The beach festival is traditionally celebrated annually in the summer and on the emancipation day which is a public holiday and a Thursday. Emancipation day marks the celebration of freedom of the slaves in Bermuda in 1800s. Since the Beachfest is a festive celebration to mark the occasion, it's also known as the Bermuda Beachfest Emancipation Celebration. The first beachfest took place in 2005.
However this festival also coincides with the first day of the annual Cup Match
that takes place between Somerset and St. George cricket clubs. Many locals and mainly tourists who are not much interested in the cup match, have an option to join the beachfest and enjoy the day until late hours at night.
Thousands have been joining the beachfest every year. And many actually enjoy best of both worlds by joining the beachfest on Thursday and then the cup match on Friday when the action and excitement really picks up in the stadium as the match draws towards closure.
So what happens in Bermuda beachfest and where is it held? It's has been traditionally held in Horseshoe Bay Beach
which is the number#1 beach in the island and most popular with both locals and tourists. There is generally no entry fee for the beach festival. Lots of fun activities and beach games are held including tug-o-war, netball, football, beach volley ball etc. There are performances by local talents, bands as well as invited renowned bands that take place throughout the day and the evening. Such performances are held on the stage which is set up on the beach.
Bermuda Beachfest in Horseshoe Bay Beach
And of course there are cash bars to buy your drinks. Stalls are set up selling beverages and food. So overall a great family event with fun and frolic. But note that for special events like performances by professional singers or musicians from abroad, there is an entry fee to attend such program which may be held on a separate day or time slot.
The entire beachfest program is organized by The Chewstick Foundation and it is one of the largest beach parties in the island. The Foundation always takes this opportunity to promote local talents every year.
Further Info & Contacts
The Chewstick Foundation
28 Elliot Street, Hamilton, Bermuda
2015 Bermuda Beachfest
The beachfest in 2015 has been cancelled. Instead a musical concert will be held on the first night of the Cup Match (i.e. July 30, 2015) at the number one Car Park in Hamilton City. The concert is hosted by Chewstick Foundation. There will be performances by several Bermudian talents as well as invited artists. A key attraction will be the international reggae star Wayne Wonder. Gate will open at 9pm and the performances to start at 10pm. General tickets are $60 and VIP tickets $100. You can get tickets online from ptix.bm or at AF Smith, Rock Island Coffee, Chewstick etc.
2014 Bermuda Beachfest
The beachfest of 2014 will held at Horseshoe Bay Beach (which is its original venue). It will be held on July 31, 2014
2013 Bermuda Beachfest Schedule & Program
This will be the 8th annual beachfest in Bermuda. It was almost getting canceled due to lack of sponsorship, but could be salvaged almost at the last moment to keep the tradition alive. The venue has been shifted from Horseshoe Bay Beach to Snorkel Park Beach at the dockyard. So this will be of great advantage to the cruise ship passengers who will be on the island on this day. The beachfest will be held on August 1, 2013 (Thursday) from 12 noon onwards until 3am. This year for the first time however there is an entry fee.
The Entry fee during the day time is $10 and after 7pm is $20. This fee has been introduced to cover the gap in funding. Like earlier years, lots of beach games, competitions and activities are planned. This includes netball, volleyball, tug-o-war, swimming race (introduced for the first time), one bounce, wacky races and more. There will be many local talents and groups performing on the stage. The entry fee covers all activities and entertainment. Food, beverages and drinks to be purchased separately.
2012 Bermuda Beachfest Schedule & Program
In 2012, the beachfest programs were held in Horseshoe Bay Beach and over 2 days. On the first day (August 1, 2012 Wednesday) Wayne Wonder performed in the evening. There was an entry fee of $50 for this program. There were other renowned names also on the stage. Cash bar was available. The Wednesday program was held between 9pm to 2am.
Thursday (August 2, 2012) was the usual beachfest day which started at 11am and lasted until 9pm. The day was full of fun activities and beach games like tug-o-war, netball, volleyball etc. There were also halfpipe skate ramp, water slides etc. There was no entry fee. Cash bar along with food and beverages were available. Local talents performed on the stage. Thousands of people (both locals and tourists) flocked in.
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