THE annual concert marking this year's International Reggae Day (IRD) scheduled for Emancipation Park, St Andrew, this Sunday has been cancelled.
The Jamaica Observer has learnt the concert — which was free to the public — was shelved as the major sponsors backed out at the last minute.
The observance of IRD began in 1994.
"International Reggae Day wishes to advise that the IRD Jamaica 50 event in Emancipation Park has been cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control," a release from the organisers Jamaica Arts Holdings (JAH) read.
When contacted, Andrea Davis, founder/CEO of JAH, confirmed the cancellation was due to sponsorship.
"One of our major sponsors had to pull back and it was too short (a time) for us to recover," was all she was prepared to say.
The concert was to have been in partnership with Jamaica 50.
When the Observer contacted Robert Bryan, chairman of the Jamaica 50 committee, he said a statement would be released.
"I will issue a statement in due course," he said.
Despite the concert's cancellation, the annual 24-hour global media festival highlighting the international spread of Jamaican music, will still be celebrated on July 1. This year's theme is I Love Jamaica.
This year's media awardees are Barrington Barry G Gordon, Dermot Hussey, and David Rodigan. Through participating media partners and on the website at www.ireggaeday, they will be honoured as trailblazers in broadcasting and for their role in the promotion of reggae.
In keeping with IRD, there will be new releases of Toots & the Maytals' Ska Never Grow Old, Unplugged at Strawberry Hill (CD and DVD); Reggae Got Soul documentary (airs 9:30 pm on TVJ), Gramps Morgan's Reggae Music Lives; IRD 2012 CD releasing digitally to media and available for free download, Rise Up (used internationally as Reggae Boyz World Cup song in 1998) never before released extended mix will be available for free download on July One.
"We thank all the artistes, musicians, production partners, creative brands partners, media hosts, and reggae music lovers in the world for keeping the 'fyah' burning for Jamaican music and culture and for your ongoing support of International Reggae Day," the IRD release concluded.