Antigua and Barbuda’s CARIFESTA XV postponed until 2022

The Government of Antigua and Barbuda on Thursday stated that understanding deliberations with Guyana based Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, CARIFESTA XV, has been delayed until 2022.

In a comment, the administration said that CARIFESTA XV, that was listed for August 12-22, 2021 will now be postponed to August 11-21, 2022.
“The delay of the festival appears in the wake of the extended challenges besetting the COVID-19 pandemic and its continued disastrous impact not only on the economy of Antigua and Barbuda but also on the whole Caribbean Community.”

The decision was made by the 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.

In doing so, the Minister “reaffirmed the responsibility of the Government of Antigua and Barbuda to hosting CARIFESTA XV” continuing that “as a floor for our region to showcase to the globe the unrivalled strength of our people and to exhibit to the world our potential for innovation and creativity, I have been having conversations with our global partners, our cultural stakeholders, our executives’ team and the Chairman of the Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda, Prime Minister Gaston Browne, as they link to the CARIFESTA XV and the inherent difficulties to entertaining the event. The proposal coming out of these negotiations was as heart-breaking as it was common,” said Matthew.

For his part, the Assistant Secretary-General at the CARICOM Secretariat, Dr Douglas Slater, displayed support for the settlement made by the Antigua and Barbuda Government and signified hope that at the end of the pandemic, the region will rise more robust and safer.

He also suggested that CARIFESTA XV in 2022, must be practised as a “time for the reimagine and re-engaging of our common progress and future which are amongst the goals of CARIFESTA.”

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