Venue change for Reggae Month

BY CECELIA CAMPBELL-LIVINGSTON Observer reporter livingstonc@jamaicaobserver.com

Saturday, March 01, 2014    

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THE curtains came down on the Reggae Month's celebration yesterday. However, plans are already in place for next year's staging.

Charles Campbell, Jamaica Reggae Industry Association's (JaRIA) executive director and vice-chair, said a venue change is in order.

"We will be moving to Ranny Williams Entertainment Complex for the next five years," Campbell told the Jamaica Observer.

The executive said the move is in keeping with JaRIA's vision to establish a village for month-long celebrations.

He said the venue would not only showcase talent, but would act as the premier marketplace for conducting business.

Campbell said plans were in place to develop new streams of income in order to maintain the organisation's independence.

The JaRIA vice-chair said he was satisfied with this year's staging while acknowleging there is room for growth.

"What makes me feel good is each week attendances grew larger as the events built momentum. Last Wednesday was the biggest Wednesday of the series," he said.

The activities included Reggae Wednesdays free concerts held at Emancipation Park and Ranny Williams Entertainment Complex in St Andrew; the Open University discussion series at Ranny Williams Entertainment Complex; the Dennis Brown Tribute Concert in Kingston; the Trench Town Rock concert; and the JaRIA Honour Awards.

In an effort to woo more up-and-coming artistes and established acts, Campbell said it was a work-in-progress.

"We just have to continue chipping away at the block. The more successful Reggae Month is, the more we incorporate all the elements of our music in the programme and the more we will get active participation from those sector," he said.

Formed in 2008, JaRIA's mandate is to organise Reggae Month events with a view to uniting the entertainment industry.

Reggae Month activities were first held at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in St Andrew.

It outgrew the venue in the first three years then moved to Emancipation Park in St Andrew.

"We are now in the third transition, that in itself speaks on the growth," Campbell added.





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