ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
Like many good ideas,
...the festival was conceived over a glass of wine. That was when two friends from teenage days met in 2013 for the first time in forty years, only to discover that one – living in the UK - was in the music business and the other – a hotel owner in Nevis - had a passion for music. Cue bright idea!
The Nevis Blues Festival will never be big, it’s a physical impossibility on an island where there are only 12,000 inhabitants and 400 hotel rooms. And that will be it’s enduring attraction – a small, intimate festival.
When you come to the Nevis Blues festival you will enjoy artists of international reputation performing on a stage overlooking the Caribbean Sea. In fact, the beach is so close you’ll have sand between your toes as you dance the night out.
Day-time you can cycle, hike or horse ride around the island, go scuba diving, fishing or sailing, play golf, or simply laze on the beach. What you will soon realize is that the pace of life on Nevis is wonderfully relaxed.
Nevis is one of the most unspoilt islands in the Caribbean. It forms part of the inner arc of the Leeward Islands and sits two miles from St. Kitts and 50 miles west of Antigua. It’s a very special place known for its charm and the easy-going genuineness of its people.
British settlers arrived in Nevis in 1628 and the island first made its mark as a major sugar producer, an industry that has long since gone. Today it is an intimate and relaxed tourist destination with a small number of beachfront and hillside hotels, ranging from a modern spa resort, to historic sugar plantations-turned-hotels, to beachside cottages.
The climate is tropical, tempered all-year round by constant sea breezes. While warm, it never gets particularly hot or humid. In April you can expect 80 degrees (26.6 C) and a low risk of rain.
Nevis has some famous forebears. It was the birth-place of Alexander Hamilton, a founding father of the United States and chief of staff to George Washington. It is also where Horatio Nelson as a young sea captain married Nevisian, Frances Nisbet, later the Duchess of Bronte. More recently, Nevis is where Princess Diana went for a getaway and it continues to be a place to where celebrities can escape.
There is an interesting connection to the Blues. American folklorist and musicologist Alan Lomax, known for his extensive research of blues, visited Nevis in 1962 to research the black folk culture of the island. His field trip to Nevis and surrounding islands resulted in the anthology Lomax Caribbean Voyage series. Among the Nevisians recorded were chantey-singing fishermen and string bands, fife players and drummers performing quadrilles not dissimilar to the traditional music of the north Mississippi hill country.