Barbados Events 2005

Sophie Lam looks ahead to a year of festivals, from gospel to horseracing

The prevalent sound of the island might well be calypso, but jazz comes a close second. The annual Jazz Festival regularly draws big names, who this year include Alicia Keys and Ellis Marsalis.

Barbados Jazz Festival, 10-16 January

The prevalent sound of the island might well be calypso, but jazz comes a close second. The annual Jazz Festival regularly draws big names, who this year include Alicia Keys and Ellis Marsalis. The programme brings together some of the world's most-recognised artists and explores the genre from Trad to Swing and just about anything in between. Other artists include saxophonists Gato Barbieri and Kenny Garrett, timbales player Tito de Gracia and New Age jazz pianist Keiko Matsui.

Concerts are held mainly during the evening, in venues across the island. Tickets cost anything from US$25 (£15) to US$100 (£59). Pre-booking is recommended. Further information: 001 246 437 4537; www.barbadosjazzfestival.com

Holetown Festival, 13-20 February

The Holetown Festival commemorates the landing of the first European settlers in Barbados, who arrived in Holetown on the island's west coast in February 1627. The town was originally named Jamestown after King James I of England who claimed the island as British two years previously, but the name was changed to acknowledge a tidal hole near the coast. The festival is now in its 27th year and has become a more touristy affair in more recent years, involving a week of street parades, concerts, historic tours, fashion shows celebrating Bajan culture and history. Festivities kick off at the Holetown Memorial and continue throughout the town. Most events are free; prices and times will be announced early this year. Further information: 001 246 467 7520; www.barbados.org/holetown.htm

Barbados Gold Cup Festival, 19 February - 5 March

Two weeks of festivities precede the highlight of the Barbadian horseracing calendar. They culminate with the prestigious Sandy Lane Gold Cup on 5 March at the Garrison Savannah. Horses from Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Martinique, the US and Canada all compete for a prize worth around £38,000.

The build-up to the event includes international polo tournaments, charity art auctions, celebrity dinners and cabaret shows, a fish fry, concerts and a charity golf tournament.

A lively street carnival is held in Bridgetown during the week and wagers are made the day prior to the race. Dates, times and prices will be announced in early February. Further information from the Barbados Turf Club: 001 246 426 3980; www.barbadosturfclub.com

Crop Over, 10 July - 1 August

The end of the sugar cane-cutting season is the biggest and most anticipated event in the Bajan culture calendar. The Crop Over festivities unfold over five weeks. The tradition dates back to the 18th century. However, as the industry declined, so did the festival until it ceased completely in the 1940s. It was revived in 1974 as a tourist attraction and today is a spirited celebration of Barbadian culture and music, with carnival processions, cane blessings and a food fair.

Look out for the Pic-O-De-Crop finals (a Calypso competition) and the crowning of the Calypso Monarch (the most productive cane cutter). Further information from the National Cultural Foundation: 001 246 424 0909; www.cropoverfestival.bb

GospelFest, 21-29 May

Another musical offering is GospelFest, which demonstrates the island's musical diversity and celebrates both international and local artists. This year's programme has yet to be announced, but visitors can expect to hear some of the best talent from around the globe during a week of concerts. The uplifting tradition of gospel music seems to have evolved in the US during the 19th century, although its exact origin has never been pinpointed. However, it wasn't popularised until the 1930s when Barbados was experiencing social upheaval, particularly within African-American communities, and it slowly began to be accepted in Pentecostal churches as a popular form of lyrical worship. Today its wide-reaching influence is proved by its appearance in chart music and even hip hop, and the Barbadian festival promises to represent forms both old and new. For information on venues, time and prices: 001 246 426 5940; www.barbadosgospelfest.com

Eat! Drink! Barbados!, October

Barbados is probably better known for its national drink, rum, than for its food, but this festival celebrates both, with nine days of cookery demonstrations, gourmet dinners and rum tastings. Bajan food features plenty of seafood, and specialities include barracuda and flying fish. The national dish is cou-cou, made from cornmeal and okra (right). For information on 2005 dates and prices: 001 246 422 0866; www.eatdrinkbarbados.com

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
people
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
people
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
news
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Business Development Manager / Sales Pro

    £30 - 35k + Uncapped Comission (£70k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Business Develop...

    Graduate Sales Executive / Junior Sales Exec

    £18k + Uncapped Commission (£60k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Graduate Sales Exe...

    Web Developer / Software Developer

    £25 - 60k (DOE): Guru Careers: A Web Developer / Software Developer is needed ...

    Oracle 11g SQL 2008 DBA (Unix, Oracle RAC, Mirroring, Replicati

    £6000 - £50000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: Oracle 11...

    Day In a Page

    Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

    The phoney war is over

    Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
    Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

    Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

    The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
    Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

    Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

    Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
    From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

    Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

    After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
    Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

    Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

    Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
    Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

    Salomé: A head for seduction

    Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
    From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

    British Library celebrates all things Gothic

    Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
    The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

    Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

    The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
    Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

    In search of Caribbean soul food

    Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
    11 best face powders

    11 best face powders

    Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
    England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

    Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

    Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
    Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

    Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

    They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
    Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

    Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

    Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
    Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

    Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

    The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
    America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

    America’s new apartheid

    Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone