From the surf to the sun, family adventures to late-night dance clubs, there are a million reasons that people flock to the Caribbean for vacation each year. The music is one of many, but it’s not one to get lost in the crowd. Barbados, Anguilla, and many other islands in the Caribbean are home to some of the most unique music festivals and live music bars you’ll find anywhere in the world. Check out one or all of these great spots for live music on your next trip to the islands.
1. Vujaday Music Festival in Barbados
Held annually in Barbados, Vujaday Music Festival prides itself in being part music festival and part cultural experience. Spend time dancing on the palm-lined beaches, soaking in the beautiful blue waters, and exploring the island’s lush landscapes. As amazing as Vujaday is, Barbados is also one of the best Caribbean islands for families, so there will be plenty for everyone to experience. During the day, take the kids to see monkeys being fed at Barbados Wildlife Reserve, or get up extra early to see the Garrison Savannah Race Track horses training by swimming in the waters of Pebbles Beach.
1. Dune Preserve in Anguilla
Founded by Bankie Banx and now featuring his son, Omari, Dune Preserve on Anguilla is situated at Rendezvous Bay. The cozy establishment reminds music loves of a wooden boat, the layout means every seat is great for catching the acts. The beachside bar is known for its impromptu dance parties and loves to host tourists and locals alike. Visitors of all ages are welcome to check out the open-air reggae vibe that Dune Preserve offers.
3. MooMba Beach Bar in Aruba
Featuring a restaurant and two bars, MooMba Beach Bar is situated between two hotels right on the beach, making it an excellent tourist destination. Put on your dancing shoes and head out to this open-air establishment. The live music and talented DJs take the stage every night at 8:00 p.m., and you can’t beat the ocean view as you’re dancing the night away. Of course, the whole family will want to be sure to check out their kid-friendly cuisine as well.
4. Tmrw.Tday Culture Fest in Jamaica
If you’re looking to center yourself while listening to awe-inspiring music, check out the next Tmrw.Tday Culture Fest. Located on Negril, Jamaica’s 7-mile stretch of beach, the festival typically spans six days and focuses not only on music and dance but also on art, nature, wellness, and natural therapies. Past events have featured house music and reggae music on the beach, sacred plant medicine ceremonies, motivational speakers, and more.
5. Fort Christian Brew Pub in St. Croix
If you’re visiting the Caribbean during St. Patrick’s Day, you can’t skip Fort Christian Brew Pub in St. Croix. The open-air venue sits dockside and hosts five live bands on March 17 every year, but don’t worry if you can’t make it out on that day. The bar also hosts bands four nights a week during the high season. You’ll find a range of music at the venue, from calypso to reggae to rap. The crowd is mostly twenty-somethings, but everyone who can keep up with the energy will love the establishment. Be sure to stop in and check out the five different beers that Fort Christian Brew Pub crafts onsite.
6.Nevis Blues Festival on Nevis
If you love to sing the blues, you’ll love the Nevis Blues Festival. Hosted on the island of the same name, the festival spans three days each April and features a wide variety of local blues acts. Naturally, you’ll need drinks and food while you’re dancing the days away, and the festival provides just that. While you listen to the likes of Kirk Fletcher and Denise Gordon, several bars and restaurants at Oualie Bay will be serving their best drinks and plenty of food, including Nevisian-style barbecue.
From all-ages establishments that the entire family can enjoy to loud bars that are best left to the grownups, there’s something for every music lover to enjoy in the Caribbean. Be sure to fit one of all of these great spots into your itinerary.