Virgin Islands Jam Fest — The Music Festival Adventure of a Lifetime

VI Jam Fest 2022 at The Windmill Bar — Photo: Bryan Edward Creative

Many music festivals will bill themselves as an experience unlike any other, but Virgin Islands Jam Fest is one of a few that can genuinely lay claim to that statement. In just four years, a twinkle of an island dream has established itself as one of the premier destination music festivals in the world.

What began as an extremely grassroots effort between Cruz Bay Music’s Christie Register and Andrew Peter, Lightbrush’s Moe Angelo, and Neptune’s Lookout (the historic property where the festival is held) owner Ronnie Jones, has blossomed into a fully-functioning bar and venue open year-round, the only functioning campground on the island of St. John (at the time of writing), and a 9-hole disc golf course, to boot. The land is now fully-staffed-and-stocked with some of the biggest smiles on the island, and The Windmill Bar has quickly become one of the more prominent tourism stops on St. John.

Photo of the first VI Jam Fest at Neptune’s Lookout (2019) by Earthbound Studios

From the moment one disembarks the plane on the tarmac at Cyril E. King airport in St. Thomas, the adventure begins. A taxi ride to the Red Hook ferry dock, or a ferry ride to St. John, could easily include bumping into your favorite artists, if island luck is on your side!

Cyril E. King Airport, St. Thomas — Photo: Lightbrush
VI Jam Fam with Peter Dante and Zach Deputy on the Ferry to Cruz Bay — Photo: Bryan Edward Creative (2020)

Once you arrive on St. John at the extremely-charming Cruz Bay, if it hasn’t already, the party tends to start quickly at any number of restaurants and bars within walking distance of the ferry dock. So, be sure to have your transportation plan squared away ahead of time!

Cruz Bay 2019 — Photo: Moe Angelo

Over the years, and especially now with the addition of The Windmill Bar, it’s almost as if VI Jam Fest has become a fluid festival, spanning the course of two weeks or more. Artists on the festival bill are now booking themselves around the island, and for longer stretches at The Windmill Bar, so be sure to follow the bar and Cruz Bay Music’s socials to keep an eye on the larger-picture schedule of events.

Neptune’s Lookout and its legendary sunset views are the biggest headliner every year, and Camp St. John has grown from a patch of land with no grass and a makeshift shower, to a grass-covered mountaintop paradise with functioning bathrooms, shower and cooking station. And if you’re not quite the island camping type, there are plenty of amazing villas all around the island available for rent, like at VI Jam Fest sponsor The Hills St. John — but we recommend booking them as soon as you’ve committed to the trip!

Camp St. John makeshift shower (2019) — Photo: Moe Angelo
Camp St. John at Neptune’s Lookout — Photo: Bryan Edward Creative (2020)

Simply the nature of traveling to an 8-mile-long rock in the middle of the ocean for a music festival, sets one up for the experience of a lifetime. Attendee and artist alike are blown away by the beauty of the setting, and it truly creates a festival family vibe unlike any other.

The history of St. John is nothing short of amazing and inspiring, and this year marks 80 years since Neptune Richards purchased this historical property — a former sugar plantation where its enslaved people rose up, and took back their island. The celebration continues today, and Neptune’s descendants are honored that these expressions of life, freedom and togetherness are so greatly in-line with his vision.

Neptune’s Lookout 2022 — Photo: Lightbrush

With these first four years under our belts, and with the solid infrastructure of The Windmill Bar now in place, the team is extremely excited about growing the festival in ways we’ve envisioned from the beginning. We deeply thank every single member of the VI Jam Fam — past, present, and future — for believing in this island dream, and helping it come to life.

Check out the Virgin Islands Jam Fest Facebook Page for full galleries of photos from throughout the years.

Video by Penguin Death Squad
VI Jam Fest 2022 at The Windmill Bar — Photo: Bryan Edward Creative
VI Jam Fest 2022 at The Windmill Bar — Photo: Bryan Edward Creative

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