News Releases

UWI The Old Yard 2024 Creates ‘Year of Blue’ Reigniting Love of Traditional Carnival and Culture

For Release Upon Receipt - February 27, 2024

St. Augustine

St. Augustine, February 27, 2024 – True to this year’s theme “Year of the Blue”, The UWI Department of Creative and Festival Arts (DCFA)’s The Old Yard presented scintillating performances celebrating the traditions of blue carnival culture. Soca Icon Austin Lyons familiarly known as Super Blue proved he's far from retirement as he set The Old Yard ablaze with his electrifying hits, delighting crowds of both children and adults. His performance, alongside the fascinating antics of the DCFA’s ‘homegrown’ blue devils followed by the iconic Paramin Blue Devils and other carnival characters, was the highlight of "The Old Yard 2024”. This annual celebration of carnival's traditional masquerade and heritage, held on Sunday, 4th February 2024, the Global Campus Quadrangle at Gordon Street, St. Augustine, transformed the space into a haven of rich carnival tradition.

 Amidst the vibrant celebrations, attendees were transported to the era of the barrack yard, where traditional masquerade characters spilled onto the gayelle to revel in the carnival spirit and interact with members of the audience. As is the custom, the event celebrated an array of traditional Carnival characters, including Gorillas, Moko Jumbies, Jab Jabs, and more. Additionally, The Old Yard presented opportunities for patrons to shop for local arts and crafts.

 Amidst the vibrant festivities, tourists and locals alike were captivated by the traditional mas, a spectacle that offered a dive into Trinidad's rich carnival history. The event resonated deeply with elder attendees, who cherished the opportunity to journey back through time, rekindling childhood memories. 'It was like stepping back in time and transported me back to the carefree days of my childhood. It took me right back to the many happy memories,’ shared one patron, her eyes lit up with the joy. Meanwhile, the younger crowd ventured closer, daring to interact with the characters, bridging the gap between generations through the global language of carnival.

 The Old Yard 2024 transcends being a carnival event; it represents The University’s commitment to preserving carnival arts and cultural heritage and passing it on to the next generation. The DCFA extends its gratitude to all patrons and sponsors of the event that showcases the importance of arts and cultural practice within the university community and the wider region.



Super Blue wakes up the crowd with a stellar performance at DCFA's Old Yard 2024, truly making it the 'Year of Blue'


 A Moko Jumbie performs at DCFA's Old Yard 2024.


A Midnight Robber performs at DCFA's Old Yard 2024.


Blue devils perform at DCFA's Old Yard 2024.

 Dame Lorraine performs at DCFA’s Old Yard 2024.

 About The University of the West Indies

 The UWI has been and continues to be a pivotal force in every aspect of Caribbean development, residing at the center of all efforts to improve the well-being of people across the region for over 75 years.

 From a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948, The UWI is today an internationally respected, global university with nearly 50,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and its Global Campus, and global centres in partnership with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Europe.

 The UWI offers over 1000 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Culture, Creative and Performing Arts, Food and Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities and Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology, Social Sciences, and Sport. As the Caribbean’s leading university, it possesses the largest pool of Caribbean intellect and expertise committed to confronting the critical issues of our region and the wider world.

 The UWI has been consistently ranked among the best in the world by the most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education (THE). Since The UWI’s 2018 debut in THE’s rankings, it has performed well in multiple schemes—among them including World University Rankings, Golden Age University Rankings (between 50 and 80 years old), Latin America Rankings, and the Impact Rankings for its response to the world’s biggest concerns, outlined in the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Good Health and Well-being; Gender Equality and Climate Action.

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