After consultation with the CARICOM Secretariat, Antigua and Barbuda has decided to postpone its hosting of CARIFESTA XV until 2022.
The announcement was made by the country’s Minister of Sports, Culture, National Festivals and the Arts, Daryll Matthew, during a virtual meeting of the Regional Cultural Committee and the interim Festival Directorate of CARICOM.
“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,” government said in a subsequent statement.
The celebration, which was initially scheduled for August 11-21 2021 has been pushed back to the same days in 2022.
The decision to postpone the event has “reaffirmed the commitment of the Government of Antigua and Barbuda to hosting CARIFESTA XV” adding that “as a platform for our region to showcase to the world the unrivaled prowess of our people and to demonstrate to the world our capacity for innovation and creativity, 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,” said Matthew.