Caribbean Beat Magazine

Caribbean Datebook (September/October 2012)

Your guide to events around the Caribbean in September and October — from music festivals to sports tournaments to a tattoo convention

  • ... or master the game. Photograph courtesy SW Touring
  • Raise the curtain. Photograph courtesy Sip, Featuring Mark Humes As Oberon
  • Get on board. Photograph courtesy Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show © 2012 Show Management
  • Find your groove. Photograph courtesy Dominica Festivals Committee
  • Follow the trail
  • Caribbean Tattoo Convention
  • Hit the road ... Photograph courtesy Tobago International Cycling Classic


Hit the road …

In Tobago, the mantra is sea, sun, and sand. But this October, sportsfans’ eyes will be turned towards solid ground. The climate, pristine environment, and spectacular landscape add up to ideal conditions for cycling — no surprise that the Tobago International Cycling Classic, now in its twenty-sixth year, attracts some of the best cyclists in the sport to contest the island’s beautiful but challenging terrain. In 2011 a new alliance with international sports network ESPN helped the Classic reach audiences of over fifty million viewers in forty countries. Just as significant, the tournament was officially accredited by the International Cycling Union — a crucial endorsement, which entices the world’s leading teams and cyclists to compete in pursuit of sought-after UCI points to enhance their world rankings. In 2012, expect the names to be even bigger, the competition to be even hotter — and even more high jinks as some of the world’s best unwind at the rum punch beach picnic.

When: 2 to 7 October
Where: around Tobago
For more info: visit


… or master the game

If two wheels aren’t your thing, you can always head to the football pitch, as sports event management company SW Touring, with the assistance of the Tobago House of Assembly, hosts the second edition of the Tobago Masters Invitational Football Tournament. La Reine Williams, executive secretary at SW Touring, explains the competition features “regional and international players over the age of forty” who will be competing for US$5,000, as well as other prizes. Last year nine teams participated — including Phoenix 1976 FC, Old Magics, Maraval Attackers, and Bethel Old Boys — and for 2012 teams from the wider Caribbean, North America, and the United Kingdom are expected to join the fun. There’ll be sixteen contenders in all: eight regional and international teams, and eight from Trinidad and Tobago. Visitors can expect a “family-oriented environment that showcases true Tobago hospitality,” says Williams, living up to the tournament tagline: “Welcome to Sporting Paradise.”

When: 5 to 7 October
Where: Plymouth and Bon Accord Recreational Grounds
For more info: call (868) 765-4439 or (868) 333-7337



Raise the curtain

Despite its name, Shakespeare in Paradise isn’t all bard. The brainchild of Bahamian directors Nicolette Bethel and Philip Burrows, this “Theatre Festival for Nassau and the World” does include a signature Shakespeare production in the programme — this time around, a version of The Merchant of Venice set in the contemporary Bahamas, with Shylock reimagined as a Haitian immigrant. SiP 2012 also features Out o’ Wedlock, a sequence of one-act plays by Bahamian Jeanne Thompson, a “historical docudrama,” and dramatic works from Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, celebrating the Independence anniversaries of both countries. Now in its fourth year, SiP is a deliberate attempt to jumpstart the theatre scene in the Bahamas. The response of local audiences suggests that’s exactly what’s happening. That’s the cue for theatre fans around the Caribbean to get with the act.

When: 5 to 13 October
Where: venues around Nassau
For more info: visit or follow on Twitter at @shakesparadise



African & African-Caribbean Design Diaspora Festival 2012
When: 19 to 30 September
Where: London
What: An initiative of the British European Design Group, the festival showcases art from a wide range of disciplines: architecture, interior design, glass, ceramics, fine art, film, and multimedia
For more info: visit



Get on board

The next best thing to owning a boat and cruising the high seas: head to the 53rd annual Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show this October. Too big for a single venue, the show will sprawl across six different locations around Fort Lauderdale, including marinas and the Broward County Convention Centre. Enthusiasts will have to use a “network of watertaxis, riverboats, and shuttles” in order to view the wide range of vessels: super-yachts, fishing boats, catamarans, trawlers, skiffs, all on display across three million square feet of space. And it’s not just about looking: visitors can interact with yacht builders, designers, and engine makers. Even if you don’t own a boat — yet — you can still check out fishing and diving equipment, jewellery, and boating accessories, or attend one of the many seminars scheduled over the three-day event.

When: 25 to 29 October
Where: Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel and Yachting Centre, and other venues around Fort Lauderdale
For more info: visit or call (954) 764-7642 or (800) 940-7642


Caribe Arts Festival
When: 28 to 30 September
Where: Huizenga Park, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
What: This first-time event is organised by artists, and will focus on the art, film, food, music, and culture of the Caribbean diaspora
For more info: visit



Find your groove

Dominica is celebrated as a premier eco-destination, but for fifteen years it’s also been the location of one of the Caribbean’s major celebrations of indigenous music. The World Creole Music Festival is your best bet to hear musicians from Haiti, Guadeloupe, Martinique, and several African countries all in one place, and its sixteenth edition will be no different. Festivalgoers can hear cadence, zouk, bouyon, kompas, as well as reggae, soca, and calypso. The 2012 line-up includes includes the Dominican group Triple Kay, Guadeloupean Jocelyne Labylle, French Guianese Fanny J, Dobet Gnahoré of Côte d’Ivoire, Martiniquan Jean-Philippe Marthèly, Haitian group Carimi, and Trinidadians Bunji Garlin and Fay-Ann Lyons.

When: 26 to 28 October
Where: Windsor Park Sports Stadium, Roseau
For more info: visit or call the Dominica Festivals Commission at (767) 448-4833



Follow the trail

This September, Barbados will host the 8th Annual African Diaspora Heritage Trail (ADHT) Conference. Coordinated by the Ministry of Tourism, and featuring the theme “Our Heritage, Our Identity: Uncover, Recover, Discover”, the event is expected to bring renewed focus to the rich histories of the African diaspora, and the potential for expanding the cultural heritage tourism market. Representatives from the ministry explain that Barbados’s commitment to heritage tourism is longstanding. One result: the development of the Barbados Slave Route Heritage Trail, titled “Freedom Footprints: The Barbados Story”, which ADHT participants will experience during the conference.

When: 17 to 19 September
Where: Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, St Michael
For more info: contact the Barbados Ministry of Tourism at (246) 430-7500, or email



Jamaica Hands of Gold Fight Night
When: 13 September
Where: Kingston
What: Part of Jamaica’s thrust to put boxing back in the limelight. Professional and amateur athletes vie to represent their country on the international stage
For more info: call (876) 413-2240


6th Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival
When: 5 to 6 October
Where: Cas di Cultura Plaza, Aruba
What: This year, Chaka Khan, Fourplay (Bob James, Nathan East, Harvey Mason, and Chuck Loeb), and Randy Brecker are confirmed artistes
For more info: visit


45th Bonaire International Sailing Regatta & Festival
When: 7 to 13 October
Where: Bay of Kralendijk
What: The competition is open to all yachts, sailboats, beach cats, and fishing boat classes
For more info: visit or e-mail


When: 17 to 21 October
Where: Suriname
What: A salsa dance festival that incorporates Surinamese food, zouk, and the beauty of the Amazon
For more info: visit or e-mail Mequillo Pang Atjok at


Caribbean Tattoo Convention
When: 27 to 28 October
Where: Willemstad, Curaçao
What: With competitions for tattooing, airbrushing and barbering (pattern shaving) demonstrations, this event is expected to become an integral part of the Caribbean tattoo circuit
For more info: visit