Treat yourself to the summer of a lifetime. Having your ultimate vacation getaway in the Caribbean is always a great idea. But what’s even better is visiting the Caribbean to enjoy some of its most exciting events and festivals. From its warm weather all year round to its amazing landscapes, rich history, and beautiful people, the Caribbean is definitely the place to be. Is any vacation truly amazing without good food and drink? Every island culture has its own unique twists on tropical cuisine and wars were fought over its rum. If you want to have fun exploring the various islands in the Caribbean while learning their histories and immersing in welcoming communities, then these are the dates that you should mark on your calendar.
Top Must-Attend Caribbean Summer Events & Festivals For 2023:
St. Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival: 5th – 14th May 2023
What’s the point of delaying summer? Start early. The renowned Saint Lucia Jazz and Arts Festival makes its return in May 2023. Delectable dessert before summer’s entré, it’s one of the longest-reigning and biggest music festivals in the Caribbean. The event is an exciting blend of international and local with Jazz, Gospel, R&B, Reggae, Soca, and Latin music. Festival 2023 will be no different, based on some of the acts being teased. Look to this festival to deliver global icons.
SLJAF is a series of intimate romantic performances, folk cultural activities, and social gatherings, culminating in an epic 5-day serving of heart and soul music at the historic Pigeon Island National Landmark. The striking setting – the blue Caribbean Sea as a backdrop, dreamy accommodations and cuisine, and even the chance to celebrate Mothers’ Day – creates intrigue and delivers on the promise. Festival organizers are already seeing an uptick in interest. Book your early accommodation for the St. Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival 2023 as this is one you definitely don’t want to miss!
St. Kitts Music Festival: June 22-24, 2023
St. Kitts and Nevis were known as the Gibraltar of the West Indies, the site for battles between superpowers. Now the twin islands have become the key to the chillest vibe and renewal of the soul with their 4-day summer music festival. Whether you’re a fan of R&B, Reggae, Soul, Contemporary Gospel, or Soca, you will leave the festival feeling good and booking your return. John Legend or Damian Jr. Gong Marley, exotic Pan Jazz, Cadence, Zouk, or chart-topping R&B, these islands have a lock on serving the best of international music as well as true, seductive Caribbean music. Festival organizers are so serious about your well-being that they call themselves ministers of music. The St. Kitts Music Festival has been attracting tourists from all around the world for more than 25 years. Kittitians like to say ‘everything korpaset’ which is a seal of approval because everything is alright. It seems festival audiences from around the world echo the sentiments. Here are some recommended places to stay in St. Kitts & Nevis for the 2023 edition of their music festival.
Vincy Mas: June 30 – July 11, 2023
It used to be called the St. Vincent Carnival but there is nothing saintly about one of the Caribbean’s longest summer festivals. So revelers renamed this 12-day party, Vincy Mas. Carnival unites all the islands in the Grenadines. Every year, the people of St. Vincent, Union Island, Bequia, Mustique, Canouan, Carriacou, and Petit Martinique come together to lay out the welcome mat, for thousands of visitors in Kingstown, St Vincent. The result is an explosion of music and color. People bounce, surrendering to the power of the beat.
Early on, moving street parties whet the appetite for the big Mas. Finally, visitors join throngs lining the streets or don those brightly colored costumes to dance with island revelers. Even kids have their own Mas. On July 10, J’ouvert takes over the streets. The grand Mardi Gras or Mas closes the parade season. Between laps, there is delectable food and drink. At the After Party, DJs serve up the best for the thousands who want more. Party till you drop in Vincy Mas. Check out some of the recommended places to stay in St. Vincent for Vincy Mas 2023.
