White sandy beaches, crystal-clear cerulean waters, Bajan rum made from some of the purest, naturally filtered water in the world; warm smiles and music lovers dancing to beautifully curated, world-class deejays at exclusive venues: this is Vujaday Festival. A Canadian-run boutique electronic music festival held each April on the stunning Caribbean island of Barbados, Vujaday’s name is a spin on “déja-vu.”
Friendly faces and electronic music set in paradise is familiar, but to me it feels like a dream.
During my stay I take in the sunset while dancing beach-side to Soul Clap and Borella. I swing into the Caribbean Sea from the deck of the Jolly Rodger, to a soundtrack of YokOo’s newest album release. I catch Detroit’s infamous Moodymann and his lovely entourage, Octave One and the fabulous DJ Minx. at Bellevue Manor (which doubles as a polo field during the day). I shimmy the night away with other sparkling souls to a live set by Bob Moses overlooking breathtaking Bathsheba Beach. I feel pure Love from Lee Burridge at the Copacabana closing party, followed by Danny Tenaglia’s tribal-infused banging set. The incredible talent gracing Blue Pineapple and Tiki Bar’s day parties are just a few standout moments from this Vujaday's second successful year.
Kurthoop & Ded Pixel of Ded AgencyKurthoop & Ded Pixel of Ded AgencyKurthoop & Ded Pixel of Ded AgencyWhen not bumping and grinding to Vujaday’s remarkable line-up, I dance in the rain at Oistin’s famous Friday Night Fish Fry, ride local buses and eat mouth-watering roti and tapas at Cocktail Corner in “The Gap.” I even catch a glimpse of Rihanna’s brightly-coloured humble beginnings in Bridgetown.
A smooth, Cool Runnings catamaran day trip brings snorkelling amidst sea turtles and shipwrecks, followed by an on-board feast with the prestigious Sandy Lane Beach as a backdrop.
The eccentric and maze-like Hunte’s Garden at an old plantation, designed and maintained by a charming 80-year-old Bajan, Mr. Hunte, offers a hidden oasis of deep rejuvenation demanded by many late nights.
The view of Bathesheba Beach from the exquisite 17th-century St. John’s Cathedral and Cherry Tree Hill, next door to the St. Nicholas Abbey Rum Distillery, rekindles fond memories of the Cornwall House Sunrise party.
Kurthoop & Ded Pixel of Ded AgencyKurthoop & Ded Pixel of Ded Agency
Vujaday is best visited with some downtime to explore this rich coral island. Don’t forget your sunglasses, a smile, and an appetite to be wowed by Barbado’s warm hospitality. Vujaday is a festival for the books.