The tropical island of Barbados is home to the liveliest of cultures, a happy-go-lucky way of life and the most gorgeous scenery. Music and laughter are some of the main reasons why people flock to visit there as well as the beautiful sandy beaches, the crystal clear waters and of course, the rum!
With their famous parties and fun filled entertainment, Barbados fills the calendar with an array of exciting and engaging events.
Barbados Festival Calendar
A fantastic boat race around the island where participants compete for the sheer pride of winning and the ability to claim bragging rights whilst wearing the red cap! Dating back to the 19th century, the race celebrates Mount Gay Rum, the oldest brand of rum in existence.
Attracting many international artists, the Barbados Jazz Festival is held mid-January and provides audiences with historical outdoor settings to enjoy the music by the beach. The final is held in the beautiful Farley Hill National Park.
The end of January sees the Barbados Music Awards glam up the island with red carpet glitz. The ceremony recognises talented Barbadian musicians with big name labels such as Atlantic, DEFJAM and Sony/BMG all having at least one musician from the island in their name. Massive star, Rihanna, made her debut at this event back in 2006.
Possibly the island's most well-known event, the Holetown Festival is a week long celebration that pays tribute to the first English settlers and produces a mix of fairs, theatre and musical performances.
A bus journey around the town is the best way to take in everything going on. You're able to visit exhibitions at the Holetown Museum, the vintage car parade, the street fairs or listen to public lectures. Open air concerts are also put on by the Royal Barbados Police Force and the Barbados Defence Force bands.
This amazing horse race is known for attracting large international crowds and is considered a major event with a stunning parade.
Assembling music, theatre and comedy, the Holder's Season closely follows the Sandy Lane Gold Cup. Considered to be the time when Broadway comes to Barbados, the event was hosted by legendary opera singer, Pavarotti back in 1997.
CHUM FM 104.5 are welcomed to the island all the way from Toronto, Canada for a live broadcast at Harbour Lights Nightclub on the south coast; attracting big names such as Michael Buble, Nelly Furtado and Bryan Adams to perform.
A 2 day festival held in Queens Park that celebrates the integral agriculture on the island. The event is especially popular with children as there is always lots of livestock for kids to pet and feed.
Mount Gay/Sagicor Annual Game Fishing Tournament
Held over the 1st weekend of April, this tournament brings together anglers and fishing enthusiasts from all over the world.
The 28th of April is a public holiday in Barbados honouring the island's National Heroes.
May is the month of sporting events with the 1st of May being Labour Day
A week long celebration featuring local and international high performance vehicles racing at different stages. Motor rallying has become an incredibly popular sport in Barbados and this event shows exactly why. Audiences can watch the exhilarating races from the Vaucluse Raceway, a stunning natural amphitheater with views of the countryside, the tracks and the sea.
A tribute to the large community of Celtic immigrants and the links between Barbados and the Celtic countries Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Award winning chefs cook up a storm and brilliant mixes of folk music are all present at this fantastic event.
The premier regional festival dedicated to gospel music, culture and lifestyle. It promises world class gospel singers from local, regional and international choirs to celebrate the standard of excellence it's known for.
The Sherbourne Conference Centre holds an exhibition run by interior design company, Habitat. Here you can see projects on environment services, home orientated products and constructions.
Bajan Unifest Sporting Festival
A week long celebration of hockey, football, swimming, netball, tennis and cricket matches all held at the university campus.
July is the home of the Crop Over Festival, starting with the Opening Gala. The Pic-O-De-Crop semi-finals are held mid-month and the finals are a week after. You can find out more details about this amazing festival in our dedicated blog post!
The 1st Monday of August and is basically a massive street party! Full of glitzy costumes, live music, delicious food and plenty of rum, it's not to be missed.
A week of hockey! Teams from Europe, the UK and North America all travel to Barbados to compete in games.
September is a quieter month after the celebrations of the summer but you can still find equally impressive and fun things to do.
Sizzlin' Sand Beach Volleyball
All the national volleyball compete on the gorgeous local sandy beaches.
A big surfing event where competitors hit the waves for a chance to win a place in the November International Championships.
Barbados Music Festival
Yet more joyous music celebrated on the island with genres covered from rock, blues, folk and of course, reggae acts flown in from the UK.
Sagicor Life Lighting Ceremony & Bajan Folk Crew
All the decorative lights are lit in Bridgetown to signify the beginning of the holiday season. An incredibly pretty sight to see.
Independence Pro Surfing Championships & Banks Pro Long Board Classic
Hosted at the famous Soup Bowl surfing spot on the 4th and 5th of November, this major international surfing competition attracts world famous surfers to the island.
Yet more sporty and energetic events lead to the festive period with the Run Barbados Marathon, 1/2 marathon, 10K and 4K walks all being held and featuring over 30 countries entering.
The Polo Season starts with events being held nearly every Sunday between December and May, promoting this already popular sport.
Old Year's Night
A truly magnificent party to bring in the new year. Men are dressed in smart suits while the ladies glam up in beautiful evening gowns. Champagne is flowing, fireworks are going and everyone is guaranteed to end their year in spectacular style!
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