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Bermuda International Gombey Festival Weekend

The Gombey Festival is an annual, family-friendly event celebrating the very best in Gombey culture. It provides a platform for local Gombey troupes to perform and display their craft and is an exciting opportunity for locals and visitors alike to enjoy the dance, music, and costume of the gombeys. In 2017, the event was extended into the Bermuda International Gombey Festival Weekend, providing a full weekend of Gombey-related activities that reflect on the diaspora of the Gombey culture.


There are usually multiple different gombey troupes domiciled in Bermuda, each displaying the Gombey art in a form that is recognisable to their fans and unique to the troupe.


Arguably one of Bermuda’s longest standing vessels of culture, many of the Gombey troupes we see today are the result of talents and traditions passed down through the generations. The Gombey art form is widely believed to be an amalgamation of African, British, and Native American traditions that emerged in the Caribbean and now bears a distinctly Bermudian flavour. There are similar related traditions in the Bahamas, St. Kitts, and other Caribbean islands, although the Bermuda Gombey was declared to be its own distinct Bermudian art form at a UNESCO Cultural and Conservation Conference in 1970.


Weekend Event Flyer - please check back shortly


Thursday, October 4, 2018
Made in Bermuda Nights: Gombey Festival Edition
Location: Fort Hamilton
Time: 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM
Cost: Tickets are $40 and available on Food will also be available for purchase.
Details: Your favourite live music event series by PinkSand Entertainment is back for the fall at Fort Hamilton! Sponsored in-part by the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs, this event features home-grown talent including the Wall Street Band and DJ Chubb. Enjoy the truly Bermudian atmosphere of the historic fort punctuated with modern décor and music that will have you vibing all night long.


Friday, October 5, 2018
Dance of the Diaspora: Gombey Festival Film Showcase
Location: Speciality Cinema
Time: 6:00 PM
Cost: Complimentary tickets are available at the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs or by calling 292-1681.
Details: Join us for a movie screening of “Play, Jankunú Play - The Garifuna Wanaragua Ritual of Belize” and several short films from scholar and filmmaker Wills Glasspiegel, who will be present for a question & answer session at the end.

Saturday, October 6, 2018
Bermuda International Gombey Festival Showcase
Location: Bermuda Botanical Gardens, Main Show Ring
Time: 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Cost: Complimentary
Details: Ayo! On October 6, all roads lead to the Bermuda Botanical Gardens for the Gombey Festival. Bring a blanket or chair and head to the hillside or bleachers to watch Bermuda’s 6 Gombey troupes display their passion and artistry in the annual Gombey Festival showcase, with special international guests. This year, we honour Leon "Sparky" Place, while celebrating the best in Gombey culture past and present. Refreshments will be available for purchase.
Rain Date: Sunday, October 8, 2017
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Sunday, October 7, 2018
Gombeys and Traditions of the Diaspora: A Symposium
Location: CedarBridge Academy Cafeteria
Time: 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Cost: Complimentary.  Please contact Dr. Kim Dismont Robinson, Folklife Officer, on 292-1681 or for more information.
Speakers: Dr. Sydney Hutchinson, “Gombeys, Goombay, and Guloyas: A View from the Hispanic Caribbean”; Mr. Wills Glasspiegel, “Montage and Masquerade: Documenting Dance from Sierra Leone to Chicago”, Dr. Quito Swan, “Black Eldorado: Bermuda, Race and Gombey's Diaspora”, Ms. Veronica Yearwood, “Through the Eyes of the Masquerader: The Intangible Bond of Caribbean Movement, Music and Mas”
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