Save the date for the upcoming I-Queen Arts & Music Festival, which according to Festival Organizer, Rachelle Gray, aims to be a world-class celebration of music and the arts.
The Festival slated for April 2nd and April 3rd, 2016, in Queens Park, Bridgetown, is the only Roots/Reggae festival of its kind held in the southern Caribbean and is proud to call Barbados home.
I-Queen Arts & Music Festival carries a unique female influence, with women representing more than
65% of the audience, participants and performers; and celebrates and highlights the contributions and practices of women in the culture industry.
I-Queen Arts & Music Festival aims to be a significant contributor to the culture economy, generate increased demand for local forms of creative expression while enriching and heightening awareness of Barbados’ branding through music and the arts.
The Festival will feature 20 live music performances from home-based, regional and international Root/Reggae artists over a two-day period. There will be an authentic Root/Reggae open air party featuring popular sound systems, a culture market comprising of art, craft, beauty, wellness, food vendors, children’s play zone and cultural demonstrations in drumming, dance and martial arts.
Established in 2009, I-Queen is a social enterprise celebrating Afro-Caribbean women in the arts, entertainment, education and enterprise. The Arts & Music Festival is the largest empowerment initiative organized by I-Queen.
Born out of the 2009 photography exhibition entitled I-Queen an Anthology of Portraits of Contemporary Barbadian Rastafari Women by photographer Rachelle Gray. The makings of the current Festival developed out of Royal Sunday, which Gray conceptualized as a medium for the public to interact and experience the livity of the Rastafari women featured in her exhibition.
Royal Sunday was so well received it became a stand-alone event and was staged annually from 2009-2012 on the grounds of Frank Collymore Hall. As I-Queen Royal Sunday evolved, annually it featured a culture market, hosted workshops, staged live performances from homegrown and regional artists; eventually growing into a two-day event in 2012.
Fresh from a brief hiatus, I-Queen is elated to once again create a platform for Roots/Reggae culture to thrive. Renamed the I-Queen Arts and Music Festival, 2016 will see the 5th staging of a Festival that is hands down the event of choice for Irie ones to gather in a spirit of love, unity and celebration.
In addition to celebrating Barbados’ 50th year of independence, April will also mark the 50th anniversary of Ethiopia’s Emperor Haile Selassie’ visit to the Caribbean. Historically recognized as the 225thdescendant of the biblical King David, on his journey through the region Emperor Haile Selassie who was also TIME Magazine Man of the Year, 1936, was welcomed to Barbados’ shores by then Premier and soon to be father of independence The Right Hounourable Errol Walton Barrow.