Saint Lucia Carnival: July 12-19, 2023
Know where to go, find a band and the costume that suits your personality, get vivid powdered paint, and bare your skin—a step-by-step recipe for playing J’ouvert and Mas in Saint Lucia’s carnival on July 18 and 19. If you want more, plan a meaningful vacay, and come on July 12 to enjoy fun beach parties, boat rides, and live concerts with the region’s best live bands and DJs. Saint Lucia has been called ‘the Helen of the West Indies’ named after the mythical beauty Helen of Troy. Good times are not a myth on this Caribbean island. It’s epic fun. You can feel the suppressed excitement leading up to the carnival. The private parties, Panorama, the Soca Monarch competition, and the spectacular King and Queen of the band costume competition are worth the wait. Jumping in the Parade of the Bands is the ultimate 2-day dance party. Hearty local cuisine and friendly Lucians help beautiful Saint Lucia deliver an authentic and memorable carnival experience. Click here if you’re curious about where to stay for St. Lucia Carnival 2023.
Reggae Sumfest: July 16-22, 2023
Reggae is more than just music. It’s a way of life for people all around the world and there is no better place to enjoy the best of reggae music than its birthplace, Jamaica. For almost three decades, Montego Bay in Jamaica has been hosting the “Greatest Reggae Show on Earth”—the most relaxing all-nighter ever. Sumfest is famous for its epic parade of the best artists for all the major sub-genres of music including Roots Reggae and Dance Hall. The 2023 lineup includes award-winning musicians and international sensations like Koffee and Spice. By day, lounge on some of Jamaica’s white sand beaches. At night, sway to hypnotic reggae drum and bass at beach parties or Sumfest’s main stage. Check out other hot-ticket items like the All-White Party, Street Party, and Sound Clash leading up to the main festival.
Visitors interested in extreme comfort can now watch the performances from the VIP platform and enjoy butler services to dine on sumptuous cuisine. The country is the birthplace of Jerk cuisine. Visitors sample authentic jerk dishes and other cultural dishes. The Rasta at heart or the vegetarian will also eat the most delicious Ital. The three food courts are well thought out and stocked with the best food and drinks. Jamaica’s world-famous rums, beer, and other liqueurs flow generously. Collector’s items and arts and crafts are being offered in the Sumfest Mall inside the venue. Join the throngs, local and international, who come to vibe on Jamaica’s welcoming culture. Check out the accommodation options for Jamaica Reggae Sumfest 2023.
Anguilla Summer Festival: 28th July to 3rd August 2023
Pint-sized piece of paradise, Anguilla, hosts a Caribbean emancipation festival and the island’s collection of the world’s most stunning beaches are an amazing backdrop for this freedom fest. The summer festival features a grand parade of troupes, a kiddies’ parade, and musical spectaculars. The equally vibrant carnival village offers Caribbean-style food, traditional dance, and live music. Play J’ouvert before daybreak on Carnival Monday dancing from The Valley to Sandy Ground Beach. Stay at Sandy Ground for the food and the cool beach vibe. You might as well be on foot because the cove is jam-packed with boaters celebrating August Monday. Anguillians are seafarers, so the island does not miss a chance to do several sailing events during the carnival. The “Round The Island Boat Race” is a thrilling feature of the festival. Unsatisfied watching portions of the race from land, some private boats trail the racers for the duration. They are not the only ones. Party barges also take to the sea, providing a scenic view of the race, the Anguilla coastline, and excited fans.
The emancipation celebration has been uplifting islanders and visitors for more than 25 years. Another unique feature of the festival is the rest period between J’ouvert and the spectacular Parade of Troupes. Visitors have time for other cultural activities before doing the second parade where judges choose the best band. After the parade, people head to Shoal Bay East for beachside barbecues, bonfires, and fireworks. Still, you can find more sailing events to enjoy that sparkling blue water. The island’s hotels and guest houses offer special rates and packages for people interested to join the carnival. Here are some recommended places to stay in Anguilla.
Antigua Carnival: August 1-8,2023
They say there are as many beaches as there are days of the year in the twin islands of Antigua and Barbuda. So, imagine the number of carnival beach parties or fetes, each with their own distinctive personality and gathering of revelers. Cultural happenings … The word on the street is that Antigua is second only to Trinidad and Tobago for best Panorama competitions and steel band parade in the Caribbean. Visitors and locals get their fill of big steel from bands like Hell’s Gate and The Harmonites as a lead-up to Carnival. The carnival queen pageant is also a big attraction.
