Editorial

Looking forward to the revived Reggae Sunsplash

Saturday, August 31, 2019

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Mr Tyrone Wilson, the CEO of eMedia Interactive Group Ltd, and his team who are reviving Reggae Sunsplash are starting out with the right frame of mind.

Mr Wilson, whom we regard as one of Jamaica's young bright talents, told this newspaper this week that he and his partners want to create a festival industry environment in the country.

“If reggae is going to continue to be where it's at and to churn out more talent, we need for the artistes to be performing and we have a responsibility to create that for them here at home,” he said.

Added Mr Wilson: “In order for us to constantly get music at the quality to be entertained by and also export, we need to create an environment where artistes can also earn by performing at multiple festivals. Some people might take the direction of exclusivity, and you can't blame them; that is their business model in order to ensure sustainability of their event. For us, we are looking at how does everybody win — promoters, artistes, event producers, vendors, everybody.”

Well said, Mr Wilson.

That, indeed, is a formula that can not only bring more visitors to Jamaica but also further enhance the island's push to be regarded as the entertainment capital of the Caribbean.

That, we know, is one of the driving passions of Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett and the experts at the Ministry of Tourism and the Jamaica Tourist Board, who have been doing an excellent job in marketing and promoting Jamaica overseas.

We have often argued in this space that events hold the potential to drive huge visitor traffic to a destination. Readers need only reflect on Reggae Sumfest this year, which attracted large numbers of people, many of them tourists. Indeed, Minister Bartlett had indicated that $1 billion was generated at the music festival held July 14-20 in Montego Bay.

A revived Reggae Sunsplash, we believe, can do just as well, if it is properly planned, marketed and produced, for there are many people, here and abroad, who are familiar with the Sunsplash brand and who, we expect, would attend the festival, which was first staged here in June 1978.

Indeed, Reggae Sunsplash was one of the major music festivals that helped to further establish Jamaica's credentials as a cultural centre, especially as it featured some of the island's best acts, among them Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Jimmy Cliff, Burning Spear, Jacob Miller and Inner Circle, Third World, Toots and the Maytals, Alton Ellis, Gregory Isaacs, Joseph Hill, Tenor Saw and Sugar Minott, to name a few.

According to Mr Wilson, the new Sunsplash team has not yet finalised a line-up of acts for the event scheduled for November 2020 at Grizzly's Plantation Cove in Priory, St Ann.

We would not be surprised to see some of the island's major acts performing at the festival, and Mr Wilson has said that he and his team have not ruled out the possibility of booking overseas artistes.

Our hope is that all will go well with this venture, as it has the potential to contribute to the economy and, indeed, the well-being of the people involved in its planning, those who will perform, and those who provide a range of services associated with events of this nature.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive


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