For music lovers, warm weather is more than just a well-needed break from months of chilly temps. Summer means longer days, hotter nights and music festivals featuring many of our favorite artists hitting the stage.
While popular festivals such as Coachella and Made In America always come to mind, fans who desire a more unique experience should look no further than the Caribbean for slept-on options. There’s no shortage of star power, with acts ranging from Buju Banton to John Legend. Several neighboring and host hotels also offer deals to make the trip possible even for those of tight budgets (as frequent travelers know, a flight to certain Caribbean islands from the states can often be less expensive than flying cross-country).
Check out five amazing music festivals taking place in the Caribbean this summer below.
SOLEIL Music Festival in St. Lucia
One of the biggest summer festivals in the Caribbean, the SOLEIL Saint Lucia Summer Festival is returning May 4-12 for its third year. This time around, the St. Lucia Jazz Festival and Jazz Lincoln Center will be teaming up for the elaborate event, featuring an impressive line-up. Russell Hall, Ledisi, Etienne Charles and Patrick Bartley will all serve as artists-in-residence throughout the festival. Sister properties Jade Mountain Resort and Anse Chastanet also allow festival-goers to fully immerse themselves in nature and the island’s rich, tropical environment when not enjoying smooth groves under the Caribbean sun. Check out
https://www.stlucia.org for more.
Aruba Soul Beach Music Festival
If you’re looking to get away Memorial Day Weekend, Aruba’s Soul Beach Music Festival should be on your radar. The May 22-28 event already features a stacked line-up with more to be announced, including headliner John Legend, Grammy Award-winner H.E.R., Charlie Wilson, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Ella Mai and comedian Deon Cole. Past participants of the star-studded festival include Alicia Keys, Kevin Hart, Jamie Foxx, Maxwell and others. Check out http://soulbeach.net for more.
St. Kitts Music Festival
The 23rd annual St. Kitts Music Festival is set to feature some of the hottest names in reggae, R&B and hip hop, including Buju Banton, Popcaan, Smokey Robinson, Ella Mai, French Montana, and more. The festival, being held June 26-30, is also just a short shuttle ride away from the St. Kitts Marriott making it an easy trip to and from the festival grounds. For more information, visit www.stkittsmusicfestival.com.
Reggae and dancehall lovers need not look any further than gorgeous Montego Bay, Jamaica, as the Reggae SumFest touches down on the island July 14-20. Acts this year vary from Jamaican icons such as Spragga Benz and Elephant Man to current star and Love & Hip Hop : Atlanta castmate Spice. Past performers have included Vybz Kartel, Bounty Killa, Mavado, Gyptian, Lady Saw, Beenie Man, Missy Elliott and more. For more, check out reggaesumfest.com.
Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival
The Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival is now in its ninth year, taking place in the capital city of Willemstad from August 29-31. The country’s most popular event, the festival attracts some of the largest names in music. From Stevie Wonder and Patti LaBelle to Jason Derulo and Shaggy, several jazz, R&B, reggae and pop stars have shut down the beautiful island during the famous festival. The 2019 lineup includes headliners Maroon 5, along with the legendary Gladys Knight and more acts to be announced. Neighboring hotel Curacao Marriott Beach Resort provides gorgeous accommodations near all the action, situated on six stunning oceanfront acres on Piscadera Bay. For more, check out https://www.curacaonorthseajazz.com/en/.
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.