July 1, 2019

A Helpful Guide To Gospel Fest & Cropover In Oistins Barbados

Cropover Oistins Barbados

If you are going to Oistins Barbados one of the main attractions that invite visitors from around the world are the festivals. Two of the large festivals that occur yearly are Gospel Fest and Crop Over. If you love gospel music with a Caribbean flair and/or love calypso or soca music, these festivals are for you. Not only is there music but the amount of vendors who come out to support the events make it a great time to experience food, local artisans and most importantly the culture. While I have not yet been to either event I do have close friends and family members who have gone and have spoken about the excellent time they have had. I have also been on the island when one of these festivals was happening and the feel of the culture and the community is palpable.  If you and/or your family loves music, food, and culture these festivals are for you. Here is what you can expect while attending each event.

Gospel Fest

If you love Christian music with a Caribbean flair then this is the event for you where Christians from around the world come to celebrate their faith together. This annual event happens in the month of May (usually in the third week) and the festival lasts for an entire week. This event is going into its twenty seventh year and brings together choral music, jazz, comedy, dance, theatre, and even cricket  featuring top local, regional and international gospel talent. Over the course of the seven days there is an event on each day culminating with a large gospel concert on the second last day. There are numerous Christian denominations operating in Barbados; so it is inevitable that there would be a large religious festival of this sort on the island. Gospel music plays an important role in the spiritual lives of Barbadians and the growth of Gospel Fest is indicative of this fact. As it has grown it has brought in not only calypso music but also includes reggae, jazz, and soul.


Barbados Gospel Fest was established in 1993 by what was then known as the Barbados Tourist Board. The festival was created by the then Minister of Tourism Wes Hall, now Rev. Wes Hall, and the first event was a joint production between the Barbados Tourist Board and Mr. Alvin Jones. Dr. Bobby Jones of Bobby Jones Gospel came on board and this arrangement gave the festival and Barbados exposure to the international gospel community through its airing on Dr. Jones’ television program on Black Entertainment Television (BET). Since then top international gospel artists have participated in the festival. These include: Dorothy Norwood, James Moore, Ben Tankard, Douglas Miller and then emerging artists, Yolanda Adams and Kirk Franklin. If you are looking for more information on past events and the artists that participated please click here . Tickets to events are at a nominal cost ranging anywhere from 5 US dollars to 30 US dollars depending on the event.

Crop Over

When it comes to a long running festival on the island crop over is one of the longest as it started or can be traced back to the 1780's. At a time when Barbados was the world's largest producer of sugar at the end of the sugar season, there was always a huge celebration to mark the culmination of another successful sugar cane harvest - the Crop Over celebration. As the sugar industry in Barbados declined, so too did the Crop Over festival and in the 1940's the festival was terminated completely. However, the festival was revived in 1974 and other elements of Barbadian culture were infused to create the extravaganza that exists today.  Some of the main attractions of the event include:

Bridgetown Market consists of many stalls selling food and beverages as well as local arts and crafts. Enjoy the calypso and soca music and the live entertainment as you walk through many of the different vendors.

Cohobblopot is a huge carnival-like show where there is also a huge entertainment package with the most popular calypsonians and bands performing to packed audiences.

Grand Kadooment is the finale of the festival which features a carnival parade that features large bands with members dressed in elaborate costumes to depict various themes. The participants make their way to Spring Garden accompanied by calypso music. When they reach Spring Garden, the party continues with more fantastic music, lots of food and drink and, for some, a quick swim at the nearby beach.

This festival happens in the first week in the month of August and lasts for about a week. If you are looking to party and enjoy food, drink, and music this is the festival for you.


Again, I haven't gone to any of these festivals but for people who enjoy cultural music, food, and drink then these festivals are for you. While you can experience these cultural features at any time, during these festivals everything is heightened to the point where even if you are there for a couple of days you can get the full scope of Bajan culture.

Have you been to either of these festivals? Let us know below!

Island Greetings,
Thoywell & Shanelle
T&S; Barbados Rentals
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