The party of all parties happens on carnival Monday and Tuesday. Monday begins with J’ouvert when the moon is still out. Then there is the main day parade on the streets of St. John. Carnival Kings and Queens dazzle onlookers with beautifully constructed costumes, some towering works of art which have to be pulled on wheels. Carnival Tuesday is the Last Lap where partygoers reluctantly end parties at midnight. Visitors and locals continue to gush about their experience year after year. Named, “The Greatest Summer Festival in the Caribbean,” this event definitely deserves a mark on your calendar. Book a place to stay in Antigua For Carnival 2023.
Crop Over Festival: Aug. 7-14, 2023
Crop Over began as a traditional harvest festival in the 1780s in Barbados. It was used as a way to celebrate the sugarcane harvest. Over the centuries, it has evolved into a world-famous event. One practice from the 18th Century remains. The festival launches with the Opening Gala and the ceremonial delivery of the last stalks of sugarcane. The festival king and queen are real cane cutters and the nation’s top performers for the year. Music aficionados will love this Calypso and Soca competition which crowns as many as four Monarchs each year. Audiences have their pick of the music whether sweet soca monarch or party monarch.
The plethora of fun activities comes to a head on Grand Kadooment Day or Emancipation Day. Replenished by tasty Bajan fish cakes and other on-the-go cuisine, thousands of revelers in colorful costumes and vivid makeup play the roles of their dreams and jump in the parade. The Tune of the Crop or road march song is another exciting announcement of Grand Kadooment Day. Parade DJs play each road march on the route and at the judging points. The favorite and most often played Tune of the Crop wins. Kadooment ends with happy revelers rubbing shoulders and feet as they plan for the next year. The majority of fans plan by booking their Barbados accommodation early. For those who are planning to attend the Crop Over Festival, it would be best to prepare and plan ahead.
Grenada Spice Mas: 11th – 16th August 2023
The Caribbean is more than geography. It’s the result of the enthusiastic blending of diverse cultures and subcultures—Taino, African, Indian, British, and French. Spice Mas is truly a blend of influences. Carnival turns partying on its head. Forget Halloween and the tradition of going house to house for candy. Play J’ouvert, which signals the start of the parades. Armed with horns, thousands of Jab Jab covered in masks, body paint, and chains prance and wine through the streets. The compelling music—power soca—mimics the heartbeat. On the second day, revelers play Pretty Mas in strikingly beautiful costumes. Play to your heart’s content because Spice Mas is the last of the Caribbean summer festivals. Come early to Grenada and bubble through six days of beach life, divine cuisine, and an exuberant sigh—letting go to Spice Mas. Make your bookings in any of the recommended hotels or resorts in Grenada.
Frequently Asked Questions About Caribbean Summer Festivals and Events
- When is the best time to attend a Caribbean summer festival or event? The best time to attend a Caribbean summer festival or event is between June and August when the weather is warm, and the festivities are in full swing.
- How do I get to the Caribbean for a summer festival or event? The Caribbean can be reached by air, with regular flights available from many major cities around the world. Most islands have non-stop flights from many major US cities and Canada, making it easy to get to your destination.
- Can I purchase tickets for Caribbean summer festivals and events in advance? Yes, tickets for many Caribbean summer festivals and events can be purchased in advance, through the festival’s website. It’s always a good idea to book early, as popular events can sell out quickly.
- Can I book accommodations for Caribbean summer events and festivals in advance? Caribbeanevents.com allows travelers to book accommodations directly from their website. Click on the link below each event to book your stay.
The Caribbean summer is a time of excitement, with a wide range of events and festivals taking place across the region. Whether you’re looking to get your dance on, experience the vibrant culture of the Caribbean, or simply enjoy the sun and sea, the Caribbean has something for everyone. So, why not plan your trip today and discover the best Caribbean summer events and festivals for yourself? Start here for the ultimate guide to experiencing the ultimate summer adventure in the Caribbean!