the National Stadium to Spring Garden. Bands can win prizes for their elaborate costumes.
There are so many reasons to head to Crop Over this year: the food, the fun, and the lush tropical atmosphere to name a few. So don’t be shy! Grab your airplane ticket, your sparkly feathered costume, and experience Barbados, the party island!
Where: Montego Bay, Jamaica
When: July 14th-30th, 2019
Headliners: Chronixx, Spice, Dexta Daps, Agent Sasco, Spragga Benz, Elephant Man, Munga, Govana, Squash, Dovey Magnum, Chronic Law, Jahvillani, Shane E, Unknown Gringo, Shauna Chyn, Buju Banton, Beres Hammond, Protoje, Tarrus Riley, Christopher Martin, Jah9, Dalton Harris
Reggae Sumfest features both bigtime and up-and-coming acts, celebrating two of Jamaica’s biggest music genres: reggae and dancehall. Since its inception in 1993, the festival has been the largest music festival ever held in Jamaica. It’s no stranger to chart-topping acts, either. In fact, celebrities like Rihanna, 50 Cent, and Usher have all showcased their talents there at one point.
Curacao North Sea Jazz Festival
Where: Willemstad, Curacao
When: August 29th-31st, 2019
Headliners: Maroon 5, Havana D’Primera, Aymée Nuviola, Ozuna, Gladys Knight, Third World. More to be announced at a later date.
This long-running jazz festival in Curacao has been dubbed the biggest music festival in the Caribbean. Last year’s lineup included Grace Jones, Kamasi Washington, Christina Aguilera, Jason Derulo, Patti LaBelle, Sting & Shaggy, Daddy Yankee, and Ceelo Green. Although it’s called a “jazz festival”, the event now features many top artists from different countries and musical genres.
For updated information and ticket purchase details, visit the festival’s official website.
Main photo credit: www.curacaonorthseajazz.com
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