Calabash makes 'difficult but necessary decision' - Festival postponed until May 2022
The organisers of Calabash have announced that the popular literary festival will not take place this year as planned. "We have taken the difficult but necessary decision to stage the next Calabash in 2022," organisers shared in a tweet.
Though difficult, Justine Henzell, co-founder of Calabash, said it was the right thing to do.
"The right decisions are often not the easy ones," she tweeted.
The three-day Treasure Beach event will be held May 27-29, 2022.
This is the third postponement for the biennial festival, which was last held in 2018. Calabash was initially slated to be held May 29-30, 2020, under the theme 'For Word'.
However, the coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdowns and restrictions pushed the festival to later that year, in September.
In June 2020, it was moved to 2021. "The next Calabash will be held 20 years after it all began, May 28-30, 2021, at its home in Treasure Beach, Jamaica," the Calabash Festival account tweeted.
"With so much that still remains uncertain at this time, we've decided that later will be greater for our Calabash family [and] the Treasure Beach community," said a post from Jakes Hotel, which hosts the free festival.
The Calabash International Literary Festival was founded in 2001 by novelist Colin Channer, poet Kwame Dawes and producer Justine Henzell. Among the international authors who have taken part in the festival are Salman Rushdie, Zadie Smith, Jamaica Kincaid, Derek Walcott, Junot Diaz, Elizabeth Alexander, Russell Banks, Edwidge Danticat, Caryl Phillips, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Mervyn Morris, Kei Miller, Marlon James, Eleanor Catton, and many others.
As the world continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, Jamaica has seen a massive increase in cases. As of Monday, the island recorded 147 new cases and six deaths, bringing the total number of cases to 21,826 and deaths to 405. Of the 21,826 cases, 8,163 are active. An islandwide curfew remains in effect, along with other measures under the Disaster Risk Management Act, including the prohibition of parties and events, a public-gathering limit, and measures relating to travel, burials and weddings.