Bermuda International Gombey Festival Weekend
The Bermuda International 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.
The Gombey Festival Weekend tends to be aligned with the Columbus Day weekend in the US and Canadian Thanksgiving holiday to allow for international participants and visitors, making the festival in 2020 fall on October 10, 2020.
The current active Gombey troupes in Bermuda are: Gombey Evolution, Gombey Warriors, H&H Gombeys, Place’s New Generation Gombeys, and Warwick Gombey Troupe.