LETTER: Jamaica has taken over fetes in Antigua and Barbuda


Dear Editor,

In the last two months, I have been to no less than 4 major fetes, I won’t call name because the intention is not to slam the events themselves. CLICK HERE TO JOIN OUR WHAT’S APP GROUP.

However, at a few of these events I was left wondering where have all the soca gone?

I can tell you for sure that Jamaican dancehall is now the predominant genre of music being played at soca fetes.

I was reminded of my days studying in Jamaica, where they would advertise soca fetes and play 5 soca songs and then dancehall for the rest of the night.

Well, this is what Antigua has come to. I for one know where I stand. I am a soca lover and as a long time feter I can confirm that there has been a tectonic shift away from soca at events in Antigua.

Yes, the Jamaicans have taken over our judicial system, our prison population, our TV station, our jobs and now our CULTURE!

Call me xenophobic but what is it to be Antiguan these days?

If you’ve ever been at one of those events, the way the hype man get on. The gun tunes and homophobic tunes have sidelined our ladies who come for a likkle wine.

Antigua is now little Jamaica and there is nothing we can do about it.

I will stay at my home in my little shell and savor the little that is left of Antigua as we know it.


Browne with an E

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  1. Ah soca time now. What you experienced was just the katta.

    By the way how is it that things so hard in Antigua yet fetes have thousands more people who say dem ah picket?

    Oh #LGBTQ to the World..Happy pride month!!!

  2. You complain about Jamaicans taking over the judicial system and jobs etc. But I didn’t see you complain about you taking up space in their university during your study in Jamaica…. How many Antiguans go abroad each year to study or go abroad to have their children to get the people dem passport, but you hear Jamaican songs fete or a Jamaican on TV and it bothers you? Stop being so Badminded

    • So because jamica music playing that means jamaica is taking over. is jamaica the only foriegners in antigua and barbuda ? Everything happen is jamaicans seems as if u have something against jamaicans. Majority a the people dem who go fete a young people and thats the kind a music them want hear . And antiguans all over the world to tryna make something of themselves. So why when we doing the same we doing something bad. It only bothers you guys when its jamaicans but if it was some other foreigners most of yoy wouldnt have a problem. THINGS AND TIMES DO CHANGE.

    • Point of major correction. The University in Jamaica that the writer most likely attended is, at my latest checking, The University of the West Indies (Mona Campus)!!!! According to current arrangements, many Antiguan HAVE TO enroll at the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies based on the area of specialization!! Many would choose not to if given a choice.

    • You sound incredibly idiotic. Going abroad to study for a short period of time to return home to benefit your home country is different from a person taking up permanent, limited space. Universities are barely ever overcrowded and if you follow Jamaican news, you know year after year predominantly JAMAICAN students struggle to pay their school fees. So Antiguans and others studying at universities that carry the name University of the WEST INDIES, or Northern CARIBBEAN University or a technical university cannot be equated to what the author mentioned. Were you a Jamaican who didn’t get to study at university in your homeland?

      • I’m not Jamaican, I’m an Antiguan who’s had the opportunity to live among different people of different cultures and beliefs. I have no problem with the author giving their opinion of song selection. What saddens me is where they try to bring down regular individuals. The point of my statement was to show that, just like Antiguans come abroad to create a better opportunity for themselves, Jamaicans come to Antigua. I know Antiguan Journalists that work overseas, I know Antiguan Athletes, lawyers,Doctors, Nurses that work over seas and I also know Antiguans that commit crimes overseas. I know Antiguans that go to America and start out in basements and roach infested apartments just make a better life for themselves. I know Antiguans that do everything that we dislike Jamaicans for. So stop being so damn xenophobic and learn to work together.

        • I think we hasten to use the term “bring down” and “xenophobic” without taking certain truths into consideration. The author did use the term xenophobic but probably in anticipation of comments like your own. The author did not “bring down” Jamaicans but simply said that more Antiguan songs and culture are missing from local events and Jamaicans are positioned in many powerful positions in the country. Stating a fact is not being divisive so cool it with your alarmist sentiments. Have you listened to dancehall? It is patently homophobic and many songs are filled with violence. Facts. Also, it is natural to be protective of yourself and look about your own interest first. If you’re a parent, would you look about taking care of other children while neglecting your own? You would rightfully be deemed an irresponsible parent. To call for the promotion of all things local first and foremost is not xenophobic, it’s survivalist. I have been to Jamaica and Jamaicans promote their own, they’ve voiced dissatisfaction with Trinidad- produced items being placed on their shelves. Don’t be fooled by the Jamaicans here who sing for their supper and front like they care about Antigua because they have no better option. Also, you talking about Antiguans going to the US situated on a continent cannot be compared to the high rates of Jamaicans coming from a larger island to our tiny state. Are you trying to be dumb? Do you think America is losing its identity to Jamaica? Even when you hear of Jamaicans doing big things in the US it’s in the minority which is why it’s oftentimes newsworthy. America is still a predominantly run by white people who hold the reins of power. You cannot compare there to a small, developing country where the locals are struggling to make it being overrun by Jamaicans. Please tell me you see you’re comparing apples and oranges. Former Bahamian Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis was sure to opt out of some elements of the CSME because he could not justify allowing such movement for people from larger countries to potentially over flood the smaller Bahamian population.

          • It seems you’ve read to respond and not to understand, if you weren’t quick with the Ad hominems and really read a digested what I said it would make sense to you, but it seems like it went over your head so let me break it down for you. Again, I have no problem with the author giving their opinion of song selection at the fete. And to some, the later statements may come across it as xenophobic…. When a foreigner gains employment in antigua its interpreted as a take over, but at the end of the day, that person is working to make antigua better because in the end, antigua as a whole benefits. And like it or not, we need foreigners, if the country were the close to trade today we wouldn’t even have soap to wash our ass. We need to stop hating our brothers and sisters from the neighboring Islands because we would not survive without them. Antigua trying to build itself without the help of our brothers and sisters in the caribbean would be like trying to inflate a balloon while standing inside. Half of a watermelon is better than having a whole grape.

          • I am either Jamaican, nor Antiguan and I agree why you 100%! Charity begins at home, simple put . I love the analogy you used with the parent and his r her children. Everything always starts off little and subtle until it over takes and overwhelms , while people turn a blind eye till it is too late. Protect your own.

          • OMG….you spoke the words right out of my mouth.
            It makes no sense to me when people try to compare an island of 108 sq miles to the US and bigger islands…I am amazed when Antiguans try to speak up about maintaining their culture and try to put the interest of Antiguans first.
            It amazes to see when Antiguans don’t stand up and advocate for other Antiguans. Most Jamaicans big up and promote themselves wherever they go……Antiguans should do the same.

        • You are now reaching for straws and doing a red herring argument. I see you know about argument fallacies so I’ll give you a cookie for using the term, “ad hominem.” Yay! Look at you but I still believe you are trying to be an idiot. You said you’d try to “break it down” but failed to double down on your original point and have gone ahead using false equivalence. Have you come across that one when you were studying creating and defending arguments? Trade and immigration are 2 different things so I don’t know where you are going with us not having soap to clean ourselves if borders close. The author did not mention Jamaicans working as security guards which is a place they dominate as a way of saying as soon as a Jamaican gets a job, they’re taking over. The author highlighted KEY positions and their impact on our culture. If the author simply thought that a Jamaican getting a job here equaled a takeover well surely, they would have stated the place where you are sure to find them in a bungle. You are arguing against points that weren’t made and using buzzwords like “brothers and sisters” and “hatred” to draw out emotions because you cannot go on substance. You are the one who does not understand the argument presented by the author and myself. No one even said they were against immigration as a blanket statement. You cannot point to anywhere the author or I would have said that. You are reaching for the moon and stars, young one. You started out with talking about Antiguans studying in Jamaica and quickly got clocked for that foolish argument and came back with this rubbish. Do better little one.

          • Maybe you are the one that didn’t understand the argument posed by the author, because they clearly did include jobs and not just key positions… “Yes, the Jamaicans have taken over our judicial system, our prison population, our TV station, our JOBS and now our CULTURE!”… So then, by your own admission, the author is now in a “bungle”… and I am indeed arguing a point that was made…. Also, I used the studying abroad and trade as an analogy to highlight how much we actually need each other. But like I said, it went over your head, so you focused in on the analogy instead of trying to understand the point I was making. But it’s all love, I appreciate the debate.

    • It is not your university, it is the university of the West Indies. All Caribbean countries have to contribute to the university for their students. Jamaicans would be loved more if they were a little more humble.

    • Do not compare students paying to study at UWI to the shift in our culture. Both situations are as different and far as north is from south.
      People just want to hear more Soca during Carnival.

    • Exactly few little fete with some song playing and they going on like that.badmind very serious you need to start loving people and also yourself .all kind of sickness and diseases appearing in the world killing off people and you all are still hating on jamaican good god man.how much more nationals in antigua and barbuda.

  3. When you emulate another culture and neglect your own what it actually means is you don’t know your true self worth.in the long run your belief system of your self becomes something of a fantasy.that sort of thing does not happen to Jamaicans if is one thing that they know is who they are.Antiguans always have that problem it’s nothing new.its a sad story.when you travel you get a better understanding of who you are and who you should be.

  4. Bottom line all fetes should play more soca than reggae or dance hall music. When in Antigua do as the Antiguans do.

  5. The Author is completely right, a Jamaican never leaves his home and culture even if they are born abroad, they call them selves Jamaican, and they never leave their culture, their roots is utmost, Jamaican parent teaches their children that there is no place like their home, so why should born and bred Antiguans adopt the Jamaican way, the blame is solely on the politicians, the y will pay a Jamaican performa thousands of dollars and give away thousands of tickets in the midst of our Carnival, but won’t help upcoming Calypsonians and Soca artist to elevate themselves, most of them won’t even attend the shows, but they will show themselves hugging and dining these Jamaican performers, it cannot be right

  6. This article is so true. Jamaicans have taken over Antigua with their culture especially their music. The Spanish music is here too but not as bad as the Jamaican music. The Chinese and Syrians kept to themselves. Guyanese, you don’t hear them loud over Antiguans like before a lot of them went back home since their country struck oil. Everywhere Jamaicans migrate to, they take over. I witnessed an area in the Bronx on White Plains road where a lot of Jamaicans dominated. Jamaicans make everyone know who they’re and them na afraid. I pray that Antigua don’t ends up like Jamaica.

    • Girl you so so right Antigua is lost to to many of them they don’t know how to behave Antiguans are endangered species 😭😭😭😭💔💔 Antigua is not nice now at all we have lost our culture and adopted nonsense help help help



    Look whose going to these fetes pur children 18 to 36 yrs ANTIGUANS is smoking weed till dem trupid…



    • You nailed it mostly Jamaicans give problems you may find a few that try to behave but 😡🚣✈️🛫🛬⛵🛩️

  8. Everyday with this victim mentality. Antigua is famous for talking about foreigners more than anything else. What else is this rock known for?

  9. Lol. Since when is Soca Antigua’s culture? That’s Trini culture that we have been copying for the last 15 years or so. Imho the last original Antiguan music was the unique calypso and jam band (e.g. Burning Flames) music from back in the day. Time for some young Antiguans to step up and get truly creative with some original tunes. In terms of decency – both soca and dancehall can encourage indecent behaviour – depends on the lyrics of the song. Lots of decent dancehall also exists. Dj’s could make an effort to play those if people really want decency at these events. Personally not a huge fan of all the “liquor” fete advertisements. That never used to be Antiguan culture either…

  10. …kum een Papi!

    …🎤U too rude!

    …mixed up moods, and attitudes

    The thought(s), of the author of the letter and the responses to it are quite interesting and rightly so, it’s about #entertainment.
    A couple of things from my perspective…

    A…the reggae/Jamaican, calypso/Trinidad affect on entertainment is not just in Antigua.

    B…Antiguans need to STOP copying, plagiarising other(s) culture and build on their own. E gud to rass, r we jus no tink, e gud enuff.

    C…⁉️With the expansion and extension, of the fetting/partying/entertainment seasons, there’s room for local business ventures.

    D…one question, why isn’t the same been said, about #religious shows? You know, they do lots of ‘whinning, winking and dancing too and their main speakers and entertainers are not always from Antigua, Barbuda and REDONDA…Dem jus do um innah Lang_Frack, instead a “raw pum_pum skin out sharts.

    Ras Smood aka Jumbees Picknee
    Son of Mami_Wata & Papa Elegba!

  11. There is a time and place for everything, it hurts to see that the support for local Antiguan entertainers is on the ground, whether it’s a young people thing now, the carnival festivities is for us Antiguans to show and enjoy our local culture and songs, some one says that Soca is not our culture laughable, King Swallow is the pioneer for Soca, one of the biggest Soca star ever world wide.
    Promoting our art form is what we should be doing, support our local artist, Caiso is our roots not speng and jashai young, teach the youths, teach them wisely.
    We want to hear about bump and wine, we want to hear more from our local artiste, Tian, Claudette, Menace, the Disc jockeys are jokers push our art form, we don’t want to from these young fools whom are even ridicule in their own island that they can’t even sing on a rhythm that is produce and sing with a band, but all the chat about is taking people 3 point which means killing another man, trueps.

  12. There is a time and place for everything, it hurts to see that the support for local Antiguan entertainers is on the ground, whether it’s a young people thing now, the carnival festivities is for us Antiguans to show and enjoy our local culture and songs, some one says that Soca is not our culture laughable, King Swallow is the pioneer for Soca, one of the biggest Soca star ever world wide.
    Promoting our art form is what we should be doing, support our local artist, Caiso is our roots not speng and jashai young, teach the youths, teach them wisely.
    We want to hear about bump and wine, we want to hear more from our local artiste, Tian, Claudette, Menace, the Disc jockeys are jokers push our art form, we don’t want to from these young fools whom are even ridicule in their own island that they can’t even sing on a rhythm that is produce and sing with a band, but all the chat about is taking people 3 point which means killing another man, trueps.

  13. When Antiguans are abroad seeking better economic conditions, they become a part of the melting pot, they are not there to take over. Antiguans have always been very hospitable to other Caribbean Islanders. I remember Dominicans, SaintLucians etc migrating to Antigua and making meaningful contributions without adversely affecting or purposely altering the delicate balance of cultural differences. What we are dealing with now is for want of a better word a hostile
    Takeover/merger and Antigua just by it’s size alone is losing its cultural identity. I think that the immigration system needs to be studied and changes needs to be made. America issues a set number of visas to a country and thereafter the begin to ration insurance to countries like Jamaica and certain African nations like Nigeria. Antigua is too small for such rapid influx of large numbers of immigrants from larger nations, there is no balance, it’s similar to the destruction of our ecosystem. It’s like a free for all, come and do as you feel without respect for the original people, their customs or even their rights. The reason Jamaicans are spoken of more often in my opinion, is because of their approach. Yard or no come fi jestire nor ramp! Dem come fi tek over and run tings! I think that the Jamaicans that might have some influence on Antiguan Tourism need to study Antiguan culture and customs before making decisions that can lasting affects on Our culture. I had to address a hotel that was advertising Antigua with a song that was singing in reggae beats about how much they love Jamaica! If that is not a blatant indication of what is happening and where we are headed I don’t know what is. That was like slapping someone and spitting in their face. One thing I know about Jamaica they will never stick up for anyone else against their own, no matter what differences occur in Jamaica.

    • Antiguans know how to behave Jamaicans are to dam agressive when you are not at home play it cool don’t go bullying people I long for our lovely Antigua

  14. For the person who references soca and Trinidad, you must be a very young person. Arrow from Montserrat, an Eastern Caribbean island popularized soca in a way it had never been marketed before. Just ask Machel who influenced him. I am not one for targeting any country, race or ethnicity. Jamaicans have a strong culture that penetrates everywhere they go. What happens in Antigua is not a unique situation. They are also a very resilient people partly as a result of i believe the challenges they have had to face over many decades. However it’s carnival. Dancehall is not synonymous with Eastern Caribbean carnival. I do believe that calypso and soca are the predominant musical genres associated with Caribbean carnival. Culture is a moving, live, evolving phenomenon but it is sad when you no longer recognize it’s yours, when it is so far from authentic and so far removed from where it started. Having said that clearly a generation has failed to preserve the authenticity of our culture. You can’t blame young people or promoters only.

    • Not that young. Guess I grew up after the hey days of Arrow and Swallow and before Tian Winter and Claudette Peters came on the scene. During that time, Soca was not that big in Antigua, mostly Trinidad. I never classified what little I heard from Arrow or Swallow during that time as Soca, but I am not a music expert so I stand corrected on that. The Soca Monarch competition was just introduced and in its early days back then. So, it seemed like a new appropriation to me at the time. Went overseas for a few years then came back and suddenly Soca was big with some new major local artists. Kudos to them on their success with that genre, but it still feels like imported music to me. So, I don’t see what the big deal is about some people listening to dancehall as well, except maybe the violent ones.

  15. Majority of you in the comments are very closed minded. The author is complaining about dancehall music not being played at soca fetes…who is to be blamed for that, the patrons or the djs? Direct your energy towards the djs and promoters, they are in charge for the music being played. Bringing up the fact that Jamaicans are taking over Antigua is very low. Why are you not complaining about the rich Caucasians who are taking over, making it crazy expensive for locals to go certain places in their own country? Jamaicans and other immigrants are out here doing half of the jobs Antiguans don’t want to do. It is not new for people to want to leave their own country to better themselves and their family. Nothing is wrong with that. When Antiguans go to America or any other foreign country, and are not accepted with open arms they receive a taste of their own medicine from treating immigrants poorly back home.

    Secondly, Antiguans are not upholding their own culture…if an Antiguan goes to Jamaica and introduce Antiguan culture over there it would be accepted, but not be influential to the point where it’s changing Jamaican culture. Antiguans are too weak in their own culture. If you are easily swayed by another persons culture that means you have no roots. Be rooted in your own culture and uphold it, you have no one to blame but yourselves. You can’t expect someone to accept your own culture if you’re not accepting it yourselves. Take the xenophobic energy that you have towards immigrants mainly Jamaicans and try and do better for your culture and your country. The economy is going to the dumps, the housings aren’t getting better, education system is failing the young people…They’re too many problems to be directing this hateful energy towards but you choose this one. Majority of you only have energy in your fingertips. Get off of the internet and see the real issue that is right in front of your faces and take action. Stop fighting against people, and start fighting for the betterment of your country.

