CRICKETER Chris Gayle's Triple Century bar in New Kingston, St Andrew, was abuzz with excitement as the final audition in the Heineken Inspire competition got under way on Saturday.
The competition is geared at finding the next big star in four categories — music, film, fashion, and art. To enter, consumers should submit their 'inspired' piece using Heineken and all elements of the beer.
A total of 116 contestants turned out to showcase their talents and pieces to the judging panel of designers Carlton Brown and Gillian 'Minka' Francis as well as Edna Manley lecturers Robert Archer and Katrina Coombs.
The arts and music categories saw the most entrants.
According to Nasha Douglas, Heineken brand manager, the turnout was overwhelming.
"We are quite pleased and encouraged by the turnout here today. It shows the tremendous talent we have in Jamaica and also the support that the Heineken Inspire campaign has garnered over the past year," Douglas said.
"We will now go through all entries and make a most difficult decision of finding the final 20, made up of five persons from each category: art, fashion, music and film," she explained.
The standout pieces, branded with Heineken in some way, were a Heineken dress, a glass Heineken table, and a set of clay and tile paintings.
"I am quite impressed with some of the entries, especially in fashion, these guys have really gone outside of the box with their designs," said Carlton Brown.
Twenty finalists will be chosen this week and given $25,000 each to complete their pieces for final judging. In a mentoring session with judges set for this Friday, participants will be guided on how to prepare their final submissions. The incubator period will run for two weeks.
Each category winner will receive $250,000 plus other prizes.
The competition ends on Friday, September 27, and the winners will be chosen on Monday, September 30. The campaign climaxes with a grand finale on Saturday, October 5.