Crop Over Barbados 2019
Updated: Oct 6, 2019
It's taken me a minute to get my life in order since I returned from a truly incredible, life altering trip to Barbados. I am endlessly filled with inspiration and it's been hard to keep up with the regular grind when my creativity is set alight same time.
But! I decided to wrap up everything in this blog post and share with you the music, my experience and my advice in case you were planning to
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Long story short? Say "YES." to the question: "Crop Over?"
+ IT ALL STARTS WITH TUNE +
The music. Where do I start!?! There is so much wicked tune coming out of Barbados specifically.
Here's the sounds of Barbados Crop Over I can't do without.
Kevin Crown - 2019 St. Lucia vs Barbados Soca Mix
Kevin Crown - 2019 St. Lucia vs Barbados Soca Mix Part 2
Dj Chengz - B.I.M. (Bashment is a Must) Crop Over 2019 Mix
Dj Jesse T - 2019 Crop Over Mix
2019 Soca | This Is Soca - Crop Over 2019 Mix By DJ Tank & Emcee Jay
Dj Mastermind 2019 Crop Over Sampler
Dj Scrilla Dan Crop Over 2019 Sync
+ THE INS & OUTS +
+ NETWORKING + Couchsurfing
I posted my trip publicly on couchsurfing.com and met 2 of my best island links on there. I can't say enough good things about couchsurfing, even if you have somewhere to stay, it is the most effective way to experience a destination as a local and truly connect. Instagram is a valuable tool as always. Bookmark the people you meet into categories so you don't lose track. Tinder
Unfortunately, many have connotations about tinder that keep it in the realm of dating more than networking. But! It is by far one of the most useful networking tools available to us. Just be straight up about what you're looking for. There's a lot to sift through and I didn't meet as many people off there as I would have liked but I know I will the next time I return or we cross paths elsewhere.
Pay for it to swipe ahead and see who's liked you. Be sure you cancel before the month is up.
Fete Schedule While this website has a number of fetes listed, because there are plethora of promotors that work through various platforms, the only way to see everything is via this app. Plugin. Even still, you may face issues with different ticketing systems and sold out events not showing up as sold out. Remember, Barbados is on island time. Arrive at least fashionably late.
+ CURRENCY + They accept both US dollars and Bajan currency. 1:2. This seems simple enough, but when you've been drinking and math is near strong suit it can be difficult. Stick to thinking and communicating in 1 currency.
+ TRANSPORT + The bus system is fairly extensive, reliable and affordable affordable. These apps are useful for getting around via public transport.
Next to that, there's taxi's. expect to spend a lot of money on taxis when you are going to and from fetes that are at odd hours. Get the numbers of the taxi drivers you take so you can have a few to contact when needed. Early morning airport runs are more expensive. Make sure you have a reliable taxi driver. Our guy, Houdini was awesome:
+1 (246) 235 8214
+1 (246) 836 6679
+ ACCOMODATION + I was lucky enough to stay with friends but had I not, I would have couchsurfed for half and got an AirBnB for the other half.
Seems like it'd be easy and people are really friendly, as usual. The best part about couchsurfing though, is getting to experience a country and culture directly from locals. It's not to say the manufactured brand of tourism is lacking, I just want to see and understand all sides. My advice is. where ever you go, always meet up with a couchsurfing host you think is cool. You can stay 1 night or just meet for a drink. It will always add value to your experience.
I looked around, just in case I might find myself in a moment of collapse and need to escape to the inherent safety of a last minute hotel room. Prices and standards vary significantly so seems like there's something for everyone. Book early if you can.
A lot of options, some right downtown, but best booked early due to the rush.
+ FOOD + In order to feel my best, ideally, I'm vegan and gluten-free. I was not while I was there. Maybe I could have managed it if I was more organized but it seemed next to impossible once in the mix. Bajan food is healthy but a lot of the food available at fetes is KFC, Burger King etc. But girl want a little peas and rice, breadfruit and plantains, not fast food. In general, it is difficult to get food and drinks at fetes, lines are long and options are limited. In future, I'll carry snacks with me. Raw almonds, cashews, protein bars, etc. I regret not taking time to go to a vegetable / fruit stand and trying EVERYTHING. Next time.
+ LEGALITIES + - All forms of camouflage are illegal.
- Smoking is not just banned at most fetes but you can't even possess a pack of cigarettes, or any paraphernalia (like lighters). It will be confiscated at the door. There are some you can smoke at but don't assume just because it's outdoors you can.
- Illicit drugs will get you arrested, even for tiny amounts. There are hopes to decriminalize recreational cannabis next year through referendum. Medical marijuana is already in the works. Still, while cannabis seems widely used, it is still stigmatized and fear of arrest surrounds it.
+ FASHION + - Unless you have your entire trip planned and know everywhere you'll be, you need to pack flexible. I did my best to shop during my layover in Miami. I won't leave it till the last minute next time. I might go for a full night layover in Miami just to shop.
- Cultural events beyond the road generally tend to be relaxed attire, jumpsuits, dresses etc.
- Fetes depend. I mostly wore tights, high waist bathing suit bottoms and bralette/ shirt and sneakers. I dress to dance so 9 times out of 10 I was wearing the least amount of clothing at an event. If that kinda thing bothers you but you also wanna feel free from the confines of clothing. Kimonos are key.
- Have a fanny pack of sorts.
- Don't trust body suits with snaps.... ever.
- Have at least 1 fancy dress and a pair of heels.
- It's hot, but as a Bermudian and a person who is generally cold, I never regretted having my hoodie with me for when I left a fete. Especially J'ouvert parties.
- If you have hair, you will need a lot of leave in conditioner. Sand, paint, sun, salt; there's no fighting it.