CARIFESTA XV has been postponed to 2022.
The biennial festival was due to take place in Antigua and Barbuda from August 11 to 12 next year.
However, the Antigua and Barbuda Government has advised that following consultation with the CARICOM Secretariat, the festival will now be staged from August 11 to 21, 2022.
The postponement of the festival comes in the wake of the continued challenges surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and its prolonged devastating impact not only on the economy of Antigua and Barbuda, but also on the entire Caribbean Community.
Daryll Matthew, Minister of Sports, Culture, National Festivals and the Arts, made the announcement during a virtual meeting of the Regional Cultural Committee and the Interim Festival Directorate of CARICOM today.
He said: “I have been having discussions with our international partners, our, cultural stakeholders, our Management team and the Chairman of the Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda, Prime Minister Gaston Browne, as they relate to the CARIFESTA XV and the potential challenges to hosting the event. The recommendation coming out of these discussions was as heart-breaking as it was unanimous.”
The Minister was supported by Dr. Douglas Slater, Assistant Secretary General at the CARICOM Secretariat.
For his part, Dr. Slater expressed support for the decision of the Government of Antigua and Barbuda in postponing the Festival and spoke to the impact of the pandemic on the countries in the region and his hope and expectation that at the end of it the region will emerge stronger and better.
CARIFESTA was last held in 2019 in Trinidad and Tobago.