Startime series returns in February
BY CECELIA CAMPBELL-LIVINGSTON Observer staff reporter email@example.com
IT has a different name but the promoters are the same. Startime Vintage Concert series (formerly Heineken Startime) returns Saturday, February 16 at the Liguanea Club with Big Youth and the Mighty Diamonds.
The new-look show has Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum as main sponsor, with CVM TV, Pepsi, Ting, Kool 97 FM, Liguanea Club, Starlight Productions, Seals & Engravables, Bourne's Texaco, Happy Ice, Kingston Hireage and Securipro
MKB Promotions (Michael Barnett, Keith Brown and Junior Sinclair) are behind the shows, which, as Heineken Startime, had an 18-year run that ended in 2006.
Speaking with the Jamaica Observer, Barnett said a February launch is appropriate, as it is celebrated as Reggae Month.
Unlike the previous series which saw concerts being held several times for the year, two shows will be held this time around. In addition to veteran Jamaican acts, Barnett says promoters are considering bringing in overseas acts.
"Our first show will be featuring the Jamaican legends because our Startime fans love them, and have not seen them together like this for a very long time," Barnett explained.
Brown said the end of Heineken Startime "had left a huge vacuum in the entertainment scene. We are bringing it back for the same reason we started it, as I can hardly walk the streets without someone asking me when Startime is coming back. It's a demand to which we felt we had to respond and we have to thank our sponsors who share our enthusiasm".
Conceived by Barnett, Heineken Startime grew from an intimate after-work event in the Old Spanish Town Bar at the Oceana Hotel in downtown Kingston into a popular outdoor show which outgrew several venues.
At the peak of its popularity, it featured artistes from the rocksteady era of the 1960s, such as Alton Ellis, John Holt, the Heptones, the Melodians and Hopeton Lewis.
Roots acts from the 1970s like Dennis Brown, Gregory Isaacs, Culture, the Mighty Diamonds and Johnny Clarke were also crowd pullers.
Rhythm and Blues acts from the 1970s Dorothy Moore, Tavares and Gene Chandler also appeared on Heineken Startime.