2016 Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival Guide
One of the biggest Bahamian cultural celebrations of the year is coming up – and you’re invited! Join us in Nassau Paradise Island May 5-7 for the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival, where locals and visitors alike will be immersed in the music and culture of the islands of The Bahamas. Concerts, performances, parades, and shows will be taking place throughout the three-day festival, and this lively and colorful celebration is not to be missed!
This year’s festival includes top Bahamian and international music artists in concert. Grammy award-winning hip-hop artist Wyclef Jean, who hails from Haiti, was recently announced in this year’s concert lineup, as well as Trinidadian soca queen Destra and Jamaican reggae star Taurus Riley. Soca music is also known as the “soul of calypso”, a genre that originated in Trinidad and Tobago in the 1970s.
In addition to Junkanoo street parades and musical performances, another highlight of the Junkanoo Carnival is Da Cultural Village. Open throughout the three-day Carnival, Da Cultural Village showcases the unique offerings of The Bahamas, including food samples, cultural and craft demonstrations, and musical entertainment such as Junkanoo, Rake’n’Scrape, and world rhythms. Pop in throughout the Carnival to immerse yourself in the culture of The Bahamas and chat with some of the participating artists and musicians!
The Nassau Paradise Island leg of the Junkanoo Carnival kicks off on May 5 at 8:00 p.m. with the Junkamania concert. Junkanoo orchestras come together for a unique musical event featuring the music of The Bahamas, as well as other Junkanoo-inspired demonstrations such as drumming and dancing on the biggest Junka stage in the world!
Each night during the Carnival, the Music Masters song competition takes place, featuring the top contenders for this year’s winning jam. This is a great opportunity to see some up-and-coming Bahamian and Caribbean musical acts. Wyclef Jean, Destra, and Rake’n’Scrape superstar D Mac will take the stage on Friday, May 6 for a performance that’s sure to have everybody up and dancing! The Aftermath concert on Saturday, May 7 features another impressive lineup, including reggae sensation Taurus Riley, Puzzle, and Julien Bellevue.
The Carnival concludes on Saturday, May 7 with Road Fever, a Bahamian masquerade street party incorporating stunning costumes, live musical entertainment, and traditional Bahamian dance. “Jump in da line” and feel the Junkanoo rhythm – everybody’s welcome to participate! Fever kicks off at 10:00 p.m. following the Aftermath concert, winding its way through the streets of Nassau with plenty of dancing and celebration. It’s the perfect way to wrap up another exciting Junkanoo Carnival experience.
Interested in checking out the Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival in Nassau Paradise Island? Here’s everything you need to know about this year’s carnival.
2016 Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival At a Glance
When: May 5-7, 2016
Where: Nassau Paradise Island, Bahamas.
Da Cultural Village and Junkamania take place at the Western Esplanade on West Bay Street, Nassau.
Music Masters nightly concerts are held at Clifford Park on Bay Street.
The Road Fever parade route starts at the Thomas A. Robinson Stadium and makes its way through the streets of Nassau to conclude at the Western Esplanade.
Who: Bahamian and international musical acts, including Wyclef Jean, Destra, Taurus Riley, and D Mac.
Ticket Information: Purchase tickets for Da Cultural Village only, or add on a concert as well. Tickets can be purchased online in advance on the Carnival website.