CARIFESTA, the Caribbean Festival of Arts, is the region’s premier multi-disciplinary Arts and Culture Festival.

CARIFESTA was introduced to celebrate the Arts, foster a vision of Caribbean Unity and positively advance Caribbean Culture, regionally and internationally.

  • Exposé of the Arts
  • To celebrate the creativity, ingenuity, spirit, culture, and heritage of the Caribbean people through the expressions of Music, Visual Art, Craft, Food, Literature, Folklore, Theatre, Dance, Fashion, Film
  • Regional Integration
    • To be a catalyst for the strengthening of Caribbean Integration and the bonds between the islands, our artisans, and cultural practitioners.
  • Regional Promotion
  • To provide a space where, as a collective, Caribbean Nations actively participate in a unique activity which showcases to the world the talent each country of the region has to offer in Arts and Culture

The Festival targets participation and patronage from CARICOM and non-CARICOM countries of the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Diaspora.

Twenty countries make up the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Fifteen are full members (Member States) and five are Associate Members. These include: 

Member States

Antigua and Barbuda
Saint Lucia
St Kitts and Nevis
St Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago

Associate Members

British Virgin Islands
Cayman Islands
Turks and Caicos Islands

In its original design, the Festival was to be held every four years; but is now held every two years.

This roving Festival usually attracts Artists, Artistes and Culture Professionals from over thirty (30) countries.

CARIFESTA has been hosted fourteen times in nine (9) Caribbean countries:

  • Guyana (1972, 2008)
  • Jamaica (1976)
  • Cuba (1979)
  • Trinidad and Tobago (1992, 1995, 2006, 2019)
  • St. Kitts and Nevis (2000)
  • Suriname (2003, 2013)
  • Haiti (2015)
  • Barbados (1981, 2017).

The Government of Antigua and Barbuda (GOAB) through its Ministry of Sports, Culture, National Festivals, and the Arts (SCNFA), bid and subsequently won the hosting rights for the fifteenth staging of the Festival. Antigua and Barbuda will host CARIFESTA XV from August 12 – 22, 2021.

Sector Development and Industry Diversification

CARIFESTA XV may be used to effectively promote a host country’s Destination Brand. It may also contribute to the diversification of that country’s Tourism Industry and the development of its Cultural Sector.

Festival Tourism

A host country may engage in Festival Tourism marketing, where that country positions itself as an attractive location to festival seekers traveling the globe in search of fun and entertainment.

Diaspora Tourism

The Caribbean diaspora is an important market for arts and popular culture. CARIFESTA presents a unique and attractive Diaspora Tourism marketing opportunity, where this audience is invited and encouraged to visit the Caribbean, partake in the Festival, and contribute to the host country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the process.

Creative Sector Development

CARIFESTA is a multidisciplinary festival that fosters sharing and generates artistic and creative ideas among artisans and festival goers which may aid in further development of the Creative Sector of the host country, and by extension, the region.