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Big Ship docks at Port Charlotte

Observer senior writer

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Though early morning rain held up his performance last Sunday, Freddie McGregor was pleased with the inaugural Big Ship Music Festival which took place at Port Charlotte Fairgrounds in Port Charlotte, Florida.

McGregor headlined the event which also featured Hopeton Lindo, Admiral Tibet, Everton Blender, Glen Washington, Perfect Giddimani, and Marcia Griffiths. He estimates about 1,000 persons attended.

“We had a decent crowd, not what I expected but a nice crowd. It was a learning process and you learn as you go along,” McGregor told the Jamaica Observer. “It's something I'll do again.”

The veteran singer, who is based in South Florida, said he chose Port Charlotte because of its close proximity to the cities of Tampa and Orlando, which is home to thousands of Jamaicans. There is not much reggae activity in Port Charlotte, a retirement area with just over 55,000 residents.

Should he return in 2020, McGregor said he would select a more diverse line-up of artistes.

“I was pleased with all of the artistes, everybody brought their A game, but next time I will go for a line-up that can draw a wider demographic.”

The Big Ship Music Festival is McGregor's latest gig as a promoter. He has done similar events in South Florida, Los Angeles and Clarendon where he was born.

Currently promoting the song, Jah Is On My Mind, he is scheduled to do shows in Canada and the United States East Coast in August, and Europe in September.