In keeping with ongoing global efforts to contain and manage the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Barbados has made the difficult decision to cancel the country’s Crop Over Festival this year.

The island’s premier arts and culture showcase celebrates the end of the sugar cane crop with craft markets, soca and calypso competitions, parties and much more, and was scheduled to launch in June 2020. The festival usually runs for two months, culminating on the first Monday of August with a colourful street parade dubbed Grand Kadooment. On Kadooment Day, thousands of locals, visitors and even celebrities that have included Cultural Ambassador Rihanna, and Lewis Hamilton, take to the streets in costume to party.

Also cancelled this year due to COVID-19 is the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA), which was slated for October and November 2020. This annual festival, which celebrates the best of Barbadian performing, visual and culinary arts, will return in 2021.

The Ministry of Creative Economy, Culture and Sports responsible for these two key events, will instead dedicate this time to a national training programme in schools and communities to ensure the continued development of local arts despite the festival cancellations.

More information will be provided on the national training program as it becomes available.

For more on Crop Over and Barbadian arts, visit, and follow the National Cultural Foundation on Instagram: