One only needs to look at the calibre of events held at Bushy Park since its redevelopment to appreciate the level of international attention that local motorsport continues to garner. Let’s face it- you don’t have to know too much about circuit racing to know that events like the Race Of Champions, the Red Bull Global Rallycross or the Top Gear Festival (complete with Jeremy Clarkson and crew) aren’t held just anywhere! So it’s clear that here in Barbados, we’re much, much more than just sun, sea and sand. We’re “speed” too! And this May, the world-class speedy entertainment at Bushy Park continues, with the Barbados Festival of Speed. Prepare for some never-seen-before motorsport action on two and four wheels that will have you captivated from start to finish. But most of all, prepare for the return of the Caribbean F1 champion, Lewis Hamilton to our shores. In his own Formula One car. That’s right, we said it? Excited yet? Thought so.
And just in case there’s still some doubt in your mind, we have prepared six reasons why the Festival of Speed is the place to be on the 8th of May.
1. BFOS is a real Caribbean celebration
Sure, the Festival of Speed will definitely be an event of an international standard: be sure to expect stuntmen, monster trucks, racers and vehicles from all over the world. That being said, the organisers of the event, Bushy Park Circuit Inc, have striven to inject a distinctive Caribbean twist into the fun. Look out for a lunchtime concert featuring local soca favourite, Rupee, as well as various musical treats from the Barbados Defence Force Band. But that’s not all. The festive atmosphere will be maintained throughout the nine-hour programme with performances by stilt walkers, a tuk band and the Kadooment girls. It’s basically the same kind of fun and electrifying atmosphere that you would expect at the Gold Cup…just with much faster (and noisier) vehicles. And Lewis Hamilton!!!
2. BFOS has entertainment for the whole family
So you thought events like this were only for diehard motorsport enthusiasts (and those who pretend to be motorsport enthusiasts)? Wrong. The organisers of the Festival of Speed have steadfastly worked to make it a family-friendly event that appeals to all ages. For the kids, there’s the Festival village: look out for jumping tents, merry go-rounds, face painting,…the works. And for those of you invariably tasked with taking the kids to jump and run about until they’re exhausted, there will be loads of food tents with tonnes of delectable Bajan bites and beverage stalls there to keep you energised. And lots of booths and displays scattered about to keep you entertained. It’s a completely wholesome day out for the most part, save some devilish stunts and tricks on the racetrack!
P.S. We know Mothers’ Day on the island is usually a big family celebration. And just because BFOS falls on that day does not mean this year has to be any different. Just to prove how much of a family affair it promises to be, we are giving away 5 tickets to the Clubhouse for that very special woman in your life! Click here for details on the competition
3. BFOS has some very exciting demonstrations planned
Nope, just because the Festival is taking place at a circuit racing track doesn’t mean the events will be limited to that. There’s a broad cross-section of motoring and motor sport action on two and four wheels to pique all types of interests. Like motorbike racing and stunts? That’ll be there. Like micro banger stunts? Prepare yourself. Like monster trucks doing insane jumps? Look no further. There’s even a Suzuki Swift Cup- and we all know how quickly those little things can move. And of course, to top it all off, Lewis will be maneuvering the track in his Formula 1 car showing us why he’s considered the best at what he does.
4. BFOS has the best views
Anyone who’s been to these fast-paced events before knows that a good vantage point is key. Trust us- you do NOT want to be the one person who misses a driver drifting masterfully into a corner because that freakishly tall guy blocking you. That being said, just so that you don’t miss any of the action, the Bushy Park crew has designed several areas to suit your viewing preferences and your budget. General will undoubtedly have that West Indian, vibrant, fun atmosphere- don’t forget your coolers with food & drinks! However, there are many hospitality areas to choose from including the Clubhouse (no coolers allowed, though!), the Biker Zone (overlooking the circuit from the West above the Quarry- cooler and motorbike friendly!), the Hilti 4 x 4 Hammer Zone (bring your coolers, 4 x 4s filled with all your friends, tents BBQs and park up) and, of course, the VIP (donned the “best view in the house”, all-inclusive so absolutely no need for coolers). And for those of you looking to party, see #5…
5. BFOS is the place to partyyyy
If the photos from Lewis’ Crop Over visit to Barbados are any indication, he sure loves a good Caribbean fête. Who doesn’t right?! So it’s only fitting that any local event attended by him should have a banging party vibe to go along with it. Thankfully, the guys at Caesar’s Army have stepped up to the plate and promised to deliver the “Caesar’s Army Party Zone”, a drinks and vibes inclusive area. Having attended their Jourvert party last year, we can say without a shadow of a doubt that this will be the place to be on Sunday- the Romans know how to get down! And if this serves as any motivation whatsoever, we’ll bet our last dollar that Lewis will make an appearance at some point during the day for a little wine and…well, a little whine. ($180- Adults only) You’re a big boy/girl now; go get a ticket for you and mum! Remember, the family that takes Café Patrón shots together, stays together.
6. BFOS has Lewis Hamilton! Didn’t you know?
We know, We know: he’s been mentioned tonnes of times in this post already. But it is only because it is a massive deal to have the three time-time Formula 1 World Champion coming to show off his talents in his F1 car for us once again. What makes his visit even sweeter is that his love for the Caribbean is as genuine as it gets: he’s half-Grenadian after all! Who else would travel almost 10,000 miles round trip to Barbados between two rounds of the World Championships? He is obviously smitten with our little gem in the sea. How’s that for a 50th Independence anniversary gift? Opportunities to see world-class talent in action like this do not come around very often; it would be best to grab your ticket (and one for everyone in the family) ASAP to avoid disappointment. I know for one that Mum would be especially happy.
Date: Sunday, May 8th (Mothers’ Day!)
Venue: Bushy Park Circuit