Datebook | Events calendar (July/August 2018)

Your guide to Caribbean events in July and August, from CPL cricket across the islands to Emancipation commemorations

  • Crop Over celebrations in Barbados. Photo by Rodney Legall / Alamy Stock Photo
  • Courtesy Downsound Entertainment Production
  • Photo by Hans Geel /
  • Photo by Tyler Hendy/
  • Photo courtesy
  • Photo by RJ Lerich/
  • Photo courtesy The Emancipation Committee of T&T
  • Photo courtesy CPL T20 Ltd 2018
  • Photo by Gianfranco Vivi/

Don’t miss . . .


July and August
Across the Caribbean

If there’s one celebration known to unite the region, it’s Carnival. It pushes us to celebrate both our similarities and our differences, explore creative self-expression, and see the world through a different lens. Almost every Caribbean island has its own version, and all are unique — with a slew of Carnivals unfolding during the months of July and August. Get ready to wear out the soles of your shoes in St Lucia, Grenada, Barbados, Antigua, Sint Eustatius, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Nevis, Anguilla, Santiago de Cuba — plus Toronto’s Caribana and London’s Notting Hill Carnival, too. It’s time to wine!

If you’re in . . .

. . . Jamaica

Reggae Sumfest

15 to 21 July
Venues around Montego Bay

The success of Bob Marley and the Wailers back in the 1970s made reggae a worldwide phenomenon. And with a vital reggae and dancehall industry, the music never stops in Jamaica. Every year, thousands gather for festivals like Sumfest to reignite their love of the sound. A sea of smiling faces singing along with the performers fills the grounds at each venue. Fusions of reggae continue to happen also. Remember the top song for summer 2017? The Puerto Rican reggaeton hit “Despacito” lasted sixteen weeks as number one on the Billboard charts.

Genre-specific music festivals aren’t always authentic, but at Sumfest, a bona fide reggae- and dancehall-centric line-up is guaranteed. Sumfest celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary this year, and continues to rock steady. Beach parties, a reggae industry symposium, and other exciting pre-events lead up to the climax on Friday and Saturday: two exciting nights aiming to rival top international music festivals. Lookout for celebrated Jamaican performers like Popcaan, Aidonia, Bounty Killer, Spice, Sizzla, Damian “Jr Gong” Marley, Maxi Priest, Cappleton, Beres Hammond, and many more.

. . . St Lucia

Chocolate Heritage Month


Whatever the question, chocolate is the answer. What keeps you young? Chocolate. What’s starring in estate tours highlighting the history and tradition of a thriving industry dating back to the eighteenth century? Chocolate. What makes your sweet tooth happy? Chocolate. There’s no doubt chocolate has a rich legacy. And St Lucia is harnessing it. The island’s native cocoa is a key ingredient in local spa treatments, culinary works of art, cosmetic production, and agriculture products. As St Lucia celebrates Chocolate Heritage Month this August, cocoa-related activities, specials and packages will all be on offer. You can get a close-up view of the bean-to-bar process at Jade Mountain’s Emerald Estate. And if you eat too much and want to work up a sweat, try polishing the cocoa beans by dancing on them at Morne Coubaril Estate, La Dauphine Estate, or Fond Doux Holiday Plantation.


THTI Golf Classic

14 and 15 July
Magdalena Grand Beach and Golf Resort

If you’re a sports enthusiast with a hearty appetite and a passion for culture, Tobago is the destination this July. The Tobago Hospitality and Tourism Institute (THTI)’s inaugural Golf Classic aims to be an annual fixture on the Caribbean golf calendar. You’ll have a weekend of golfing teamed up with an exciting showcase of local flair and innovation in culinary arts and hospitality. And the tournament also coincides with the start of the two-week Tobago Heritage Festival: golfers and spectators can relish gourmet food, live culinary and mixology demos, product sampling, and plenty Tobagonian culture.

Event previews by Shelly-Ann Inniss

Jamming in July

Dive Fest Barbados

Venues around Barbados
Water awareness programmes, beach clean-ups, lionfish hunting and tasting, as well as scuba dives all over the island: don’t miss out on your chance to discover what lies beneath Barbados’s beautiful seas!
4 to 8 July

Nevis Mango and Food Festival

Venues around Nevis
UK Iron Chef Judy Joo, New York–based award-winning celebrity chef Seamus Mullen, and top Caribbean chef Michael Harrison of Barbados will join Nevisian colleagues to embrace an epic culinary challenge dedicated to the luscious mango
5 to 8 July

Bessfest: Taste of Trinidad and Tobago 

Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain
From the sweet sounds of steelpan and tassa to the display of traditional moko jumbies, experience the blended pot of T&T’s diverse cuisine and culture with over fifty vendors
7 July

Bequia Fisherman’s Day 

Venues around Bequia
Fisher folk and spectators assemble before dawn, in hopes of having the biggest and heaviest catch by early afternoon. Cheer on the fishermen or simply savour a meal prepared with the catch of the day
7 July

Awesome August 

Emancipation Day

Jamaica, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago
Bells of freedom will peal, and re-enactments will be performed at Emancipation parks and monuments, as the abolition of slavery is commemorated
1 August

Cudjoe Head Fest

To celebrate its strong African heritage, Cudjoe Head village hosts a five-mile bike and road race, plus a cultural extravaganza showcasing masqueraders, local performers, and dance competitions
3 to 4 August 

Caribbean Premier League (CPL)

Around the Caribbean
Caribbean favourites alongside international cricket superstars play in one of the most exhilarating tournaments in world cricket
8 August to 16 September

Caribbean Broadcast Union (CBU) Annual General Assembly

Kingston, Jamaica
Highly relevant sessions for the regional media sector, along with the best media offerings from the Caribbean will be celebrated under the theme “Building Resilience to Climate Change: Business, Technology, and Content Options for Caribbean Media”
13 to 15 August 

Funding provided by the 11th EDF Regional Private Sector Development Programme Direct Support Grants Programme.
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