The Antigua and Barbuda Festivals
Commission (ABFC) is pleased to announce that for the first time, a Virtual Party Monarch
Competition will be staged in Antigua and Barbuda, on Saturday 1st August.
The competition is open to all citizens of Antigua and Barbuda, 18 years and over. One of
the most exciting features is the ability for participants to enter with any soca song (jumpy
or groovy) from previous years.
As the first of its kind to be held in Antigua and Barbuda, the event is styled as a two-round
competition, a preliminary elimination, and the final event. For the preliminary event, songs
will be adjudicated on tracks only, and subsequently, a panel of judges will select ten
finalists to participate in the Virtual Party Monarch on Emancipation Day. For this event,
each artiste will perform with the accompanying band.
This year, Antigua and Barbuda would have celebrated its 63rd anniversary of Carnival.
However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the health and safety of our citizens and residents
became the Nation’s top priority, forcing its cancellation. Nevertheless, after many appeals
to the ABFC to host an event to keep the spirit of Carnival alive this year, the Government
of Antigua and Barbuda made the decision to host a Virtual Party Monarch, merging two of
our Nation’s favourite elements, “Soca Music” and a “Festive Competition”. By doing this,
the social conversation is kept alive thereby allowing persons to enjoy the spirit of our
culture and Carnival from the comfort of their mobile device and home.
Every soca artiste and entertainer has been affected by this pandemic, and as such, this
competition provides a beneficial avenue for them to expose their talents to the online
world, which spans beyond the borders of Antigua and Barbuda.
The artistes who have produced good music over the years will have a financial incentive
to participate as the winner will receive $15,000; with the runners-up receiving consolation
As the Minister with responsibility for National Festivals, Honourable Daryll Matthew
explains, “Out of crisis comes opportunity, and this platform gives us the chance to begin
the marketing campaign for Antigua’s Carnival 2021 – The Caribbean’s Greatest Summer
Registration for the competition is currently ongoing at the National Festivals Office (NFO),
located upstairs the Cecil George-John Building on the corner of Redcliffe Street and Corn
Alley. Persons can also complete their registration online by visiting the Antigua Carnival
website, www.antiguacarnival.com. Tracks (music) can be hand-delivered to the NFO on a
flash drive or CD, or submitted online by emailing email@example.com.The deadline for
registration and track submission is Friday 25th July.