All About Holders Season
The annual Holders Season has become somewhat of an institution in Barbados, and is a highlight in the local festival season. Every year, between March and April, the picturesque Holders Hill in the parish of St. James is transformed into a 2 week season of premier performing arts, and people come from all over the world just to enjoy it.
Often called a ’boutique festival’, Holders Season started in 1993, with Wendy Kidd developing it into what has now been established as one of the leading cultural events in the Caribbean.
Located on the west coast of Barbados, the festival draws a more glamorous crowd, and showcases some of the best actors from London’s West End and New York’s Broadway; not to mention world-famous performances of opera, music, dance, and even stand-up comedy!
Did you know? One of the most famous opera tenors, Luciano Pavarotti, performed at Holders Season in 1997, further securing Holders as a world-class event not to be missed.
What Can I Expect?
Holders Season is historically hosted at Holders House, a traditional 17th Century Barbadian plantation house owned by the Kidd family. Set on 5 acres of land overlooking the coastline and steeped in tradition, it’s the perfect location for an internationally acclaimed arts and entertainment festival.
Amongst the tropical gardens of Holders House is an open-air theatre with a stage to showcase the Season’s stars, under the stars. Before the performances commence each evening, there is always a variety of food and drink tents (like the ‘champagne tent’) so you can relax, enjoy the warm evening breeze, and soak up all that the Season has to offer.
The polo field stretches out to your left and soft dusk lighting enhances the natural beauty of the surrounds – you’ll find the location just the right blend of English and Barbadian cultures. And, during Holders Season it’s worth arriving in plenty of time, so you can get right into the swing of the atmosphere that makes this event such a success.
The Holders Season productions always play to sell-out crowds, so be sure to check the Season’s schedule in advance, and book your tickets early!
Did you know? Holders House also plays host to first-class polo matches, and is home to the first polo field to be built on the island. You can also stay at the exclusive Holders House, which has seen the likes of royalty and celebrities make the House their temporary home for the high level of privacy and luxury it provides its guests. And, there’s even a weekly Farmers’ Market held there every Sunday too!
Supporting The Local Arts Community
Holders Season plays a big role in supporting the local arts talent, and many of Barbados’ local stars have made their mark by appearing in a Season at Holders. By having young local talent showcased alongside top-class international artists, Holders Season assists these emerging talents to develop their career networks. They get the chance to play to a large international audience, as well as the rare opportunity to learn from artists who have already made it to the world stage.
For example, the Arts and Photographic Exhibitions provide opportunities for new talent to showcase their work next to some top established artists, paving the way for international exposure and success.
How Do I Get The Holders Season?
Holders Season is held in the parish of St. James on the west coast of the island.
From the Spring Garden Highway, at the Frank Worrell roundabout, turn right onto Walmer Lodge. You will see an Esso gas station on your right-hand side – turn right here and go up Holders Hill. On your left, you will see the entrance to Holders.
Want To Know More?
To get more of a taste of just what Holders Season is all about, check out the Holders Season Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/HoldersSeason) or their website (http://holdersseason.com/).
For more information about Holder’s Season events, check out our Totally Barbados Events Calendar.
By: Brett Callaghan
Last Updated: July 16th, 2017
Publisher: Totally Barbados