Big Ship sails to Florida

Observer senior reporter

Thursday, May 16, 2019

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Freddie McGregor is taking another crack at show promotion. The veteran singer — known for hit songs such as Push Come To Shove, And So I'll Wait for You and Prophecy — will stage the Big Ship Music Fest in Port Charlotte, Florida on July 6.

McGregor said this area of Florida does not get serviced by reggae acts and his research has shown that, given the demographic, there is a large market ready to appreciate the music.

“We were looking at something for mid-year and when we looked at Port Charlotte, we realised that it was originally a farmworker community and had quite a large Caribbean community, so it was just the right spot,” he told the Jamaica Observer. “The venue, The Port Charlotte County Fair Grounds, is quite a landmark. It is central and easy to find so that made it the best choice. Everybody is excited about this kind of show coming to the area. Some are seeing it as their Sumfest as not many shows of this kind come to the area.”

The Big Ship Music Fest will be headlined by McGregor and features Marcia Griffiths, Admiral Tibet, Everton Blender, Hopeton Lindo, Chino McGregor, Glen Washington and Perfect.

“It was an easy pick for this line-up. South Florida loves a female artiste, so I realised it was either Sister Marcia Griffiths or Etana. Sister Marcia was available and so we just went for her, then the others just fell into place,” McGregor explained. “There will also be three big, band 'sounds' — Earthquake, Legend and Felix — to keep patrons entertained throughout. We are looking to have a really nice atmosphere where people can come out and just chill and enjoy themselves.”

No stranger to promoting events, McGregor staged the Long Beach Reggae Music Jerk and Food Festival in California in 2014. Prior to that, he did Rocksteady Meets Reggae and Dancehall at the Jamalco Sports Club in Halse Hall, Clarendon in 2009.

“It is just something that I really love to do. Being in the music industry, I get something out of trying my hand at staging a show, the way it can be done and the way it should be done, I really just love being on the other side of this business,” McGregor said.

He recently completed shows on the United States West Coast. Other stops to come are Phoenix, Solana Beach in California, Philadelphia, and Massachusetts.

“I just love to work, I don't know why. So, I am still on the road pushing my music and keeping the reggae music brand out there in the market. I am also recording a new album but there is no rush to release, I am just taking in it stages,” he disclosed. “I have recorded some of the tracks and it is coming together nicely.”

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