    – an Antiguan

    • Hell no we are not weak but it is the system and politics co exist with me everything good but they want it all you name it and again I blame the system Antiguans Are Endangered species

  16. When life gives you lemons make lemonade. Rather than complain, seek ways to benefit – get yu little tray an sell some refreshments, and you will see how much you start to want more fetes. Just a thought.

    • @Morris…#foolish_pride a bus up Antiguans brains.

      Granny Tray, dun get upgrade to Food_Truck, dat shuddah a affah, Antiguans Food, Gourmet Style, lakkah FREETOWN ROAD RESTAURANT, innah New Jersey!

      Antiguans a get out Hustle because, a #FOOLISH_PRIDE.
      From the time, a Jamaican youth barn, dem learn de art of Hustling Anything fram food, clothes, craft, music, sports, religion dem hustle I’m!

      Antiguans fu tap bawl and goh hustle fram Wild Tamarind drink to kinnip drink!

      A wah dem goh say, wen dem Philapinoes start to buss another form a hustle(hotel and agriculture) pan dem rass!

      Ras Smood aka Jumbee Picknee
      Son of Mami_Wata & Papa_Εlegba!

        • @Sincerly…
          …I n I, hope you are seeing 👀clearly!
          …because, this could be worst, than Chalice’s “Nightmare Party!”
          …and, it’s due to lack of, #productivity.
          …and, Antiguans MUST stop🛑 the Blame_Game
          …’cause, as you #Sincerely said,
          …”we had it all!”
          …so, what happened⁉️
          …why, you’re so saddened
          …did Disco_Dumplin take a fall⁉️
          …or, the Spanish Sinorita
          …has taken over, with her sexy body
          …walking all over Wadali!
          …hey! Under her parasol.

          Ras Smood aka Jumbee Picknee
          Son of Mami_Wata & Papa_Elegba!

  17. Meanwhile, the Syrians and Chinese are now supplying our culinary needs. Fried rice, chowmein, chicken and chips, shawarma – all over the island. From the city to the little faraway villages, these people are dictating what we eat, and we are accepting it with open arms. Ask an Antiguan children when last he ate fungee or ducana or pepperpot, and he will rooll his eyes, fake retching or say ‘yuk”. Yet where is the outcry, writer of this letter? Why this black on black hate? Are the Jamaicans taking over, or is it that the young Antiguans find their music more appealing?? Supply and demand. You are blaming the wrong people.

  18. The whole premise of the article iij s simple TO MUCH DANCEHALL MUSIC IS PLAYING IN ANTIGUA …..FETE OR NO FETE…..NOBODY WANT HEAR CP…MENACE…TIAN…SONGS AT FETES…… DEM WANT DANCEHALL SO THE DJS DEM HAVE TO GIVE THEM IT…..NOW IF ITS A …SOCA FETE…why is DANCEHALL music is being played …for what …its a soca fete…stick the the theme….stick to that genre of music…

    ANTIGUANS…….. have more love for other ppl culture than their own….look how them look …..look how dem dress antiguan women has lost their PRIDE ..CLASS….

  19. Tbh, I don’t think Antigua really has a specific culture. The country is a melting pot of people descended from different places, some staying, some passing through – kind of like the New York City of the Caribbean. Most of our “culture” comes from outside influences – even our national dishes are foods brought in from outside the island. So, we will probably never have a strong static culture. But, traditionally, peace-loving people have lived here. So, I agree that we should not welcome violent music that might influence some youth negatively.

    Persons who grow up in a country should have first rights to jobs, housing etc. within reason (once qualified etc.) because that is only fair and just. But, peaceful immigrants should always be treated well. The earth belongs to all of us.

  20. The biggest problem is🥁🥁🥁🥁🥁🪘🪘🪘🎤🎤🎤Antiguans are not producing enough music to fill a current DJ playlist for the Club Scene, Live Music Entertainment to give a PROMOTOR the goods to promote and produce ongoing shows/fetes etc.

    A club with a flavor similar to what has being happening at Lion Hill and LookOut for years can work too!
    Cater to the older crowd works too!

    Jumbee_Picknee aka Ras Smood!

  21. number one soca is not antigua, Jennings I born and I can say this antigua ppl prejudice like the closest thing to racism

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